If you manage a service desk there is a good chance you will need to do some hiring, replacing, or backfilling of employees with new hires. When hiring a new employee, there are many different routes to getting them on calls. Some organizations have a two-to-four week training program, and some throw the new hire to the wolves and have a sink or swim approach. The best approach I have come across is the phased approach, and it has been successful for us.
The Phased Approach
Don't try to train your new hires on everything at once. I'm sure you have lots of applications and tools they need to learn. To get them on the phones and feeling comfortable, start off with password resets or something very basic. The new employee will not only learn how to reset a password for your company, but will learn how to use your ticket tracking system, knowledge management system, and any other tool that is used in the process.
Practical Example: What We Do
In my organization we have our new analysts on the phone within four days as we follow the phased approach. Once we get our new hires setup technically, we train them on our easiest phone queue (password resets).
Day 1 is spent setting up their PC, an introduction to the company and employees, online training, and reviewing policies and procedures, making sure they have access to the main applications and
Day 2 is spent learning our ITSM system. Our analysts begin learning how to create a ticket, (incident and request), searching, using, and flagging knowledge, reviewing and using the password reset tools
Day 3 is spent reviewing the tools, applications, and processes from the former two days, setting and reviewing expectations, and shadowing with multiple people. Everyone has their own setups and ways of doing things that work for them. Sitting a new Analyst with multiple people will be more beneficial than just shadowing one person.
Day 4 is "go time." The analyst is all set up and ready to take calls. The trainer either sits with them or next to them making the newbie feel comfortable for the first few hours. Once the analyst is comfortable and has been through repetitive password calls, the trainer will review the tickets, documentation and process with the analyst.
The first week for a new hire is critical as it sets the tone for the rest of their training and beginning of their career path within the company. In the ongoing weeks, as the new hire begins to understand your customers, business, tools, and applications, they will become more comfortable with their new environment. As your new hires become more comfortable and their metrics validate they are understanding, it is time to bring them back in for phase two training.
Phase Two and Beyond
When it’s time for phase two training, your new hire should be familiar with your basic standard operating procedures and are now ready to take on more advanced troubleshooting, and learn more advanced processes. For example, phase two training could include topics such as remote access support, multi-factor authentication, and proprietary software applications. Regardless of how you organize it, the overall goal is to bring your new hire in, train them, get them comfortable…and then train them again. The more you spread out the training in phases, the more successful they will be in supporting and satisfying your customers.
How do you do it in your company?
Brad Biagi is a highly accomplished and enthusiastic management professional with a strong technical background and customer focus, as well as a relentless passion for innovative training management, project implementation, process improvement, and customer value. Brad is currently the Manager of First American’s IT Service Desk, where he leads, manages, and directs technical support across the enterprise in a follow-the-sun, worldwide operation. Brad also focuses on process improvement, training, and implementation to deliver strikingly impressive customer service. Follow Brad on Twitter @biagitec2.