Train Your Brain – Methods for Service Desk Training
In any good workout routine, the key to gains and self-improvement in muscle development is continued sets and reps. The human brain is no different; we need to recall and utilize the things our brain has learned on a regular basis, or else be faced with greater difficulty retrieving, or possibly losing, this information.
Within most companies, when a new employee is brought on board you’ll find an extensive, and often intensive, on-boarding process. At many places, this training will often last anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months depending on what is required of the employee and the new job. In the workplace, the employee learns everything they need to get started and be successful at the new job, and is eventually sent off on their own. This training is the equivalent of starting a new work out plan for the first time, starting with low reps and a few minutes of cardio and building up over the next few weeks. In the workplace, the employee learns everything they need to get started and hopefully be successful at the new job, but is then set free with little to no follow up training.
In some places, continued training is presented in the form of third-party workshops or conferences once, maybe twice per year, but no other continued internal training takes place.
The end result is that we end up doing a great job of getting employees trained and on the path of success when they start a new job, but what do we do about their continued training? What about the things they learned the first few months, but have not yet or rarely use?
We essentially expect the employee to be able to continue lifting more and more weight without making sure they’re getting the necessary reps in every week to ensure that we’re supporting growth.
At the University of Tennessee Office of Information Technology HelpDesk, we have instituted a system of continued training reps and growth. Every Monday, HelpDesk Staff are given a short quiz consisting of five questions from our training quiz pool, due by 5:00 PM the following Friday. This is the same pool of questions that new staff members take as a part of their on-boarding. The topic of the questions will vary from week to week based on what’s going on. Examples include: questions regarding a brand new service offering, reminders from something that was perhaps missed by staff members during the previous week, or questions or topics selected at random. Although the staff were at first leery of the exercise, the number of “oh wow, I had forgotten all about that” started to grow and the quizzes became more and more welcome.
With this level of repetition, we ensure that everyone is continuing to stretch their brain and build “mental muscle tone.” Similarly, at Smoky Mountain HDI chapter events, we cover a lot of familiar territory with the end goal being to ensure that everyone attending those events is given valuable information that will remain in the forefront of their minds. We stress the benefits of our membership, and the value of attending our chapter events, as well as the importance of having access to the online HDI website and community. Repetition and challenging memory retention are friendly tools across the board in the business world.
Travis Gordon is the Vice President of Content Relations for the Smoky Mountain HDI Chapter. Find Travis’s professional profile on our Smoky Mountain HDI Board of Directors page, and on his LinkedIn page: www.linkedin.com/pub/travis-gordon/49/787/a09.
Smoky Mountain HDI Chapter is a group of IT Service and Support Professionals living in the Great Smoky Mountains connecting to share ideas, grow technical skills, boost careers, and create a wide array of technical resources and connections while helping one another succeed.
**Interested in joining Smoky Mountain HDI Chapter, or attending one of our free chapter events? Visit our website for more details!**