High staff turnover rates are one of the largest costs companies face, and yet so few organizations take the necessary actions required to reduce it. This is especially true for IT support teams, which have even higher turnover rates than most other industry sectors.
IT staff turnover is when an employee leaves the organization, and are then replaced. Attrition is similar, except the employee is not replaced.
IT support team turnover is quite high compared to many other industries, sitting between 30%-50%, while other industries are usually well below 20% turnover. To hire and onboard a new employee, it can take up to 10 weeks and cost your company thousands of dollars.
Sure, knowing attrition rates is great, but let’s actually calculate it. The equation is simple: take the number of employees who leave, divide that by the average number of employees on payroll in that time period, and multiply by 100. Let’s look at a real-world example:
Let’s say your IT support team lost 7 employees to turnover last year, and had an average of 27 employees on payroll for the year. The equation would be as follows: 7/27 * 100 = 25.92% turnover.
Per Michael Booz at LinkedIn, UX and designers have the highest overall turnover rate, with support teams being even higher.
Determining the exact cause of IT support team turnover can be difficult. However, there are a few simple problems you can address to help reduce attrition:
Improper training is a major gripe for IT professionals working in support. Having to deal with a wide array of customer problems, proper training needs to be comprehensive, but many managers feel the pressure from senior management to rush to get staff ready for working on their own.
No Clear Career Path
Though IT is a fast-growing industry, some people who work in support may feel as if there is no clear career path for them. If they feel as if there are better job opportunities elsewhere, there is a good chance they will leave in favor of better opportunity.
Not getting paid a reasonable salary for your duties is one of the fastest ways to get burned out. When you have to deal with people complaining all day, the stress of the business can get to you.
Managers who try to insert themselves into every employee-customer interaction can cause a great deal of turnover. When employees feel as if management doesn’t trust them, they’ll feel more inclined to look for opportunity elsewhere. Allowing employees to resolve customer issues creatively can greatly increase their morale and help reduce turnover rates.
How to Reduce IT Support Turnover
How to Spot Great Candidates
In order to hire the best person to fill a position on your IT support team, you must first create a list of qualities you want them to have. There are a ton of skills and qualities to look for when hiring new employees. Certain skills will set some candidates apart from others, such as:
- Problem solving
- Project management skills
- Works well with others
Create an Enjoyable Workplace
It’s pretty shocking the difference in quality of work when employees actually look forward to coming to work. Not only will employees do better work, but they’ll stick around for much longer when they enjoy coming to work. Creating incentive programs based on performance will also help maintain a high employee morale.
An IT support team can be a very enjoyable job, if you make it that way. Treat your employees like assets and they’ll do great things.
Train and Empower Your Staff
Implementing a comprehensive training program is critical to the health of your business. Making sure new employees are onboarded and trained properly is a great way to make sure turnover is kept to a minimum. Showing your employees real life use cases to train them is a great method to get them acclimated to working with your team. Let them know they’re rock stars, who can take on any challenge a customer may throw at them.
Training takes quite a while to do correctly, ranging from 6 to 10 weeks. Throughout this training, empower your employees to be the best they can be. Give them the tools to solve problems creatively, and in a way that works best for them. Show your employees just how important they are to your organization.
Here are a few suggestions to consider when creating a great training program:
- Assess each employees needs
- Have leadership support the program
- Create engaging and fun content
Pave a Clear Path for Advancement
In an industry such as IT, there are plenty of career paths and room for advancement. Your job is a manager is to show your employees this path, and provide them with the tools to find their way on that path. Not only is showing employees this path important, but being their “biggest cheerleader” is also important. You were in their shoes at one point, so why not help them out along the way with some of the tips and tricks you picked up?
Retain More Employees
No matter how hard you try, sometimes employees will leave your organization. However, if you follow these steps, you will greatly reduce turnover and keep more of your awesome employees. Demonstrate to your employees how important they are, and the value they bring to your organization.