Employee Support: The Struggle is Real
We’ve all seen the “IT guy” portrayed as the snarky, easily annoyed coworker on the big and small screen. Who can forget Jimmy Fallon as “Nick Burns, Your Company’s Computer Guy” on SNL, impatiently demanding users to “Move!”? Although a bit unfair, the trope is funny because it’s rooted in some truth. Supporting employees is a big part of IT’s job, but if they are mired in dealing with issues that are avoidable, it detracts from their ability to deliver on more strategic matters, like keeping the business secure, keeping systems up and running, and keeping the business productive across the board. Helping IT be more strategic benefits all of us.
Here are a few of the top recommendations from our favorite Nick Burns’ of the world for how to be a model employee:
- The Reboot. Rebooting a computer is almost always the first recommendation from IT and yet they still need to ask it. Every. Single. Time. Rebooting is the solution for the vast majority of issues, so remember to always try that first, before you call in the SWAT team.
- Clicking with Wild Abandon. Security is vital to the well-being of the business, but many employees look at security as a nuisance. No matter how many times IT warns users not to click on links or open attachments from unfamiliar sources, they do it anyway. Their computers stop working and someone in IT has to swoop in and help. Who know double-clicking could be so dangerous?
- Getting too Personal with the Work Computer. There should be a separation of church and state – or work and personal devices – but employees often blur the lines. Instead of having a separate computer for personal files and applications, many employees use their work laptop for all purposes. While it may make their lives easier, double-duty devices are double work for IT and a security risk for businesses. There’s a higher probability of the employee saving corrupt files or clicking malicious links, which not only affects the employee’s personal information, but also company information.
- Next on Hoarders. Employees are overloaded with choice – Slack, Basecamp, OneDrive, SharePoint, Dropbox, Workday, the list goes on. When users don’t know which platform to use, or just don’t trust the cloud, they tend keep everything on their machines. But this challenge isn’t just about too many files – it’s about employees hoarding them in weird places. When IT points employees to the most obvious places to clear files first, for example emptying ‘deleted items’ in their email trash, people complain that there are things in there they want to keep. Um, saving your trash? Classic hoarder behavior.
- Stop Stalling, Start Updating. So many issues can be fixed or avoided if employees would simply keep up with regular system updates. IT understands that update notifications seem to always pop up at inopportune times – it happens to all of us. While it can be hard to carve out the time, it’s a critically important step to keep us secure and productive. Maybe hit update and grab a coffee?
- Sneaking IT through the back door. Speaking of bypassing the IT department, we can’t leave out BYOD and BYOA. Today’s tech-savvy employees have their own devices, and cloud software and services are easily available. Yes, employees should absolutely have their say about what makes them most productive, but IT needs to sanction all tools for business security and to ensure they can support them when things go wrong. Please bring any suggestions to IT’s front door. We’ll leave the light on for you.
The good news is that there are emerging technologies that can solve many of these issues and balance the needs of IT and employees. What does your company need to implement to create great experiences all around?