How to Engage a Technology Operations Leader

September 15, 2016 Customer Team

Engaged technology operations leaders are those ‘switched on’ staff who power great cloud practices. The ones committed to your goals and values. The ones who go above and beyond to deliver. They can make the difference between success or failure when adopting new tech. An engaged leader will make your workflow sing. They'll help you build awesome client experiences.

Here’s five ways great practitioners engage their tech ops leaders.

Engaging your technology operations leader

One: Share your compelling vision

Generating excitement starts with communicating a compelling vision of the future of your practice. Show your leader how instrumental they will be in building that future. Outline how you see your firm changing over the next two years. How technology will help drive those changes. How the tech ops leader can make the transformation happen. 

Show them how critical they are to your success. Set clear goals for them that map out a clear path to success in their role. That enticing view of their future will motivate and engage.

Two: Start with hands-on initiatives

An employee’s first few days in a new role can be stressful. Lots of unknowns. So, in that critical period, limit frustrations and maximize support. Put your leader in hands-on situations. Avoid piling on administrative tasks. Get them in front of the team and clients. Get them excited about what people are looking for and working on.

And, especially in the first week, plan to spend as much of your time with them as possible. Schedule frequent check-ins. And keep reinforcing the importance of what they are doing to grow the practice. Early wins compound and grease the wheels of progress. Helping the tech ops leader get those wins increases their momentum.

Three: Clarify team expectations

You want your tech ops leader engaged and focused on your tech stack and workflow. Before the leader assumes their role meet with the rest of the staff. Outline exactly what the tech ops leader is responsible for and communicate that to the team. For example, things like app training, integration and workflow issues fall into their purview. And be clear that the tech ops leader isn’t the one to call when your laptop dies or your phone locks up.

Managing expectations reduces leader frustration. They lessen demands on the leader for things that are not important to their success. The more time they spend on the things that matter the more engaged they will be.

Four: Build their network

Meeting and learning from experts in the industry is always motivational. Getting a wider sense of what the future could hold will build excitement about their role. So get your leader engaged by plugging them into your network right away. Introduce them to your partners and software sales teams. Help them build relationships and develop their knowledge base around your software. Ask your vendor partners to introduce the leader to other technology operations leaders in the ecosystem. Broaden their horizons to create excitement.

Five: Plan for early success

Look for quick wins that will build leader confidence and excitement. Create a plan for the leader’s first few weeks. Review the clients that need to be on-boarded and identify the ones who will be easiest to work with. Which clients are pretty tech savvy? Which ones have had easy onboarding experiences in the past? Which ones are open to trying new things? Which ones have an easy and open communication style? What tech is likely to integrate with your stack most easily? These clients are where your technology operations leader can get hands-on experience before evaluating your workflow for efficiency improvements.

Next, get them started on diagramming your workflow. Help them find new opportunities for early wins by finding efficiencies. It'll go a long way to building leader confidence and engagement.

And make a point of recognizing and rewarding those early wins to reinforce confidence. The more success they have the more engaged they’ll become. They'll be more likely to go the extra mile to fully optimize your workflow and your tech stack.

Wrap up

Engaging your technology operations leader is critical to the successful evolution of your firm. Motivate them with a compelling vision of the future. Get them working hands-on as soon as possible. Broaden their horizons by helping them network. And find ways to get them early wins. Build on their excitement in the early days in the role and they will drive awesome changes in your practice.

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