Does tech workforce engagement play into your workforce hiring strategy? Because if not, you could be marginalizing talented individuals from engaging in customer success and customer retention initiatives.
In my playbook, customer success is the fulcrum leveraging customer retention strategy. Customer success captures the long term value that products, services and employees contribute to your customers’ growth, expansion and sustainability strategy.
What do you think?
As a result of focusing on customer success, tech workforce engagement becomes a valuable skill set. Have you recalibrated your tech workforce hiring strategy for customer success?
Take a look at your tech workforce churn rate as a segment of overall employee churn.
Your tech workforce are highly trained, highly compensated individuals. Because they are valuable to hire, onboard and retain, they are even more expensive to replace.
Next, take a look at your tech workforce hiring strategy. Is HR focused solely on hiring for credentials and technical experience or does cultural fit and engagement enter the equation?
As a result of status quo hiring practices, your tech workforce can become marginalized and disengaged in creating business value for your products and services. Alternatively, creating an engaged and collaborative tech workforce moves you beyond hiring for technical homogeneity and sequestering individuals within departmental silos.
The choice is yours.
A recent CompTIA study of 400 managed IT services companies found that a majority of MSP firms lost at least one IT technical staff member in the past year. The reason? The employee defected to the end-user organization’s staff. Now one tech team member may not seem like a lot of talent to lose.
First of all, consider this. What if that one tech team member held together your key accounts customer retention strategy? Have I got your attention now?
Also, take a look at the size of your current tech workforce. If you are a micro-business (which, for manufacturing, is anything up to 500 employees: basically the entire business universe), losing one tech team member can represent losing 10% or more of your total workforce.
Finally, consider the most interesting aspect of tech workforce churn: the reason why. “Employees who leave are usually seeking more stable hours, better pay or a job that’s more challenging than simply monitoring and waiting for an alarm bell to go off.”
Is your current tech workforce hiring strategy boring the socks off your technical operations and service teams?
Tech workforce engagement strategy is an opportunity for HR to create and implement cross-functional, multigenerational collaboration across your entire workforce.
Collaboration is synonymous with engagement to most technically- and scientifically- trained individuals. Consider focusing on creating a highly interactive roundtable of cross-functional colleagues. What does that innovative environment look and sound like? Chances are your HR strategy will select for individuals who are able to function quite well while challenging and validating each other’s perspectives. That is how tech professionals are trained to think, work and process information.
Is that the way the rest of your workforce should function?
The current scenario looks something like this: the non-technical workforce is intimidated by the technical workforce. Your non-technical workforce buys into the stereotype that they are not rocket scientists. OK, so may they are not. However, your equally valuable, non-technical workforce fills in the gaps in what your technical workforce has yet to comprehend about business and sales processes.
Sounds like a win-win to me, when properly facilitated. Here are some ideas to start your cross functional communication strategy.
My recommendations? Take the first small steps towards creating an enlightened tech workforce engagement strategy.
First of all, start by demystifying the scientific method for non-technical personnel. Hint: your sales teams can really benefit. I nominate them as your beta test teams. You can easily measure the effectiveness of this initiative!
Also, continue by translating respective professional terminology. There is a much higher rate of employee engagement and collaboration when everyone understands what everyone else is talking about.
Finally, go ahead, poke holes in dinosaur corporate silos. Departmental fiefdoms marginalize and exclude employees from working collaboratively. Customer success is not the result from employees sticking to their own kind. There is no engagement in that tack. There certainly is even less innovation.
What first steps will you take to create an HR workforce hiring strategy focused on tech workforce engagement? What is your timeline? Milestones?
Babette Ten Haken is a management strategist and coach, author and content creator and speaker. Babette has one of the most distinctive voices in today’s workforce, professional development and customer success communities. She traverses the interface between human capital strategy for hiring and developing technical and non-technical employees focused on customer success. She catalyzes compelling strategies and processes for cross functional communication and collaboration. She is the author of Do YOU Mean Business? – her playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks to drive revenue through your organization.
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