August 9, 2015 – When a technician leaves your company, they leave a huge gap in their wake. They take with them the intimate knowledge of critical technical processes and idiosyncrasies that didn’t manage to make it onto paper. They take the time it will take to rehire for that position, and the time lost meanwhile as the rest of the team manages the extra workload. And perhaps most importantly, they take – or break – the bond of trust that has developed between the whole IT department – removing an important cog from the always churning wheel.
For CIOs, losing a technician is a dreaded event. However, there are distinct scenarios that cause your IT staff to get restless, and ways to resolve the tensions that may be brewing under the surface:
Remember that traffic scene in “LA Story” where Steve Martin’s character frantically realizes it’s “open season on the LA freeway” and desperately reaches for his gun, making sure it’s loaded as truckers and grandmothers alike start shooting at his car? May not be real life, but commutes can certainly feel that way. Offer flextime schedules or work from home options to help keep your technicians sane.
Burnt out and smoldering.
Work’s called work for a reason. But sometimes it’s more work than your key technicians can manage, as they’re the ones trusted with the most complicated, time consuming, and stress-inducing responsibilities. Make sure to offer elasticity to workflow, opportunities for downtime, and encourage taking vacation.
Show me the money!
Another classic movie scene, and oh so relevant. It’s easy for compensation packages to get away from you without even realizing it’s happened. But your technicians are likely aware of what their peers are bringing home, as far as bacon is concerned. Keep current with marketplace trends and provide regular financial incentives to keep your staff motivated.
Too many deadlines, too much pressure.
Your technicians need time to breath between tasks, time to let their minds settle on the job at hand, and invest their best into their work. Make sure to provide reasonable deadlines, find ways to alleviate some of the pressure, and put systems in place to minimize the amount of fire drills.
Feel disrespected or undervalued.
There’s a quote that says “a person who feels appreciated will do more than what is expected.” But someone who feels unappreciated will develop resentment towards their superiors and their job itself. Performance will suffer and eventually they’ll just leave. Recognition and rewards go a long ways toward keeping your best staff on staff. Providing this kind of motivation is often more important than monetary compensation (or at least as important).
Heading for new pastures.
Be it their spouse got a new job in another city, a family member has fallen ill, or they simply want to explore a new place, there are a multitude of reasons your technician may opt to leave town. Offer the chance to work remotely through a virtual desktop so your technician can leave town, but not their job.
No rest for the weary.
Being on call day and/or night can feel like working 24/7, especially for a technician who not only has to troubleshoot the technical issue, but placate the person experiencing the problem, as well. Rotate your on call staff, and give your technicians some true time off. They need it.
Employee turnover is costly in any field – but this is especially true when it comes to losing one of your valued technicians. As your technology platform continues to become the center of your business universe, allowing your company to exist, perform, and expand its operations, technicians are more critical than ever. Don’t miss the signs. Know how to keep your staff happy and on board, and you’ll have the rest of the company smiling brighter, as well.