Whether your company’s IT department is an in-house team or an outsourced partner, there are a number of important steps that you and your employees can take to maximize your relationship. Technical problems can jam up companies in all kinds of unfortunate ways, but a clear and cohesive rapport with IT professionals can make the process of finding solutions a whole lot easier.
Let’s look at six helpful tips for making interactions with IT professionals as smooth and effective as possible.
1.) Be Honest About Mistakes
For the most part, regular employees and other business leaders are not expected to be technical wizards. Things get broken sometimes and human errors happen. When they do, people have a tendency of wanting to save face. We do things like minimizing our involvement and keeping mum about the actions that led to the error. But there’s no reason to act this way. It’s much better to give your IT people all the necessary information up front. Chances are, they may have a better idea of how to resolve the issue if they have all the facts.
2.) Listen to IT
Rules regarding technology policies and practices at your company are not arbitrary. They exist primarily to keep things from breaking or losing valuable data. Cutting corners or failing to listen to the IT team’s recommendations can be disastrous for businesses. As examples, if employees are required to use a VPN when working remotely, then a VPN should absolutely be used. If two-factor authentication is advised, it’s not in place just to annoy. It’s a matter of security that should not be skipped. Listen to the IT people and stick to the rules.
3.) Describe As Best You Can
When technical problems arise, clarity in describing the error is crucial. Frustration can make this tricky. When tempers and nerves go up, especially in crunch times, it’s hard to clearly convey what kind of issues are occurring. The best course of action is to slow down and take just a moment to accurately describe the problem at hand, otherwise your IT team has to waste valuable time playing detective.
Without overloading your IT professional with too much information, do the best you can to convey what you were working on, what went wrong, and what needs to take place. Keep things brief and to the point so you get the most direct results. If an error code or number is involved, copy that down or take a screenshot to show your IT team.
4.) Don’t Hover
Working in IT is a lot like working as a certified problem solver, but that doesn’t mean the experts have seen and done it all. New types of unique problems arise every day for technology. It’s always evolving, and sometimes a little bit of research or tinkering is required to find a solution.
At times like these, we recommend giving your IT people some space to work. It’s hard to think clearly with folks hovering around your every move. Be sure to remain available, in case any questions arise, but let the experts have enough room to work their magic.
5.) No to Personal Devices
Never ask your IT team to fix something wrong with your personal device, it drives them crazy. IT experts are not there to fix your kid’s phone – even if you run the company. It’s viewed as an inappropriate request. The IT department’s job is to keep the company’s tech running its best, not to conduct personal favors. Keep things professional.
6.) Appreciation Matters
As a final humble suggestion, never underestimate the effectiveness of a little appreciation. Most people naturally want to help others and feel extremely positive when they do. It’s an IT professional’s job to solve technical issues, but that feeling of positivity still persists after a good outcome when working on a problem. Showing appreciation in these moments is very validating and has a powerful effect on motivation. Our recommendation is to say thanks and add in a detail about how their skills will help you get back to the task that needs doing. It helps instill a sense of value for the IT person’s role in the company overall.
Technology is essential for every modern company and, one way or another, glitches and malfunctions are bound to happen at some point. But they don’t have to slow your company down too badly. By taking a few simple steps to build a great working relationship with your IT department or provider, your business will experience less idle time against things like outages or technical errors and will be back online in no time.