Creating Cultural Change Around Help Desk

In a world where culture is king for organizations striving toward operational excellence, great processes and streamlined workflows will be overshadowed if you are unable to get the proper backing of overarching vision that underpins everyday tasks. Creating the right culture around your IT help desk is critical, and corporate morale expert Kirk Weisler recently delved into how organizations can fuel cultural change when he gave a keynote address at the HDI Charlotte conference.

Weisler's presentation focused on how the concepts of team building and culture building are not interchangeable, and organizations that want to build a strong culture can look to tribal models for guidance. To illustrate this point, Weisler pointed to one of the most tribal aspects of modern life - sports.

Sports Inform our Idea of Corporate Culture

During the keynote Weisler explained that one survey of approximately 23,000 employees, across multiple diverse industries, unearthed the following details:

  • 37% of people understand what their company hopes to achieve and why it is striving to meet those ends.
  • 20% of people are enthusiastic about team/company goals.
  • 20% of people have a clear idea of how their tasks align with team/organizational efforts.
  • 15% of people said their company fully enables them to execute their goals.
  • 20% of people fully trust the business they work for.

To put all of this data in context, Weisler applied the numbers to various sports settings. Using a soccer team in one of his examples, he pointed out that these stats applied to such a group would be nothing sort of disastrous. Only 4 of the 11 players would even know which goal was theirs, while all but 2 players would end up competing against their own team members in some manner. Finally, only two of the players on the field would actually care about all of this, clearly demonstrating the severity of both the hypothetical situation and it's real world counterpart.

Many organizations feature this kind of cultural disconnect that leaves their workers operating in isolation and without a clear idea of the company's goals. This can lead to a combination of inefficiency and disengagement that can detract from productivity.

Supervisor Relationships - The First Step to a Better Culture

Weisler's address pointed out that problems regarding relationships with the boss play a key role in detracting from a healthy culture. He told audiences that approximately 57 percent of people polled will trust a stranger, but just 43 percent trust their boss. If that isn't extreme enough for you, 65 percent said they would forgo a raise in favor of a new boss, while 35 percent claimed they would rather see their direct supervisor fired than receive a substantial raise.

If you want to build a better help desk culture, you need to build better relationships between workers and employees.

Getting Beyond Team Building

Team building is useful, but tends to be inconsistent and leads to spotty results due to its inability to constantly impact relationships in a holistic way. Weisler equated culture building to fitness - it requires consistency, commitment and a constant desire for improvement. Building IT help desk culture hinges on getting beyond basic team building and integrating culture into your operations as a part of your organizational life.

3 Ways to Make Room for Cultural Improvements
Establishing a good culture hinges on creating an operational environment that supports excellence. Three ways your IT help desk strategies can promote cultural connectedness include:

1. Give Users Custom Dashboards

Custom dashboards for each job role can help workers easily track the information that is most important for their job role. Managers that build reminders and notes into dashboards can use the dashboard as a direct engagement tool.

Creating a positive help desk culture hinges on empowering workers in their specific roles, and a custom dashboard simplifies the process.

2. Automate Tedious Operations

Don't let talented people waste time on boring, mundane, and repeatable tasks. Tools that automate basic help desk processes can empower your workers to strive for excellence by letting them spend more time on adopting key operations while reducing the possibility of disengagement.

3. Improve Collaboration

A help desk with built-in collaboration tools can enable employees to quickly get the information they need and interact with their colleagues in intuitive ways.

Creating a Positive IT Help Desk Culture

Leadership plays a vital role in establishing a positive help desk culture. A leader that has a good relationship with employees and understands their personal goals will work to put people in the best position to achieve team/company goals, and thus becoming a cultural asset and agent for positive change.

Building the right culture in your IT help desk plays an essential role in achieving operational excellence. Communicating cultural goals to employees by providing tools that promote engagement and leadership can help organizations build the culture they need.

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