Five Reasons MSP Employees Leave MSPs and how to stop it from happening to you

Investing in a process to retain good employees, is equally as important as a good hiring process.  The Managed Services job market is a dynamic and rapidly changing landscape; the tools for support are continually evolving and so are the skills are MSP employees. It’s important for MSP employers to stay informed by keeping a pulse on how your employees are feeling about working for you.  Knowing how you stack up against the competition can give you a competitive advantage if translated correctly.  Bowman Williams helps Managed Service Providers hire and scale.  We are a staffing firm for the MSP industry.  We staff 90% of the MSPmentor Top 100 List and Forbes ranked us #137 Best Recruiting Firms in America in 2018.  We keep a pulse on the changing landscape of hiring and scaling MSPs.  Here are the top five reasons we’ve uncovered about why employees leave MSPs for better opportunities.

  1. A Body in Motion…

No one accepts a new job so that they can stay entry-level for life.  People accept new jobs to grow, advance and better themselves.  Most business owners know their employees love working for them, but will never love their company as strongly as you do.  But this can be a good thing when used in your favor.  Unlike the owner of the company, employees often have more fundamental reasons for working.  This means they can be easily qualified (during a review, for example) and your new hires will want and need to know what is on the horizon.  Help them continually see how their jobs offer them a stepping stone to advance their career.  Regularly increase your employee’s job responsibilities, give your employees standard benchmark dates for reviews letting them know they are up for a pay raise.  An employee in motion tends to stay in motion and continue billing, while an employee with a stagnated career will quit and leave you short on resources.

  1. Transcribe Enthusiasm

Self-actualization, sense of belonging and self-esteem are the building blocks to a happy life.  Only breathing, eating, and physical safety are ranked more important on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.  Your employees feel connected and willing to translate your enthusiasm into results when your goals are clearly defined and communicated often.  Employer enthusiasm is transcribed successfully by outlining career steps that are tangible and obtainable.  Remove ambiguity; don’t postpone employee reviews, or make it so your employees have to chase after you for a discussion about their career advancement.  Take charge.  Employees often leaves when they no longer understand how their future aligns with their employer’s.  How can you be excited about something you don’t understand?

  1. Be Transparent

Your employees appreciate working for you, but let’s be honest, working for you isn’t easy.  Your clients are demanding, your work environment is dynamic and it’s expected that your employees remain responsive to your clients afterhours.  People are open to accepting challenges, but make it easier for them (and you) by setting candid, transparent, brutally honest expectations.  Eliminate surprises.  If you expect a new employee will need to wear multiple hats by performing tasks outside their normal job responsibilities, tell them before they start.  If the career track to becoming a Senior Network Engineer at your company requires five years of experience and two Cisco certifications, tell them before they start.  If your job environment is sink or swim and you expect every newly hired employee to provide value within their first 90 days, tell them so they know what expected and how hard to work is.  Avoid surprises by being as transparent as possible so you’re not left a man (or woman) short.

  1. Let them Contribute

It’s important to make sure employees know what is expected of them, but it is equally important to allow freedom and flexibility.  An employee that is allowed to find new and better ways of tackling problems, is also an employee that innovates and helps to grow your company.  Today’s work force can be autonomous, mobile and siloed; but everyone wants to feel appreciated.  By giving your employees a chance to contribute creatively to the overall strategy or well-being of your company, you satisfy more of their basic needs to feel appreciated.


  1. Lost in the Crowd

Unmet or poorly communicated expectations are often the root cause for conflict in business and life.  Retaining employees for the long term, starts with understanding your employee’s “hot buttons.”  Hot buttons are the list of reasons new employees have decided to work for you in the first place.  Maybe you provided them with security, or exposure to new technologies, or the opportunity to advance into a Senior Network Engineer.  Know what your best employees value most about working for you and frequently (i.e. every 3 to 6 months) communicate how you plan to deliver (or not deliver) the roadmap so they must follow to obtain their desired hot buttons.