The 4 Deadly Sins Of Reward And Recognition For Your Service Desk

reward and recognition

What makes people in Service Desks go to work every day, and what gets them turned on about what they do. I’m guessing that most of us get turned on by giving great service to our customers as a start point? Anyone questioning that assertion please stop reading now – you’re wasting your time, go find another job! Everyone else please discover the sins that try their hardest to turn even the most resolute Service-desker off…

  1. Having little idea what is wanted of you – you’d sort of think this wasn’t possible, wouldn’t you? ANY manager would give his people clear leadership, goals both longer and short term, a vision of where the organisation is going and how the Service Desk and they personally are expected to contribute? What makes them or the the Service Desk a success? Well, it may – or may not, come as a surprise to you that even this sort of pretty basic requirement is not met in some Service Desks.  This needs addressing before even thinking about reward and recognition.  If you are in this pretty sinful position, get it put right today. Tomorrow is definitely too late! If you’re not sure, ask colleagues or your team. You need to know and get this one sorted – right now.
  2. Not being respected and valued – this can take many forms but having the respect of your customers, other teams, management, and the wider industry for what we’re doing or achieving, is one of the factors that makes turning up to work worthwhile. All too often the Service Desk is seen as the sweeper upper after supposedly more prestigious departments have failed in what they do, creating errors, customer confusion or technical faults. That needs to stop – in today’s world, where technology is the engine that powers most organisations, the role of support is vital. YOU are crucial to the consistent and ongoing success of your business by helping to keep the technology on the road and effective. Valued goes that step further- I’m seeing some Service Desks now being seen as THE place to aspire to work in in their organisations, seen as a great career step and builder with an amazing ‘buzz’ about them. Often this is about setting a customer led culture, clarity of goals and leadership, the positive feedback of managers, colleagues and customers, the right reward and recognition – all leading to that perceived value we all strive for…
  3. Getting new stimulus and challenges – recently at some SDI events we’ve had some great case studies where Service Desks have felt they’d lost momentum or become less valued. Barclays, Aviva and an NHS Trust spring to mind, where they set themselves the challenge of transforming their service into something better. In some cases this involved just updating the technology they used to support their processes, in others taking on new customer groups to support, and in every case using customer feedback better to save money and/or offer long term service improvement. Thrown in was often skills and career development and perhaps entering industry awards or certification programmes to get formal help in this. It sort of doesn’t matter what the new initiative is, just have one! Everyone needs a new challenge, just make sure it’s your team that does and that you keep your best people focused and delivering greater value to your business!
  4. The Usual Suspects? – this one is simple – or is it? The ‘normal’ stuff like a market comparable salary, a good working environment and conditions, colleagues that challenge and stimulate you as well as working well with you as a team. That’s basic…..but also can you add ad-hoc or special rewards like doughnuts or cakes? ( Kent County Council have a manager that would rival Great British Bake-off contestants! )up to drinks down the pub, paintballing weekends or prime car parking spaces for the month? Everyone can add something special I suspect, even if you’ve little to spend, to reward the individual or team that has done something special.

So they are the sinful areas you ignore at your peril. You can add making people feel warm and happy at work, but that’s not always possible 100% of the time, you can add promotion opportunities and secondments to add interest and responsibility, but if your team is not with you and feeling recognised or rewarded, your career will never reach the heights you want it to…and your team will never get beyond that fire fighting we all hate! Absolve your sins today.

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