What am I doing wrong?
When morale is low on your team, it’s hard not to blame yourself first. Itaffects everyone, from your employees to your customers, and as a leader, you feel a special responsibility to provide a good working environment. But with so many factors outside your control, what can you do to improve morale among your customer help desk team?
While you can’t control everything, there are specific steps you can take to make a change for the better. Here are five ways you can boost employee morale that will also have an impact on service.
$550 billion. Amount businesses lose each year due to low employee morale, according to Forbes.
Listen to Your Help Desk Workers Before You Do Anything Else
With apologies to Tolstoy: Happy help desk workers are alike, but unhappy ones are often unhappy for their own unique reasons. Even if morale seems low throughout the entire department, it may be the case that your workers each face different struggles.
Is the new hire struggling with documentation? Are the old hands becoming burned out? Is there a problem with your QA process, or do your people feel overworked? Before you can implement solutions, you must correctly understand the problems. Listening to your employees and creating a culture of open communication is one of the first steps to addressing morale.
Use Metrics to Build People Up, Not Tear Them Down
As a leader, you need to have insight into how your team is performing. Metrics can help make that question quantifiable, granting you visibility into ticket volume, call times and resolution rates. In and of itself, this data is neither good nor bad for morale. What makes the difference is the way that you use it.
The truth is that nobody likes feeling surveilled. If you use metrics as a way to slap wrists or to establish unreasonable performance standards, it will take a toll on morale. For better results, measure employees by metrics like the successful resolution of tickets and use what you learn to help your people improve. When metrics drive employee development, your people will feel more appreciated.
You can also implement a 90-day job satisfaction review questionnaire that focuses on their experiences such as their training experience, who helped them, areas of frustration or things that would have helped them get up to speed faster.
By soliciting feedback and most importantly acknowledging their suggestions and taking a couple of minutes with them to discuss what you are able and not able to change based on their suggestions goes a long way in telling them you listen.
Re-Evaluate Your Help Desk Processes and Procedures
Employee morale is part of a much larger cycle, and the way the cycle works is like this: The services your customers need lead to the development of particular processes. The success of these processes plays a key role in employee morale. That morale then impacts the way help desk employees deliver their services.
If things are going well — if services are effectively delivered via well-defined processes by engaged help desk staff — the cycle can be a virtuous one. But if things go poorly — if service is lousy because of bad processes that lead to cranky employees — it can quickly make a bad situation worse.
Finding the problematic part of the cycle often goes back to listening. Are your employees being asked for unreasonable services? Are the documented processes inaccurate or insufficient? Ask, listen and then take steps to fix it.
Show Up for Your Team All the Time — Not Just When They Screw Up
As a leader, you could make a pretty good argument that part of your job is to walk around and drink coffee. That’s not a joke — when you make yourself regularly available to your team, it helps to build trust. They learn to rely on you for guidance, bring you problems and concerns, and listen to your advice.
If your employees see you only when they make a mistake (and there will always be some mistakes), you’re only reinforcing the notion that you exist to punish them for when they screw up. It can lead them to feel more alone and be less likely to ask you for help.
Outsource Help Desk Services to Lighten the Load
It’s one thing to be busy. It’s another entirely to be overworked. When your help desk faces an unsustainable ticket volume without any end in sight, it’s not just bad for employee morale.It can also become a chief driver of turnover, further adding to the workload left on those who have stayed.
This vicious cycle can have an impact on your entire IT department as Tier 1 tickets escalate to anyone available to take them. And as your IT team becomes overwhelmed, they lose the capacity to work on the strategic projects that their skillsets are suited for. This, in turn, drives those people out, and the cycle grimly continues.
Outsourcing help desk services is an effective way to lighten the load — for your help desk, your IT department and even your customers. That’s because the right outsourcing partner enables you to seamlessly increase your help desk’s capacity with no interruption in service. That’s not just good for morale. That’s good for your business.