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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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How to Lose a Tech in 10 Days

Posted February 3, 2016by Lily Teplow

 How to Lose a Tech in 10 Days

image source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thecut/i-tried-to-lose-a-guy-in-10-days_b_6334518.html

Technicians play a pivotal role in the success of any MSP business. Having skilled technicians on your team can keep your business efficient, innovative, and long-lasting. With the tech industry on the rise, and jobs in this sector multiplying by the minute, most companies don’t put much thought into their turnover rates. However, this could be a costly mistake.

Technician turnover can be a real burden on your business. With the loss of that employee and their skill set also comes the loss of your time and financial investment. Continue reading to learn about the main causes that lead to turnover, and also how you can prevent it from happening.

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, we've been thinking about relationships, in life and in business. If you’ve ever seen the classic romantic comedy How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (OK, so maybe you don't watch romcoms, but you've seen it on TBS while flipping through the channels), you know that writer Andie Anderson tries to drive a guy away using only classic mistakes women make while dating. What you probably didn’t know is that some of these “classic mistakes” can also apply to your business and employee relationships, resulting in high employee turnover. This is a dreaded outcome in any managed services practice, so it’s essential that you do your best to prevent it. To start, here are the main reasons why technicians leave you.

 

Top 4 Causes of Technician Turnover

1. They aren’t being challenged

You hired your technicians because of the set of skills they possess, but it could be costing you if you aren’t allowing them to use them. No matter what industry you’re in, employees will always seek to be pushed and challenged. The IT industry is no exception to this. There is very low reward to having your top tier techs working on low level issues, it’s a waste of their time and valuable talent.

The bottom line is, your technicians need the opportunity to use and improve their skills. Empower them to go get certifications and become project managers, rather than task completers. If they feel as though they aren't being properly challenged in their work, they could go seeking other employment.

2. They’re bored

Going off the point above, if your techs aren’t being challenged, they’re probably very bored. No one likes twiddling their thumbs all day, especially when there are more stimulating tasks available. Your techs shouldn’t prefer sitting through a Celine Dion concert to their day-to-day routine of changing passwords and patching servers. You can avoid this common mistake by adopting an outsource model, which prevents tedious tasks from filling up their plates.

Not only can your techs get bored with their work, they can also get bored with their work environment. If they’re not in a stimulating atmosphere, they might not feel motivated to put in their best work. Now, don’t feel obliged to take them to a Knick’s game, or crash poker night, but creating a positive company culture will result in long-lasting employee relationships. Why not bring in a gaming system or foosball table for them to play with when they need to step away and recharge?

3. They want a higher salary

A large contributing factor to losing your talented technicians is that you’re unknowingly paying them an insufficient salary. Although you may feel like their compensation is fair, it could leave your technicians feeling under-valued if it isn’t up to their or the industry’s standards.

A recent 2015 Dice Tech Salary survey showed that 37% of tech pros said they were interested in changing employers that year, with 70% of them naming higher compensation as their reasoning. Your technicians need to feel as though their hard work is being rightfully compensated. Most technicians have a solid sense of their worth, and being unsatisfied with their current salary might send them searching for better options.

4. They don’t feel appreciated

This can result from a combination of the reasons listed above, and is another reason why you could be losing your most valuable techs. Again, I’m not saying you have to go out and buy each of your technicians a love fern, but showing that you value them will go a long way. Employees desire to belong to organizations that care about their well-being and value the work they accomplish.

Now that we’ve identified the root causes of technician turnover, take a look at some things you can do to make them feel appreciated and ensure they stick around for more than 10 days.

 

How to Keep Techs Around

If you can’t afford to give your technicians a raise or attend a couple’s therapy session, there are little things you can do to show them you value their efforts. Most technicians are hard-workers, but they typically stay hidden behind the scenes. You can celebrate their achievements with technician appreciation days, and give them a little spotlight. Send an email to the company, specifically praising their work on a project or describe how they helped another member of your team.

If you’d rather take a more personal approach, you could also set up recurring meetings to check in with your techs, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Focusing on individual relationships with your technicians will show them that you care and will provide a perfect opportunity to gauge whether they are still content with their compensation, feel valued and challenged, and feel safe enough to come to you with any problems that may have arisen.

Finally, if you adopt an outsourced model, you can free up a lot of your technicians’ valuable time. Encourage them to become project managers, and help them along their career trajectory. Allowing your techs to take on more responsibility with more fulfilling work will always result in higher company loyalty and lower employee turnover.

Need more help retaining techs at your managed services practice?

 

Are your techs weighed down with low level tickets?

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Lily is a Content Marketing Manager at Continuum and is passionate about helping businesses solve their biggest challenges. She is responsible for managing Continuum’s MSPblog and writing on a variety of topics, from sales and marketing to cybersecurity, helping establish authority in the MSP market. Lily is also a seasoned content creator and has supported Continuum’s PR and media efforts. In her spare time, Lily enjoys singing, traveling the world, and cheering on her favorite Boston sports teams!

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