10 things great techs will do – and 2 they won’t

The job market for skilled IT workers is hot, and many companies are in a difficult position: They already have great techs on their staffs, but are worried about how they can keep them on board. 

This requires a lot of effort on the company’s part. You need to do and offer whatever you can to keep these outstanding IT pros from leaving. equal-employment-opportunities-act

So how can you tell which techs are the ones you can’t afford to lose? Check for these 10 traits:

  1. They disagree with you. Most managers will say they like dissent and debate, but they aren’t always willing to accept it. But a tech who doesn’t always go with the flow, but can clearly voice their concerns – and more importantly, suggest possible alternatives or solutions – is one you’ll want to keep on staff as a balancing force.
  2. They get to know users. It’s easy for IT to become isolated from the rest of the company, but if techs get out and find out what users really need across the organization, it’ll make your job much easier. This helps to understand why something is a problem rather than worrying about only solutions.
  3. They excel at all forms of communication. If you can draft a memo, but aren’t good explaining problems in person (or vice versa), it’ll be difficult to communicate with users the way they prefer communicating with you.
  4. They know when to say ‘No.’ Some employees go too far in the direction of trying to be helpful, to the point that they undermine policies already in place. A good tech will do everything they can to help users out, but know where to draw the line and take a hard stance – even with higher-ups.
  5. They know when to ask for help. No one has all the answers or expertise. It’s important that techs don’t try to go it alone. And on that note …
  6. They train other techs. Passing along skills and knowledge is important for many reasons. For one thing, it raises the competency of everyone on the team. And for purely selfish motives, cross-training is a great way to ensure time away from the office can be spent relaxing and recharging.
  7. They know both the new and old. Keeping up on the newest developments in tech is fun. But how often are you using the latest and greatest at your organization? Make sure techs have a firm grounding in not just the latest and greatest, but the tried and true.
  8. They know when to step up … There’s nothing easy about being part of an IT team. It’s a high-stress environment with plenty of challenges. The best IT pros will see these challenges as an opportunity to really shine, by going to bat for their co-workers or putting in their best work.
  9. … They know when to step back. As good a track record as techs can develop, it’s equally important for them to realize they won’t always have all the right answers. There’s a time to fight for change, and a time to accept you can’t win every battle.
  10. They want your job. A tech who is always looking for more responsibility, more challenges and more headaches is one you want on staff for the long haul. But in order to keep that tech on staff, you’ll need to provide them with growth opportunities and chances for promotions along the way.

And, for the sake of balance, here are two things you’ll never catch good techs doing.

  1. They don’t let their frustrations show with users. It’s entirely OK for IT workers to be fed up with the annoying things users say and do. But as the face of your department, they can’t let that displeasure show, no matter how difficult the assignment.
    If a situation is contentious, they’re well within their rights to step back and let you know about it. But escalating the situation isn’t a good idea.
  2. They won’t be satisfied with ‘good enough.’ If a tech is just going through the motions, that means one of two things: Either they aren’t being challenged enough or they aren’t willing to rise up to face the challenge. Whatever the case may be, it’s a situation that needs to be rectified to make the jump from good to great.

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