By Carrie Dagenhard (Tech Writer).
Savvy Tech entrepreneurs understand that retaining good staff is as essential as keeping good customers. The time and money saved by having experienced techs serving your best customers are often overlooked, but it's actually quite invaluable.
But retaining good staff is an ongoing effort, and let's face it, life and work pressures get in the way of the best-laid plans. So how can tech entrepreneurs weave staff retention within their go-to-market strategies?
Here are a few things that IT managers can begin doing right now to ensure their IT helpdesk or MSP teams are happy, efficient, effective, and ready to meet their goals in the months ahead.
Re-Align on Key Organizational and Team Objectives
It’s likely been at least a few weeks since you first discussed company-wide objectives and defined your tech team's goals. And that means there’s been just enough time for team members to either begin laying the groundwork toward those targets or become distracted and forget those objectives entirely.
Now is an excellent time to check in with your team and ensure everyone is still taking the appropriate actions. Set aside some time to discuss current and upcoming initiatives, and determine whether they align with broader organizational goals. If they don’t, consider how you can evolve those efforts.
For example, suppose one of your company goals for the year was to increase customer satisfaction. In that case, you and your team might choose to update your knowledgebase content with self-service tutorials for customers so they can resolve issues without having to wait.
Additionally, be sure to touch base with each team member to make certain they have a list of specific, measurable, and realistic goals — and a roadmap to achieve them. If their objectives are too ambiguous, tracking, monitoring, and completing them will be difficult.
Deploy An Employee Engagement Survey
Employee happiness is always essential to long-term success, but it’s even more critical for leaders to keep their teams engaged amid the current labor shortage. When employees are recognized and valued, they’re more likely to feel enthusiastic about their work and less likely to seek employment elsewhere.
Even if you think your team is rock-solid and you’re not in danger of losing top talent, it’s still a good idea to do a Q1 temperature check. Consider fielding a team-wide engagement survey to better understand how each team member feels about their work, the team’s direction, and whether there are any areas of opportunity they’d like you to address.
After you’ve had time to collect and review responses, make a point of using your team members’ feedback to create change wherever necessary. For example, if multiple team members complain they have too many meetings and not enough deep-focus time, consider switching to an asynchronous format for standups and other recurring meetings.
Encourage Techs To Take Breaks and PTO
Burnout is already one of the top buzzwords of the year, and that’s not a good sign. After years of uncertainty, isolation, and poor work-life balance, many professionals are unmotivated and overwhelmed. As a result, formerly high-performing employees are becoming less effective. And, once your team members become burnt out, no amount of pep talks or incentivizing will reignite their productivity. As the old saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
One of the best things you can do as a leader is to encourage your direct reports to take their breaks and paid time off. While stepping away for lunch or a week at the beach won’t automatically fix the larger, systemic issue of mass burnout, making breaks a part of your team culture is a step in the right direction.
And because it’s vital to lead by example, make sure you’re taking regular breaks throughout the day and scheduling much-deserved time off too.
Schedule Team Building Events
During the pandemic, traditional team building fell to the wayside. Suddenly, employees were no longer gathering for impromptu happy hours or sharing birthday cake in the break room. The absence of these important bonding moments left people feeling isolated and disengaged.
While you can’t always get your team in the same space — especially if you have a distributed workforce — strive to schedule virtual social events during work hours. And, when it’s safe to do so, find a way to get everyone together in-person for a conference or retreat. Giving employees time to get to know each other and build natural rapport will do wonders for team morale.
Invest in PSA Software
One of the greatest gifts you can give your team is freedom from minutiae and the many time-consuming, manual tasks eating up their workday. By investing in professional services automation software, you can relieve a significant burden from your team members’ shoulders so they can focus on the big-picture strategy efforts that will move the needle. (And spend less time on headache-inducing busywork.)
SherpaDesk’s multi-tool PSA and IT helpdesk solution breaks down departmental and individual silos, automates everything from time tracking to ticket assignments, and gives you greater insight into team performance with at-a-glance reporting. This way, you can ensure everyone on your team has the resources to meet their goals and finish strong.
By ensuring everyone on your team is aligned on key initiatives, gathering and addressing employee feedback, taking steps to stave off burnout, fostering team bonding, and investing in the right solutions, you’ll be well on your way to building and retaining your MSP dream team.