Hiring for the Help Desk
EQ vs. IQ
When it comes to hiring or promoting help desk personnel, today's employers are looking for more than just the intelligent, technically savvy help desk agent or the person who knows multiple help desk software packages. A person's EQ (also referred to as EI) or Emotional Intelligence is also being factored into the equation.
What is "EQ" you may ask? It is the corporate buzzword used to describe a person's social interaction, leadership qualities, teamwork abilities, self-management and other emotional skills. There is a growing belief that single the most important factor to a person's success (whether at work or in life) is their emotional intelligence. It's not just a grade point average that counts!
Here are a few qualities and abilities to look for when considering help desk candidates:
Social Skills: The ability to build and manage relationships with clients, customers and colleagues.
Self-awareness: The ability to recognize one's own strengths and weaknesses and the ability to compensate for one's weaknesses.
Self-regulation: The ability to keep emotions (ie. anger and impulsiveness) under control. The ability to be flexible and open to change.
Motivation: The ability to have personal drive and the ability to take an optimistic perspective on issues.
The best thing about EQ is both help desk managers and agents can improve their EQ through training. This isn't a "quick fix" for a help desk team that is in need of repair; dedication is required, but EQ can be learned. Your help desk staff can attend workshops, read books on the subject or internal training can be offered. There are even EQ tests available to measure your Emotional Intelligence Quotient, but unlike IQ tests there is no single, validated test available to measure EQ.
Help desk agents and managers who have higher EQ's are more likely to be productive, happy employees and that in turn makes for better customer service. You wouldn't rush into purchasing a new phone system or acquiring a help desk software solution. Likewise, take time when acquiring your employees. They can be your most valuable asset!
For more information on EQ, visit these web site:
Consortium for Research on EQ in Organizations
Emotional Intelligence Services
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