Due to digital technology that allows for 24/7 connectivity, an MSP business naturally must deal with constant availability. That means developing a diverse and skilled talent pool so that technicians are always available to help clients and aren’t worn out from being overworked.
Here are ways MSPs can maximize the concept of constant availability:
Culture of Constant Availability
Economic uncertainties lead to companies hiring employees based on availability, including after hours and weekends. As a result, many Americans are working longer hours. A recent joint study by Boston University and Harvard Business School found that average working hours have increased 9% since 1979.
Today’s top earners have longer work weeks than average workers, which is largely driven by the fear of being replaced by employers who want to maintain a constant availability of labor. In many cases, workers who make themselves available as much as possible are favored by employers over those who seek vacations. Less reputable companies are willing to hire untrained temps just to create the appearance of a large staff.
Drawbacks of Constant Availability
The culture of constant availability creates gender inequality by penalizing women for wanting to spend more time caring for their children. It’s a system that puts profits ahead of people and needs to be tempered with corporate social responsibility. The emphasis on workers who exhibit the most commitment to the job can cause a company to lose sight of talent level. More seasoned talent, for example, may command higher pay and more vacation time. Penalizing the most educated and skillful workers for wanting to take time off can reduce the quality of a talent pool.
A key problem with the culture of constant availability is that it may reduce morale among employees. The idea of a 24/7 workplace can have a dehumanizing effect in a way that seems the company is more important than the people who run it. In order to overcome this perception, a company can take an interest in what its employees do outside the workplace. The company should also differentiate between personal time and work time by requiring vacation time to be taken within a calendar year. Metrics for measuring success should be established beyond time on the clock.
Nurturing an “Always On” Workforce
The MSP business has the opportunity to elevate the performance of an “always on” company through training and motivation. The ideal MSP technicians should be individuals willing to juggle work with family life but should also be allowed flexibility for family events. The relationship between employer and employees can strengthen if employees are allowed to plan family vacations.
Constant availability is a concept at the core of 24/7 businesses and is evolving to take into account worker perceptions. Your MSP business can benefit from balancing between “always on” and acknowledging worker lifestyles beyond the workplace. Contact a managed services expert to learn more about how you can make your business continuity more enjoyable for your staff.