An MSP company that has an entrepreneurial edge is basically par for the course in terms of most startup tech solutions. This has pros and cons, one of the cons being toxicity in the workplace which emanates from multiple areas of operation.
Following are a few things you can do to help maintain the profitable, mentally-flexible auspices of an entrepreneurial environment— while reducing toxicity:
Know the Signs of Systemic Toxicity
Your MSP company need not necessarily be toxic simply because an entrepreneurial spirit defines operations. Though autonomy in operations facilitates freedom, egos in the tech world are fragile, grudge-filled, and back-biting. So, watch for that.
Are people avoiding responsibility? Are they avoiding one another? Do you hear insults which have lost their camaraderie, and now have an edge of true degradation? Look for signs of toxicity. It’s pretty apparent.
Factions will develop, corners will be cut, and issues will come which could have been avoided, and whose fault is hard to find, as no one will take responsibility— they’ll play the blame game. If you’re seeing these signs, your MSP may have toxicity to work through.
Make a Plan of Action
If you notice toxicity, it’s time to make a plan to fix it. Find negative personalities and shuffle them around. Find positive personalities and exalt them to better positions. Conduct reviews. Sometimes you need to address issues head-on, sometimes it’s better to note patterns, stand back, see how they play out, and step in when things reach a point where you can have the best effect.
Transparency in operations reduces the ability of those who are toxic to play the blame game. If teammates know what you’re doing and why, and additionally realize that you’ve got the ability to scrutinize them at every level, suddenly responsibility comes back into play, and little squabbles can be stamped out before they start a metaphysical workplace fire among employees.
Open Your Culture
An open corporate culture has transparent management which isn’t afraid to explain moves to employees. Memos will be issued, and conferences attended. Employee input channels will be wide open, and where such input is effective, it will be applied to operations.
An open culture isn’t just about internal practices, though. It’s about external ones as well. Your clients should know what’s going on internally, as much as such actions are worth exposing to the public. While sometimes you’ve got to play your cards close to your chest to keep competition off the trail, where you can be open, you should be open.
Your MSP company will encounter toxic situations, but an open culture that is transparent, informed by anti-toxicity strategy, and aware of signs indicating an issue may be present should be able to avoid impacting negativity. Consider existing operations and enact such strategies as appropriate.