Monday, 23 October 2006

Unresolved Help Desk Calls + Motivation = Change? (part 4)

This is the final part (for now) in my mini-series on motivating a team to resolve help desk calls when they have lots of other (to them more interesting) work to be doing as well.

After the meeting back in the office, I set the jars up and got back to work. In the background I heard a lot of people on the telephone, and wait, someone taking a sweet already AND putting it in the Eat Me jar for everyone? Curious, I had a chat with my colleague and it turns out that they are concerned about their teeth. Yet, the scheme still works for them because as more sweets arrive in the Eat Me jar; it's a visible representation of how many calls they are resolving. An unexpected benefit because I was convinced that everyone would be selfish and eat their sweets unless there wasn't one they liked left in the jar!

Turning my attention to another colleague who had missed the meeting, I quickly explained that when they resolve a call they can take a sweet and eat it or put it in the jar. Their response: "I don't do gimmicks." I said that was fair enough. Later on they raised the point that if they didn't join in the numbers would be wrong; so I explained the sweetie stock take on Friday's in my own time after work which may or may not have had an effect. I figured it would take about a week for them to come around. I was wrong. After lunch, they got up and headed to the jars... there had been so much banter in the office about the sweets and who has done what and which sweet was taken, I think perhaps they didn't want to feel left out. I love it when a plan comes together!

A week on...the overall backlog has decreased by 40 calls (of course there are other factors that contribute to this such as less staff on holiday, less calls being logged during the week etc.)

Two weeks on...the overall backlog has increased again due in part to an unusually high number of calls being logged, staff out on training courses, and others on holiday.

Staff are using the jars, albeit in different ways. Some continue to use them as intended; others prefer to keep a note of how many calls they are resolving throughout the working day and take their sweets out of the jars at the end of the day. The key thing that this scheme has achieved is an interest in HOW we are performing which was previously low to lacking.

The next stage to enhance this will be some 'no cost to the council' way of rewarding staff for calls resolved within time on a monthly basis.


Anonymous said...

Wow - a fab idea!
I can see helpdesk effectiveness consultancy on the horizon!
Good reading -thanks.

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