Placing the majority of IT help desk operations in the cloud relieves IT workers of a lot of stress, but there are still a number of soft skills that have to be maintained. Unfortunately, the cloud can’t relieve all of the interactions of help desk workers with users, vendors, coworkers, managers, and others around the workplace. Here are the most important soft skills to develop and hone even when most help desk operations move to the cloud.
- 1. The Ability to Communicate With a Variety of Types of People
- 2. The Ability to Plan and Organize
- 3. The Ability of Critical Thinking to Solve Problems
- 4. The Ability to Manage Your Time Wisely
- 5. The Ability to Remain Professional in All Circumstances
- 6. The Ability to Teach and Mentor Others
Communication works two ways. Help desk workers need to be able to listen and hear, as well as be able to effectively communicate what they have to say. It’s easy to assume you understand a user’s problem when they call in and say a couple of sentences, but if you take the time to hear them out fully, it accomplishes two things: first, it instills confidence in them that you understand their problem. Second, it keeps you from appearing foolish if you jump to conclusions and actually don’t understand exactly what they’re trying to say.
Planning and organizational skills go beyond having a tidy workspace. Planning and organizing skills can benefit the help desk worker immensely in several ways. First, it allows them to plan initiatives to make help desk operations better. For instance, planning and organizing is a valuable skill when developing a knowledge base or catalog of services.
It’s easy to become complacent when most of the problems you see are mundane and commonplace. But sometimes technology presents challenging problems that aren’t easy to identify or address. The ability to think critically about a new problem and work through the issue systematically to develop a solution is valuable to the entire company.
When many IT service desk operations are moved to the cloud, management will quickly find new ways to spend that free time. All of a sudden, your desk will fill with to-do’s. New projects, hardware and software updates, report generation, and many other tasks will fall to the service desk. The ability to manage your time and stay ahead of the schedule (not just on top of it) is valuable indeed.
One thing you’ll notice when operations move primarily to the cloud is that while the mundane calls are reduced, those with serious problems or bad attitudes still manage to get you on the phone. The ability to handle upset people is and always has been a valuable asset to IT workers. When you can handle irate managers, confused users, and pushy vendors with ease, you are a proven asset to the company.
The only constant on the help desk is change, and workers come and go regularly. Helping new employees come to the help desk and blend in nicely is a true skill. Additionally, the ability to teach and mentor makes you an asset to your users, as well as the managers who need help understanding new software and other technologies.
About Laura Miller
Laura Miller is the Director of Sales in North America for Samanage. She works one-on-one with customers ranging from SMB to Fortune 500, providing them with a modern way to look at service management. Laura's ITIL experience and ITIL v3 Foundations certification provides her with a unique understanding of the service management industry. Her guilty pleasures are anything chocolate, ice coffee, and reality TV.
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