Putting the “Help” in Helpdesk: The Androgogic Approach

By Maka Polachek, Androgogic's Frontline Services Manager

There is a Chinese proverb: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”

In the IT world, help desk jobs are often considered entry level jobs, with the focus being on moving into other more desirable jobs, like software engineering or project management. In the US, IT support job satisfaction is in the bottom 15% of all careers and turnover is at a massive 40% per year. In Australia, work life balance is rated at a middling 3.5 stars and career progression is the same, at 3.2 stars on Glassdoor

At Androgogic, however, the turnover of our Service Desk Technicians is close to zero. If they leave their position, it’s almost always due to internal promotion to another team. 

So why are help desk jobs considered some of the least desirable white collar jobs in our economy? And what is it about Androgogic that makes our Service Desk team different?

The three things that make Androgogic’s Service Desk different

1. Our learning culture

On our blog, we love talking about the benefits of creating a learning culture in your organisation. Better employee engagement, a more satisfying employee experience, and stronger performance are just some of the benefits we notice.

Androgogic’s support team benefits from weekly catch-ups built into their work week, where they learn about something new each week. They have the opportunity to meet multiple times a week to discuss support tickets, and work together on providing a satisfying resolution for both Androgogic and the client. 

Find out more about how to create a Learning Culture in your organisation here.

2. Autonomy and specialisations

Service Desk Technicians are the people you trust to solve your problems, so the job requires a high degree of confidence and competence. In organisations with high turnover rates, it’s difficult to achieve the level of technical understanding required to provide quality service. 

At Androgogic, we provide each technician with the opportunity to specialise in topic areas that they’re interested in. This empowers them to help others in the team with difficult problems and gives them the freedom and autonomy to develop their own learning development goals. 

3. Focus on people, not metrics

One of the main complaints that Helpdesk Managers receive on a traditional help desk is the number of frustrated or angry callers that technicians need to respond to. This decreases team morale and can often make technicians feel powerless. 

At Androgogic, our Service Desk Technicians often get to know our clients and their goals over time, and clients come to know our desk as a place where they can receive genuine help. This means that the problem of the angry caller basically disappears in a “virtuous cycle”. 

Furthermore, traditional helpdesks often focus on metrics to encourage employee engagement. These metrics can be:

  • How quickly a call is resolved
  • How many calls are answered
  • How many calls are answered by a particular technician

Often, Learning Management Systems and other learning technologies can become complex quickly, so it’s not always feasible to monitor metrics like the one above to measure the team’s success. If we encouraged our technicians to end calls as quickly as possible, we wouldn’t have the time to get to know our clients and their needs and suggest solutions that align with their goals.

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What do our Service Desk Technicians do?

Service Desk Technicians don’t just answer calls and tickets. Here’s just some of the things they’ll do in a given day:

  • Triage tickets and send them to the right people to help
  • Research and investigate problems, often sorting through logs and analysing data
  • Respond to and monitor critical incidents 

While these are all important tasks, that’s not all our Service Desk Technicians do. We know that continuous learning is important to ensuring that skills don’t fade and that technicians are confident in helping clients achieve their goals. 

Like athletes, our Service Desk Technicians don’t just train once a year. To stay sharp, they meet up multiple times a week to collaborate on problems and work together on solutions. This means you’ll always get a solution that aligns with your needs. 

What’s next?

On this blog, we often talk about maximising employee engagement by combining collaboration, learning, and agile performance management methodologies. We’re practising what we preach. 

As a result of continuous learning, collaboration, and individual and team goal-setting, our technicians are engaged, motivated to genuinely solve clients' problems and, hopefully, have a dash of the happiness in their work implied by the Chinese proverb at the top.