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Help Desk Manager Best Practices
Dissatisfaction with the first level supervisor one of the most common reasons that service professionals cite as the primary reason for leaving their jobs and moving to another employer. It seems intuitive then, that if a service center wishes to keep front-line employees, a primary goal must be to ensure that management provides for those employees needs in the best possible way. Yet, when turnover increases, driving up recruiting and training costs, senior management generally does not attribute the source to poor performance by supervisors and managers. Setting supervisory goals in five critical areas can improve results throughout the entire contact or service center. They are: training, attrition, leadership, attendance, and team performance.

The result of properly planned and implemented training for each team member is ultimately improved accuracy, customer satisfaction, efficiency and career development. Supervisors should establish a monthly goal that includes the number of training hours each team member is to receive. Talking with team members is an effective way of identifying which skills they feel need to be enhanced or refreshed. The supervisor and team member should identify which skills are needed and identify a plan to accomplish getting the necessary training. The plan can then be documented and tracked, resulting in clearly identifiable progress and a sense of accomplishment for both employee and supervisor.

Attrition, particularly when team members are being lost to other local employers must be measured and tracked. Supervisors can work directly with team members to help them succeed, even if that means moving to another team or department. Employees who are involved in career development activities and who feel that supervisors have their best interests at heart are less likely to jump ship for the nearest competitor. Decreased turnover results in decreased recruiting and training expenses and less wasted employee time. This all accrues to the bottom line.

When supervisors coach employees, they must demonstrate leadership skills by being willing to help. Coaching sessions need to include quantifiable goals, whether those are in terms of training, increased performance, or some other benchmark that the employee is striving for. A computer template can be used for documenting coaching sessions and later functions as a means of identifying whether employee goals are being achieved. The template also becomes a mechanism for upper management to track supervisory activities.

Oftentimes, while companies track employee attendance, they often fail to track supervisor attendance. Effective team building cannot be predicated on a double standard. When employees see that supervisors are being held accountable for their time, the spirit of teamwork improves and frustrations are defused. Supervisors must report their absences in the same way employees are expected to. Quality and productivity are the end result.

Team performance is essential for improved productivity, efficiency and quality scores and, ultimately the success of the entire organization. Supervisors are an integral part of the team and should be viewed as such. When supervisors are measured and held accountable for the amount of support they provide to employees, the morale of all parts of the team is likely to improve.

When there are no double standards and supervisors are held accountable in the same manner in which they hold their subordinates accountable, the team becomes stronger in the long run.

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