Building a client-centric IT environment

At the end of May, Sue Grant, Senior Coordinator, Organizational & Human Development, facilitated a session for IT co-op students and their supporting managers focused on Communication for Exceptional Service. The session was open to IT staff from Computing Helpdesks across campus.

“The Objectives included an understanding of why their work and service makes a difference and to whom; what behaviours and attitudes contribute to building rapport and connecting with customers and co-workers; and how following the Basic Principles of the uWaterloo work environment and using positive language influences our interactions,” says Grant.

Straws and connectors used to build CIO, Dave Wallace.The session was activity based, included group discussions and self-reflection. To get started, session participants used Straws and Connectors to build structures of their choice. They observed and discussed how they worked (collaboratively or individually) and how decisions were made while building. Co-op students from the CHIP built their version of a Helpdesk, which included their artistic interpretation of IST’s CIO, Dave Wallace (pictured).

Investing in our employees is important, especially those individuals who are on the front-line, and are the first point of contact for our clients. We all have a part to play in helping to build a client-centric IT environment.

“Supporting managers for the IT co-op employees are asked to support and reinforce the learning within the work environment following the workshop, and the co-op employees are asked to set a personal goal, aligned with the day’s learning. The co-op employees arrange to meet with their manager in two weeks to talk about how they will work towards their performance goal,” says Grant.

Having completed the session for the third time with her Arts Computing Office (ACO) co-op employees, Lisa Tomalty, Computing Consultant, IST/ACO, can attest to the benefits of such a session. “Helpdesk staff (especially those who are new to Waterloo) get to know each other, which helps to increase collaboration between the Helpdesks,” writes Tomalty. This session was the first to include employees from other campus Helpdesks. “It went really well. It was popular and well attended, and everyone seemed to enjoy it and share ideas.”  

This session is a great way to bring IT staff together. Fostering a sense of community between our Helpdesk teams and providing them the opportunity to learn from each other (and have fun while they’re at it!) contributes to the foundation required to build a strong, consistent client-centric IT environment.

Tell us about a valuable training session/workshop/conference you’ve attended. What were you able to take away and implement in your day-to-day activities?

Thanks to our guest blogger, Natasha Jennings.

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