Save Yourself Trouble
MSP business has an almost subjective quality to it. Sure, you’re dealing in objective programming which changes in a concrete way every several months to several years. Moore’s law is still a relatively constant expression of technological expansion. But just because the numbers are in your favor doesn’t mean things will always function as they should function. You could easily find your MSP is compromised in strange ways even though the “equations” of operation are working out. One of the reasons for this is that employees aren’t being listened to, so valuable input they could give you to help your business doesn’t make its way your direction.
Consider this: if you’re part of an MSP, and every time you say something it’s shuffled off or disregarded, won’t that encourage you to quit saying things? Then when you notice redundancies, what will you do? Well, you’ll likely sit on them and try to work despite them. If you’re ignored long enough, you’ll eventually forget you’re dealing with redundancies, and start thinking of them as BAU: Business As Usual.
If you want your MSP business to be at its peak efficient operating capacity, you need to listen to employees and establish a habit of listening to them early on. They can give you unparalleled insight into:
• Retention of Proactive Practices
• Retention of Employees
If there’s a bunch of useless busy-work surrounding certain tasks, it’s possible that employees may gradually lose initiative. The actual work only takes 20 minutes or so, but the surrounding features of that work seem to never end, making each new task a very difficult burden. This is a hypothetical, but you get the picture. Always ask for ways procedures can be upgraded for maximum efficiency.
Lack of initiative translates to lack of engagement between both employees and the employer, and employees and clients. You want everybody engaged; you want everybody passionate. Employees can communicate to you, both directly and indirectly, what level of engagement they happen to be at. Pay attention! Sometimes, it’s not your process— it’s the position you’ve put an employee in. Someone in coding shouldn’t be in sales, and vice versa. This is an extreme example unlikely to be the core of a mix-up, but you get the idea. Sometimes employees lack engagement because they’re not in their most useful place.
Retention of Proactive Practices
Sometimes you’ve got something that’s working fine, but a change comes down the pipeline due to new management, new tech, or something of the kind. The change seemed like a good idea at the time, but it adds unnecessary work to an already stressed environment. There’s nothing like overload to sap passion and proactive tendencies. So hold meetings. Granted, some employees will whine anyway, but often you’ll be able to get valuable insight into that which is driving your workers, and from here you can help solidify those practices which encourage a proactive approach and either rescind or diminish those that don’t. Proactive employees will be better suited to maintaining existing clients, and even sourcing new ones. They’ll have more time. It’s an upward spiral. So listen both to what employees say directly, and what they say indirectly.
Every employee you have, whether bad or good, represents an investment in the company. Think of a good employee like a good car. Think of a bad employee like a bad car. Either way, you still need the car to get you from point “A” to point “B,” and you paid for it. But if you never service a “good” car, it will become “bad.” Meanwhile, if you service a “bad” car, it can become “good.” Sometimes, all that’s necessary is an oil change. When you’re changing procedure, consult employees. Some things have to be changed regardless of them, but sometimes you think you’re doing them a favor when really you’re not. Don’t just throw your weight around because you have the ability and don’t want discussion. Ask what works and doesn’t. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to change a policy that must be implemented, but if there’s room for employee input, it’ll be good for your MSP business and those working to support it.