... the thing that really enables individuals to engage with their job and the company they work for – a sense that their contribution is IMPORTANT. This feeling of significance, especially within a large company is absolutely vital if a member of staff is going to feel any real affinity and advocacy towards their paymasters. If you make your staff feel as though they are integral to the company’s values and goals then that’s when you have reached the high engagement holy grail. How Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Influences Employee Engagement Steve Smith, HRZone, April 17, 2014
In Keep Your Building Technicians by Keeping Them Happy (School Library Journal, May 2000), I suggested 7 ways that may help keep good technical workers working for and with you. Had I been thinking, I could have arranged them on a hierarchy as Smith did in the chart and article above. (That was brilliant.)
Were I writing the article above today, I would add an 8th means of keeping techs - 8. Add increasing levels of responsibility to each person's job on a planned and regular basis. My young'ns working for me need to show on a resume that they have the skills needed for better jobs in the future. Yes, I want to grow people as well as run a good tech department.
Good technical support people are no easier to find today that they work in 2000 or in 2014 - perhaps even more difficult know how demands for their services have increased as more businesses use technology in more sophisticate ways than ever before. In addition to good technical skills, our best staff also have empathy, communication and other human relation skills, including the very important ability to help others without making them feel stupid or incompetent. See also The DJ Factor. I take credit for only one piece of a great technology department - the ability to recognize and keep a great staff. Period. Remember:
Top salaries won't keep to staff. Top working environments that honor the upper levels of Maslow's Employee Hierarchy of needs might.