As the school year winds down, we need to start considering preparing for the fall. One of the key opportunities in the fall will be to onboard new faculty and staff via new teacher orientation and similar events across the nation. The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) provides a guidebook for onboarding new employees. They identify four areas for onboarding; compliance, clarification, culture, and connection.
How does that impact the technology staff as they interact with new staff? Compliance is straightforward in many ways. Explaining to staff appropriate behavior with technology, explaining network or technology use agreements, teaching proper password safety, etc. is simple for most organizations.
CIO Magazine and the AME Group both provide ways to address common IT compliance issues that can be adapted to effective orientation. Clarification regarding technology should share who to contact for what type of need. In the best IT organizations, a user should be able to call a single help desk number and be directed to the correct person. Telling people to contact another aspect of the IT system is less than excellent customer service.
The Balance Small Business website has a good nine point summary for effective customer service. This can easily be adapted to school IT employees to make sure IT services always stands out for its excellent service to new (and all) employees. Regarding culture and connection, it is important for IT staff to make sure that they take the time to interact and make connections with new employees.
Often new employees will be willing to try new things and expand the use of technology. Where possible, make sure IT staff have as many opportunities as possible to interact with the new staff and set a positive first impression. Where possible small gifts like mouse pads with IT help numbers, etc. is another way to make a positive impression with new staff. Good luck with planning your new year! It is coming more quickly than you think.