3 Tips to Help Motivate Your Help Desk Staff to Take More Tickets
by Stephanie Faris on Wednesday, June 1, 2017 12:00
Managing a help desk can be complicated.
Like other teams in a business, supervisors must deal with personality clashes and diverse workstyles while also trying to meet their own business goals.
Added to that are the complications of helping employees juggle incoming tickets and provide a high level of customer service to end users.
On every team, there's always at least one worker who tends to take fewer tickets than others. In a similar vein, one team member may choose the easiest tickets, knowing he or she can close them quickly and get back to doing nothing. Unfortunately, this leads to a disparity in workload while also stagnating that person's professional growth. If a worker is always handling only the easiest tickets, that person will never learn. Here are a few things help desk managers can do to encourage team members to take more tickets.
Positive reinforcement works better than punishment, so you should definitely start there. Instead of disciplining someone for not resolving his or her fair share of tickets, find a way to reward your top performers in a way everyone can see. A gift card or free lunch, for instance, will give underperforming team members a reason to work harder. Granted, this approach won't work on those who are indifferent or uncompetitive, but you can clearly separate your top performers from others on the team this way.
Allowing team members to self-assign tickets seems like a good idea. If it works, it's a great way to keep employees motivated, since they're shown they're trusted to decide which tickets they work. However, when it isn't working, it may become necessary to begin assigning tickets to workers. This can keep the workload more balanced as well as ensuring each employee is pushing himself or herself to troubleshoot more complex issues. Today's top help desk solutions also often include automation, which can handle the assignment process for you based on parameters you set.
When All Else Fails, Discipline
If you've done everything you can to positively motivate your team and one or more employees still lag, you can try retraining. If that doesn't work, a performance evaluation with detailed information on what they need to do to improve is in order. Prior to this, issue multiple verbal and written warnings to let the worker know that you're concerned. Sometimes this route will push an employee to change, but often it eventually results in termination. Over time, you'll learn to screen job candidates more carefully to detect underachievers before they're already on staff. It's never easy, but if you have a plan in place, you'll be able to avoid one poor performer dragging the morale of the rest of the team down.
Help desk employees can be some of the hardest workers in any business. However, when one employee isn't pulling a fair share of the load, the entire team suffers. It's important to prepare for this so that you'll be able to address it quickly when it occurs. Otherwise, you may find you're losing valuable team members to companies that do motivate their teams to excel.