One of the largest challenges in Information Technology is hiring the right people, but in my opinion the greatest challenge is growing the right people.

it-support-job-retention

What do I mean by this? Let me give you an example.

A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewing job candidates. There was one candidate stuck out to me, but not in a flattering way. His resume looked pretty good—15 years technical experience at a well-known company. His salary requirements reflected years of experience.

The problem?

He really didn’t have much experience. For the past 15 years, he had been doing the same exact thing day in and day out. Rather than being a solutions expert, he was simply a solution expert- One. Period.

In a large organization where bodies are needed to do relatively small tasks. Note: at Dynamic Edge we automate mundane activities to (1) add value to each and every team member rather than produce factory workers and (2) to keep them challenged and excited about coming to work each and every day. Keeping an active and engaged work force helps us service complex clients with security and support challenges much better than the run of the mill IT Support team.

The problem with assigning one single job to a single person? They lose passion for their work. They get lazy over time and skip steps. They forget foundational IT concepts and lack the discipline to solve and resolve multiple problems. They are incapable of branching out and making an IT Department or organization better at servicing users.

This one applicant—who wanted to be on our project team implementing sophisticated solutions to resolve or address our clients’ business problems—would not last a day in the position. He wouldn’t even be able to recognize when to seek help from other subject area experts, because he really doesn’t have one area of IT mastered enough to work independently or within a dynamic group.

If your department or IT Support team doesn’t promote from within, doesn’t have long-lasting team members moving up within the organization, if everyone is externally hired—you’ve got a big problem. You’ve got more turn over and more unsatisfied or disillusioned workers on your payroll that have no ambition to learn and grow because they don’t see working with your team as a long term solution.

And the lack of career opportunities is the Number 1 reason why employees leave.

Information Technology and IT Support Teams are no different. The number one reason why technicians leave is that they see no opportunities within the team moving forward. They see no leadership growth. They see no technological growth or training opportunities to grow their skill set.

Now sometimes, team members have to leave. If they don’t fall within your organization’s core values or end up not fulfilling their responsibilities, they might not be a good fit. But more often than not, IT Support companies lose team members because they CHOOSE to leave. And more than 80% of the time, they choose to leave for what they perceive as better opportunities for career growth.

At Dynamic Edge, we prioritize team member growth to better service clients and help individuals understand where their next stepping stones can take them. We want to make sure they are devoting appropriate effort on specific skills that will increase their value to you as a client and our organization as a whole.

The problem with most IT Support companies?

They don’t see employee growth as necessary. Most IT Support teams—especially when it comes to internal teams—do not value growth. Rather, they produce factory workers that can do very specific jobs. When taken out of that unique environment, they fail. With little contextual experience, these employees often fail at even the most basic IT assignments.

How Can you make sure your IT Support team hires and retains good candidates?

  1. Ask for their company core values (if external) and determine if their values promote continuous learning. Our Core Values focus around constantly learning…. Dynedgers (as we call ourselves) learn as we go. We don’t pay someone to run one job. Why? Because more often than not it’s not efficient to you, it doesn’t help your business security or operations improve. Having a team of skilled professionals that might be focused on areas of your IT—not single skills—makes them more adaptable to your business technology needs as they change and evolve and keeps excitement in their job, learning and applying new techniques in an enterprise setting.
  2. Determine whether IT support team members are growing or stagnating—if you have an internal team, it may be easy to ask HR if any of your team have consistently exceeded your manager’s review expectations. If the team member is simply ‘passing’ that’s not good enough and may indicate they are not investing enough thought in your IT. If you have outsourced your IT—look for promotions from within the company you’re using. Do they have a lot of turnover? Are they hiring managers and    entry level positions? Are they promoting internal hires at all? If they aren’t, they likely have poor management capabilities, a culture that is not growing with technology and you may risk having to deal with more faces on site than you’d ever hoped for.
  1. Ask to see their training book—most organizations have training weeks (or days) to get new team members up to speed with processes and procedures. In IT, process is more important than most other industries because your business relies on every technical problem being resolved quickly. If different team members are coming up with their own jury-rigged solutions, they may lead to greater problems down the road. At Dynamic Edge, we have an explicit handbook that team members are expected to carry with them that gives them the insight into how to function within our organization. From the basics of how to present themselves onsite to how to resolve tickets and computer problems. If your IT Support team hasn’t invested in a handbook and training, how much are they investing in team growth and retention?

Are you sure your IT Support team isn’t hiring and managing factory workers for your complicated jobs? Are they motivated enough to cross all their ‘t’’s and dot every ‘i’? Contact us today for a free network assessment to find out.