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Improving The Service Desk Performance With Successful Employee Appraisals

By Richard West, Service Desk Manager, Marval

 

Appraisal can be a very scary word, not just for the Service Desk staff but for their managers too. Appraisals can be packed with criticism (constructive, of course, but still criticism), suggestions for improvement and two-way feedback which is not always well-perceived or accepted. And while most managers would be happy to avoid them, employee appraisals are a very effective tool for improving the Service Desk performance, while maintaining a healthy and open relationship with your team.

When the time comes, it’s important that appraisals take place in a way which is beneficial for everyone, and makes the employee feel supported and appreciated. Here’s a list of things Service Desk managers can do to make the most of their team’s appraisals:

-          Timing is important. Appraisals require preparation, plus they can be stressful for employees. If your team is currently engaged with pressing projects or it’s a very busy period for your organisation, then perhaps you should postpone and choose a time when people will feel less overwhelmed and more relaxed.

-          Start with positive feedback. Everyone has a good side, which can be relevant to their performance or their personality. For example, do they follow the right process at all times? Have they been a fully integrated member of the team? Helpful to their colleagues? Have they be willing to take over new assignments? Any positive feedback will prove that their manager notices and recognises their efforts - and facilitate the discussion.

-          Support your constructive comments with documentation. Nobody really likes to be told they could have done better – although most of us are happy to admit we are not perfect and have some areas of improvement! When it comes to negative feedback, it’s better to focus on specific examples, instead of providing generic comments which could be perceived as hostile. It’s always more effective to engage the employee in the process, e.g. ask them what they could have done better in a specific situation. This way, your feedback is likely to appear as a helpful and contributive discussion, rather than criticism or a personal attack.

-          Focus on the corporate culture. This is the right time to discuss and reinforce the corporate culture, either by praising the instances where the employee was aligned to it or by pointing out any case where they could have done better. By highlighting cultural aspects, you help your employee see their role in the organisation more clearly and accelerate their integration.

-          Ask for feedback. And be open to it. Appraisals are (or should be) a two-way thing. If there are concerns, they should be shared. If there are burdens that stop your staff from performing well, you want to know and do something about it. When feedback is given, listen carefully, keep notes and take action, if necessary.

-          Offer guidance and mentoring. Every employee wants to feel they have their manager’s support, and that they are provided with opportunities for development. Discuss a potential development path and suggest ways that would help the employee evolve and come closer to reaching their goals, whether that be trainings or mentoring or perhaps participating in projects that are beyond their comfort zone.

Appraisals can be stressful, but also very useful. In order to go through the process as smoothly and hassle-free as possible, managers can employ their best asset: Technology. Advanced technology tools, like Marval MSM, can help Service Desk managers perform successful employee appraisals, using a number of smart features, like customisable dashboards on a plethora of metrics, performance reviews, feedback forms, suggested improvements and collaboration elements which help keep the team engaged and aligned with a highly collaborative, customer-centric culture.

 

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