Is your service desk happy? You better know because it really matters.

service desk.jpgSeveral months ago, I was at an HP event with several members of a large insurance company service management team. One of the people I was talking with indicated they had just completed their employee survey and that these results would be fed into their IT balanced scorecard. At this point, I asked him how important employee engagement was to their service management. Almost flabbergasted, this person responded, “Gee, in IT it’s clear. If employees aren’t happily engaged, you do not deliver IT or business outcomes. It is a one-to-one relationship.”

 

I was so intrigued by this connection that I decided to do a little research on this topic. To be honest, I was surprised by the sheer volume of content I found. HR consultant China Gorman has an interesting post about this on her company’s website. In “What Comes First: Employees or Customers?” she put the issue this way:

 

“Well now I see clearly that while having happy, committed employees is critical for organizational success, having the right happy, committed employees makes the difference between good customer service and exceptional customer service; the difference between good organization performance and exceptional organization performance— by any measure you wish to use.”

 

So if the relationship is clear between happy, committed employees and IT delivery and business outcomes, is employee satisfaction a leading indicator of IT performance? This means it is a predictor of Service Desk and for that matter IT performance. Given this, I asked the insurance company’s service management leader how often they actually measured employee satisfaction. To my amazement, he said once every two years.

 

I have to say that I was stunned because everything touched by employee satisfaction is measured daily including key performance indicators for service delivery and the service desk performance. Don’t we need to measure IT employee engagement more often if we are going to better control our business outcomes?

 

The human factor

When you look at what we do with IT Service Management so much of it depends on employees doing the right thing at the right time. Here are some simple examples of how people impact the effectiveness of IT Service Management. In IT Service Management, we ask the service desk to determine whether there is already an incident ticket for an issue before they file a new ticket.

 

This process offers two advantages:

 

  • It keeps those that solve issues from re-prosecuting known issues and problems.
  • It also makes customers reporting issues happier because they know someone is already on it.

Another example is relating incident to change. This requires the service desk personnel to simply check the box that says “incident is related to change”. This allows ITSM managers to determine whether their change process is effective.

A final example has to do with ticket selection. Does the staff member work on the easiest ticket in the queue so they can go home on time, or do they focus instead on the one with the most important service level. In all cases, people have to choose to implement processes to go above and beyond. Performing at this level is good for the organization, but requires a happy engaged workforce. After all isn’t it all about people, process, and technology? The true question is which of these is first on this list. What do you think?

 

For more information on how HP can help you with your Service Management, visit our homepage here.

 

Related links:

What Comes First: Employees or Customers?

The proof is in the pudding

Twitter: @MylesSuer

Comments
Cees-Pieter den Hartog(anon) | ‎10-03-2013 11:31 AM

Myles,

 

Excellent blog and very true. The happy, committed employees are crucial for both the IT (servicedesk) employees and the 'customers' of the IT service desk (IT end users). It is not only common sense, but it is even possible to link IT happiness and 'hard data' like productivity. IT Happiness has a direct relationship with the way the IT department operates. This in turn has an impact on the productivity of the organisation. Scientific research conducted in 2012 in The Netherlands (where I come from) reveals that Dutch employees waste on average 7.6% of their time on the PC as a result of poorly functioning IT and a lack of computer skills. The researchers calculate that the loss of productivity can exceed €1 million in an organisation with 500 IT users. If you were to improve this same IT organisation (taking the example with 500 IT users) and allow IT Happiness to improve so that this 7.6% loss becomes a loss of 6%, for example, you can reduce the loss of productivity by around €220.000.

 

More difficult to measure, but based on my experiences is that IT end-users who are happy with IT, tend to be staff who are also proactive in contributing ideas for improvements and innovations, who adopt a positively critical approach and can make other staff enthusiastic about such things as changes, IT migrations, the use of new portals or service catalogues, centralisation or decentralisation of the IT service desk.

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About the Author
Mr. Suer is a senior manager for IT Performance Management. Prior to this role, Mr. Suer headed IT Performance Management Analytics Product ...


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