Your business is only as good as your employees. When your team are motivated to do their best, you will find success. When your team are not engaged and do not feel invested in, they will struggle to perform, and may look for elsewhere for new opportunities where they can grow. Our Director of Managed Services, Mark McLachlan, gives his top tips on keeping your employees motivated to enable success.
‘One of the key factors of encouragement is employee development. By investing and supporting personal growth, you are enabling your workforce and equipping them with the right tools to deliver to the overall success of your business.
For me, employee development is very much twofold.
- As an employer, you have a well-trained, motivated, high performing team.
- As an employee you feel valued and progress to achieve your goals with a promotion, or personal success story.
Employee development is not just about sitting exams, there are several factors such as:
Going beyond the simple onboarding process. Spending time using shadowing then reverse shadowing techniques help the tasks ingrain, this forms part of our personal development plan that each of our team members get issued with.
Offering a mentoring program is key to unlocking development, this program is filtered through our teams to make sure that the junior members have someone who understands their role and can help with their personal development.
Offering the opportunity to try out different areas of the business is a wonderful way to get new starters thinking about what matters most to them in a career. We use a secondment period into other areas of the teams, for example, first line employees working in second line to increase knowledge for their own development, but also to take those tasks back to first line to enable ‘left shift’ to enable a higher level of first-time fix for our clients.
Like mentoring, we have SMEs within the teams who support on key technologies or specific client infrastructures. Their responsibilities are to cross train with the same left shift mentality.
Benefits of employee development
Too often, companies underestimate the business value of employee development. Championing self-development for your teams allows them to gain expertise in their current position and home in on their strengths whilst developing their weaknesses.
As a large employer of entry level IT professionals, it is of paramount importance that, we get the building blocks in place early to train and develop our employees into the future stars.
My ethos has always been to invest in the team to make them the best version of themselves, which in turn helps deliver a first-class service. If that means they eventually fly the nest to realise their dreams elsewhere, I know we have had a hand in getting them there and that is a reward. This, of course, is a two-way investment that comes to those who want to grow and show willingness to improve, and this is always rewarded.
In summary, as a Managed Service Provider, it is key to deliver a consistent, high-quality service to all our clients, no matter the size or value of the engagement. Therefore, we have invested in our whole team going through a minimum of ITIL foundation, and supported by technical Microsoft, HPE and Cisco exams to support our client’s technology stacks. As an example, within Managed Services, my team passed close to one hundred exams over the last 12 months. As technology is our business, it is easy for us to see the benefits of the investment in this area of training allowing businesses to concentrate the investment in their areas of expertise.