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Seasoned MSPs have developed a streamlined, detailed, and foolproof client onboarding process. I’m sure you follow a tested and proven process for bringing on new clients and ensuring they feel attended to. Here’s what I don’t get: why don’t MSP owners devote the same care and attention to employee onboarding?

In full disclosure, I’ve made this mistake myself. I founded TLC Tech nearly two decades ago and it took a little while before we started thinking critically about the way we brought new staff members onto the team. 

After we figured it out, our employees became much better at what they did for the company, and at a much faster rate than those that came before. In fact, it worked so well that I co-founded Scaled to help similar MSPs more effectively integrate the right talent into their teams. 

Allow me to share a little insight into why thoughtful employee onboarding is so important. To begin, let’s be clear about what poor onboarding can cost you…

The problem with most MSPs’ employee onboarding processes

It all comes down to the problematic assumption that the incoming staff member can simply hit the ground running. The thought process is, “they’re an experienced tier 2 tech, so how much training could they need to work at an MSP like mine”?

Well, I hate to break it to you, but your MSP is likely very different from the last company they worked at. They need to be shown how your MSP operates, what your culture is, and how they fit into your processes and people. 

Lack of proper training

One common way in which MSPs fail to effectively onboard new employees is by providing inadequate training. When new hires are not properly trained on your processes, tools, and systems, they may struggle to understand their roles and responsibilities. 

This can lead to confusion, errors, and inefficiencies in their work. That’s why you need to invest in comprehensive training programs that cover all aspects of the job. This will ensure new employees have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their tasks effectively.

Inadequate mentorship and support

We often see MSPs fail to provide adequate mentorship and support to new employees during the onboarding process. Without a designated mentor or experienced colleague to guide them, new hires may feel lost or overwhelmed. This lack of support can hinder their learning and growth, leading to slower integration into the team and potential frustration. 

You need to assign mentors or buddy systems to help new employees, provide them with someone to turn to for guidance, feedback, and support. Regular check-ins and constructive feedback can help new employees feel valued and motivated, leading to a more successful onboarding experience.

How to optimize your new employee onboarding process

At its core, effective employee onboarding requires a detailed and thoughtful plan. This provides consistency from one employee to the next, and that no important factor is overlooked.

Your plan needs to keep the following considerations in mind:

  • How is training delivered and tracked?
  • How does the new employee learn about core business practices (weekly meetings, incentives, etc.)?
  • How does the new employee submit and receive feedback?
  • Where can the new employee find the documentation they will need to reference during their onboarding?
  • Which specific member of your team should the employee approach with questions?

At Scaled, we provide MSPs with a 30/60/90-day plan that walks new talent through their first three months on the job, ensuring they get the proper training, learn how to collaborate with their coworkers, have opportunities to give and receive feedback, and understand the culture of the MSP they’re joining. 

Don’t mismanage your most expensive (and most valuable) resource

At the end of the day, your onboarding determines the ROI you’ll get from the extensive process you undertook to recruit, interview, hire, train and manage any given employee on your staff. Failure to manage it carefully directly undercuts the time and money you spend developing your MSP.

If you’re struggling to develop the right structure for onboarding your new staff members, we can help. Send me a message on LinkedIn and we can chat further about our best practices for onboarding the talent that Scaled brings to MSPs like yours. 

Photo: 3rdtimeluckystudio / Shutterstock

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Michael Nelson

Posted by Michael Nelson

Michael started his MSP, TLC Tech, in 2004 and has steadily grown and developed the company in the near two decades since. Currently employing 31 employees (including nine from South Africa), he understands the unique challenges faced by MSPs. As a founder of Scaled Inc., Michael works to assist his peers in the MSP world by streamlining the process of adding talent technicians to their teams. Connect with Michael on LinkedIn to discover how Scaled can place technical talent at your MSP.

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