Thanks to budget constraints and a growing reliance on technology in the workplace, IT departments are consistently expected to do more with less. And when your team is already stretched thin, any threat to efficiency only compounds the problem.
But while you may not be able to do much about your organization’s resource constraints, there are a few things you can do to help your team consistently meet expectations without adding [even more] hours to their workday.
Here are the top five threats to IT team productivity, and how to eliminate them in your department.
1. Outdated or Underutilized Ticketing System
Just because your entire team has grown accustomed to a ticketing or helpdesk software doesn’t mean it’s the most effective solution. If your ticketing system is outdated or offers such a confusing user experience the rest of the workforce consistently fails to use it as they should, it’s likely slowing down your team. Instead of solving problems, they’re probably hunting for information and getting lost in an endless break-fix cycle.
How to fix it: Consider newer software. Once you’ve adopted a more user-friendly solution, take time to train the workforce on how to properly submit tickets.
2. Micromanaging Your Team
If you’re constantly hovering around your team members’ desks and barking orders or regularly interjecting yourself into every communication between team members, rest assured they’re not working as well as they could. Micromanaging every miniscule detail and failing to trust your employees to do their jobs correctly is a surefire way to kill your team’s spirit and productivity.
How to fix it: Empower and train your team members to make their own decisions. Not only will they work more efficiently, they’ll feel more fulfilled — and likely take some of the burden off your shoulders, too.
3. Lack of Boundaries for Users
The only thing more frustrating for an IT professional than being regularly stopped by employees in the hallway asking for help, is having to help a user with a software or device they didn’t even know existed within the company. When your organization doesn’t consult IT before investing in products — or allows employees to download any software they’d like — this places a tremendous burden on the IT team. Not only are they not trained on the product, they also don’t have the ability to vet products for security risks.
How to fix it: Require all tech investments to be approved by IT. Carefully track SaaS licenses using SaaS management tool to identify phantom IT before it begins causing issues.
4. Not Taking Enough Breaks
While putting your head down and your nose to the grindstone can seem like a great way to knock out a ton of tasks, eventually you’ll reach a point of diminishing returns. Working through the day without a break can lead to burnout and hamper productivity — not to mention increased stress and reduced job satisfaction.
How to fix it: Encourage your team members to take regular breaks throughout the day. Whether it’s stepping out for a coffee or taking a short walk around the office, breaks are necessary for mental clarity.
5. Poor Goal-Setting
While you may have goals in place for your team, have you clearly laid out a plan to help them achieve it? If you fail to set goals, or make them unattainable or ambiguous, your team won’t have the catalyst they need to work efficiently.
How to fix it: Set concrete, realistic objectives for your team. This will help boost IT team productivity and help make sure everyone is on the same page. Consider attaching additional incentives, such as bonuses or prizes for top performers.
You know your team works hard, but there’s no reason they should work harder. By eradicating these pesky productivity vampires from your department, you can boost IT team productivity and boost employee satisfaction, too.