Advice 1 - Hire the Right People 1The best advice ever: hire people smarter than you.
1. Know what you are looking for to round out your team.
Understand the hole(s) you need to fill. Is it a technical leader, a report writer, someone
ITIL® certified? Understand exactly what you need, or you’ll never find it.
2. Understand your company’s, department’s and team’s culture and the support culture
you project to your clients.
Attitude is non-negotiable. Candidates don’t have to be an exact match, but their attitudes
need to synergise with the team and the support culture.
Communication skills are non-negotiable. Support team professionals must be great
communicators with especially strong inter-personal communication skills.
Advice 2 -Share expectations with your staffEveryone needs a little direction.
People dread the appraisal process. Managers don’t like to give appraisals, and workers don’t enjoy
receiving them. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Appraisals are geared to help people improve. They are not a witch-hunt or a means to get rid of
someone. They are about individual, how he or she can improve and add more value to himself/
herself, the team and the company.
For each team member, you need to score, set objectives, review skills and put an action plan into place.
Step 1: Plan
Simple enough. Let everyone know when you are planning to conduct appraisals.
Step 2: Do the Appraisal
It is frustrating to be in a job for several years and not be reviewed by your manager—no objectives,
no direction, no knowledge of how well you are doing. Or the opposite, where your yearly review was completed on time, signed off and filed away in your permanent record—with no objectives, direction or knowledge of how well you were doing. You have a choice. You can utilise the appraisal process to truly build competent team members.
Step 3: DO THE APPRAISAL
If for no other reason, you may have a stake in the results and the outcome of the process (keep in mind that your own review and compensation may depend on your team’s performance).
Advice 3 - Always be communicatingOne of the best ways to communicate with your team is through recognition and rewards.
But, this must be done correctly or there’s no point in doing it at all.
If you remember only one thing from reading this eBook, remember the word ‘must’.
Meaningful (and full of meaning)
Unique (to the individual)
Specific Reason (random ‘high fives’ don’t work)
Timely (Don’t wait until the end of the year or the person’s appraisal)
Advice 4 - Market your teamMarketing your team is serious business. You should do it at every opportunity. Market your team
as a group of professionals who excel at what they do and want to help.
1. Get out from behind your desk.
Make time every week to spend with managers in other areas. Ask questions, take notes, and learn.
2. Invite managers from other areas to visit and observe what your team does day-to-day.
Doing this has two benefits:
– It gives them a greater appreciation for what your team does; and
– It gives your team a better appreciation for the person on the other end of the phone/email.
3. Get involved outside of your department and find ways to relate it back to your team.
Serve on committees, speak at events, write articles for other departments, help set-up and use
various Web 2.0 efforts (such as wikis, blogs, etc.).
This kind of interaction, gives you a better understanding of your company’s business and that,
in turn, gives you more ammunition to show how your team can contribute to the bottom line.
Final Advice - Focus on metrics that matterMetrics are one of the rare items we deal with that are absolute and incurable. Statistics don’t lie,
but how one interprets the data is another story altogether.
The most important metric isn’t a metric, it’s a shape.
I proudly present the one and only thing you’ll ever
need to know when it comes to metrics – a metrics triangle.
A metrics triangle forces you to take a balanced approach
and to not focus on one area to the detriment of others.
Ultimately, metrics are just numbers. 10 pages of daily metrics
do not add value just because you have them. Part of your
job, and your value, is identifying which metrics work,
which to dump and how to use them to build a stronger
team and achieve happier customers. Often a simple
one-page report consisting of four or five charts and
some explanations is your most powerful tool
when explaining to management
or your team what/how you are doing.
Your goal should be to balance - Productivity, Customer Satisfaction, and Effectiveness