We tend to talk a lot about the value that a great IT service desk solution can deliver, but it is important to remember that all of these gains can be undermined if your IT and support teams don't buy into innovation. All the technology in the world won't do you any good if your workers aren't using it. You need to get workers to buy into new technology strategies to make sure they are embracing new operational schemes and methodologies.
Understanding the challenge of staff buy in
For the most part, service desk upgrades and changes are made in response to specific customer demands. The result is a situation in which support and technology employees are forced to adapt their operations and get used to working with new solutions that they don't have control of. It's one thing to give employees new technology in response to their needs, but it's entirely different to decide that they need something new and force that change upon them. While most service desk upgrades will eventually end up improving life for employees, it can be difficult to get people to embrace change that is thrust upon them.
Not many people like being told what to do, how to do it and when they have to handle it by. This is why service desk changes can face resistance - they are made with customers in mind and the employees need to adjust accordingly.
Ensuring staff buy in
The first step to getting your workforce behind changes - be they technical or operational - is finding a group of champions. This is where you have a major advantage. You may have deployed the service desk upgrade to meet customer demands, but the new solution will usually make life much easier for employees. These benefits only come, however, if workers give the new solutions a real chance to change their work operations for the better. A group of champions can ensure this initial buy in.
Champions, in this context, are people who have a full understanding of the technology or process changes that are being made and know how the solution will benefit all of the stakeholders affected by the change. Of course, your managers and executives will have all of this information, but they can't be champions because they are authority figures. You need your innovation champions to be from your pool of workers on the production floor. If a peer, not an authority figure, talks about how useful a solution will be, workers will be more receptive to giving the new system a chance.
When do you need to worry about buy in
It doesn't matter if you are investing in a new software system, service desk module, automation solution or process framework, if the change you are making disrupts user operations, you need to make sure they are prepared to adjust to it. Communication is critical. A group of champions can be a conduit for this communication, but you also need to get stakeholders involved in all phases of the change. This means holding meetings so employees can have an input on the new solution and the various nuances of the deployment process. Going beyond just communicating about the new system and actually collaborating with stakeholders plays a vital role in getting them to embrace change when it does happen.
Change can be intimidating to employees, especially if they are already comfortable with the various technologies at their disposal. Disrupting operations is often necessary for innovation, however, and getting workers to handle this disruption effectively plays a critical role in ensure service desk upgrades flow smoothly.