How to Reduce Stress on Your IT Department

Is your IT department the life force of your organization? It may very well be! From your WiFi connection to figuring out how the new printer works, your IT department is continuously working on projects and tasks to support every individual in your company. No matter the size, the work can be stressful and put a strain on resources.

The impact of stress on your IT department can lead to decreased employee motivation, increased turnover and inefficient support. It can also create a backlog or overflow of requests, creating a risk of mismanagement. Without proper IT support, other departments can suffer if work cannot be performed or tools do not properly function.

5 Ways to Reduce Stress on Your IT Department:

1. IT Ticketing System. Having an IT ticketing system, allows users to submit trackable support requests. That means, your help desk teams spend less time on the phone trying to walk through issues and more time attending to the root causes. Many systems allow priority setting with transparency. Therefore, both the user and the ticket assignee can work together and communicate under the appropriate expectations until a matter is resolved. Less priority items can have quicker turnaround times and higher priority items can have the right people working through the problem.

2. Knowledge Database. For users seeking basic hardware/software assistance, having a knowledge database can provide faster solutions. Product manuals, quick step-by-step guides or frequently asked questions can be valuable resources for your colleagues. Making them searchable on your company’s Intranet brings information directly to them without having to go to IT, unless it’s necessary.

3. Assign by Specialty. Your IT department is a talent pools from coders to network operators. By assigning team members to projects and support tasks based on their expertise will deliver a subject matter expert into the discussion. It also can improve efficiencies related to that specialty, rather than leaving it in the hands of an IT generalist or just someone who happens to be available.

4. Resource Management. Map out your employees’ work. As your team is working through projects and help desk tickets, look at how their time is being managed. If some team members are being overworked, do you have others to whom those tasks can be delegated? While working with project managers, ask for their feedback on how IT is performing. If it seems that your team is being overextended, see where you can find support by adding another team member or having employees reassigned.

5. Checking In. Your team needs you, as much as you need them. Communicate with them to ask how they are feeling at work and in general. If you find a gap in performance or motivation, work with them to uncover ways to be productive for them and you. It could range from tapping into their specialty, providing more opportunities for professional development or just shifting assignments. From that open dialogue, take the opportunity to reflect about your management style as well as how to optimize and support your team.

Your employees want to work to their best abilities. You should want them to do the same. Stress can hurt your team, your colleagues and your company. By working to reduce stress on your IT department is a step in the right direction to boost morale and productivity across the board.

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