Have you ever seen one of those old war movies where some grizzled veteran is whispered to have the fabled ‘1,000-yard stare’?
Well, you need to keep an eye for it among IT teams too. IT Support Fatigue was already a very real problem before the pandemic, and has only become more severe in the months since.
It’s an issue we explored in the Nexthink Pulse Report. Back in May 2020, we learned that 43% of IT leaders cited increasing support tickets as their biggest challenge since the start of the pandemic. “Since then,” reads the report, “70% of tech leaders we polled said their ticket and call volume continue to spike, with a majority of those reporting increases up to 50%”.
IT Support fatigue happens because of two reasons. One, support teams wait on incidents to be reported to resolve the issue. Two, the time it takes to fix the incident is too long.
Being more proactive. That is, resolving employee IT issues before they reach the service desk.
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Automated remediation, employee-centric visibility and employee engagement are all key aspects of any effective proactive strategy – but so is putting employees in the diver’s seat of their own experience.
This trend, often referred to as ‘employee self-help’, is a crucial piece of the proactive puzzle, but it’s also very easily misunderstood. What it is categorically not is IT palming off work and/or responsibility on equally stretched colleagues.
What it is (or should be) is a way of giving employees a sense of understanding and empowerment. Proactive self-help provides employees with the tools they need to make simple, effective adjustments in a much more efficient way than the rigmarole of raising a ticket.
While this will ultimately reduce the strain on IT Support (and the number of IT pros gazing into the middle distance), this isn’t even the real driver: the underlying intent should be to put those employees in control of their own experience, allowing them to optimize it, the same way they optimize their stereos at home listening to music: it isn’t a chore to increase your own satisfaction.
Helping employees help themselves
Impactful self-help capabilities can give an employee access to three different types of information that historically would have prompted them to raise a ticket:
- Warnings: Informs an employee of a current issue that requires immediate attention and how to fix it: one-click fix and step-by-step guidance, as well as high-level IT support contact for more critical issues.
- Suggestions: Informs an employee of a less critical issue that could impact them in the future and how to avoid it with instant fixes, awareness articles or training materials.
- Green lights: Informs an employee of elements in their digital landscapes that are running smoothly or have successfully been fixed.
It’s difficult to imagine a more powerful facility for self-help IT (or proactive support more generally) than the Nexthink Digital Employee Experience widget for ServiceNow. This lets employees access information about their device’s current state, directly in their ServiceNow Service Portal. It provides them with suggestions, remediations and guidance about key areas of improvement to solve—or prevent—and it highlights any issues that could impact their digital experience.
In-context, self-help solutions can prevent IT fatigue & empower workers
Sometimes, handing over the “keys” to employees and letting them tweak their work setup can make for a smarter play for IT. The help desk can often prevent many of the tickets that come in and they can stamp out issues that employees don’t report by giving them options like the one highlighted above with ServiceNow.
This just another progressive step forward in the way organizations operate and in the way employees can get the most out of their workday.