How Successful MSP's Use Employee Feedback To Build Effective Teams

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  • October 31, 2020
  • 4 minute read

For any IT or MSP business to be successful, it must consistently keep a pulse on the employees and team that ensures its growth. Constructive feedback can provide valuable insight and help to keep that pulse regulated.

Constructive feedback provides employees with an opportunity for professional growth and development, resulting in improved productivity. For business owners, collecting and assessing employee feedback can help provide an owner with true and unbiased information about how well the tools, processes and strategies (like ConnectWise) are working across the business.

There is only so much information an IT and MSP business owner can learn by tracking numbers, charts and graphs. In order to move forward in your business, and prepare your organization for growth, your entire team must be on board and in-line with your company mission. This includes any new tools you must implement to prepare for that growth.

So - if this is so important for your organization, you're probably regularly collecting and assessing employee feed back today - right?

The answer is most MSP's are not. In fact, only 12% of IT businesses owners are tracking internal information around the people who help the organization grow, but quite contradictory - 72% of those same Business owners reported that growth was a top priority for 2019.

If your MSP business has similar goals for 2019, the following tips can help you prepare a feedback strategy that will provide your business traction:

Step 1: Get Your Team On-Board with The Idea of Providing True & Honest Feedback

Before jumping into developing a survey, sending out an email blast, or calling a mandatory meeting - talk to your team members.

Communicate to your team that in the next coming days, weeks etc., the business will be looking to improve on a specific goal, in which they will need the feedback of the team to help reach this goal faster. Providing visibility and clarity on the business mission will help to create advocates, rather than an army of disgruntled employees against you.

The following email template can help you start this conversation:

Hi {First_Name},

In the next coming weeks, {Company_Name} has goals to improve {Company_Goal}.

In order for us to understand how best to implement a solution to achieve this goal, we first want to get true and honest feedback from our team.

You will receive an email with a short survey on {survey_date}. We ask that you complete the survey in full to your best ability, as your feedback will be essential to the overall success of {Company_Goal}.

Step 2: Gather Results & Organize Unstructured Data

Sometimes a manager will hear from other employees about a concerning incident, professionalism issue or ongoing inappropriate conduct.
Rather than making assumptions or taking the information at face value it is critical to first talk with the employee and then come to a decision as to whether or not a plan of action is required. Usually there is another side to the story and it is the manager’s responsibility to get a clear understanding of exactly what has occurred from all parties involved.
The following phrases can be used to open up a feedback session involving second hand information

    • “I want to discuss some information that has been brought to my attention and I am hoping you can help me by providing some clarification.”
    • “I was made aware of a situation that occurred last week and I wanted to take some time talk with you about it.”
    • “I was wondering if you could help me understand what happened between you and Sally the other day."

    When discussing second hand information with an employee be prepared for the employee to express confusion or deny that the issue even occurred.
    When an employee feigns ignorance or denies the occurrence of an incident a manager can ask the employee “Do you have any idea why someone might want to make a false complaint about you?” or “Is there anything going on with the team that may make them believe that you did this?”
    It is important for managers not to make assumptions as to why an employee chose to do or say something. Rather than making an assumption the manager should schedule a feedback session to discuss the issue with the employee and then provide feedback and create an action plan for improvement.
    A person’s life experience and personality traits will play a role in how he or she responds to constructive feedback. It is important for managers to tailor the feedback session and delivery to the employee that they are meeting with. Some employees prefer feedback delivered in a direct and to-the-point manner while other employees prefer delivery of feedback in a more empathetic and understanding manner with significant time set aside for discussion.

Step 2: Deliver Feedback In-Line with Company Goals

When delivering feedback it is critical to be mindful of the wording that is used. There a certain key phrases that can negatively impact a feedback session. Avoid starting a sentence with the word “you” during a feedback session as it places blame on an employee and will immediately put the employee on the defensive.

  • Instead of saying “You are always late for work.” Try saying, “I am concerned about your current start time. I have you on the schedule to be at work for 9:00 am but I notice that you have arrived at 9:30 am every day this week.”
  • Instead of saying “You are not meeting the company’s performance expectations. You will need to make some immediate improvements.” Try saying “I have outlined the company’s performance expectations and I notice that you have missed a couple of the targets. Let’s review them together and come up with an action plan for improvement.”
  • Instead of saying “You need to start being more polite to our customers.” Try saying “I notice that you have been short with some of our customers lately. Can you help me understand why?”

P.S. whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you help grow and scale your IT & MSP business:

  1. Join our community of ConnectWise users and industry experts here: It’s the easiest way to plan ahead for growth, learn helpful tips and join weekly educational workshops.
  2. Learn how to be the #CWBOSS of your business by joining our weekly workshops here: Every Thursday our CEO & President, Adam Bielanski, hosts a 30 minute workshop around making ConnectWise work for your business
  3. Work with me and my team privately: If you’d like to work directly with Adam and the team to actually get you out of the weeds and into your flow, schedule a 15 minute Triage call here:

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