ITSM

Defining Employee Engagement: The ITSM Way

October 14, 2019

Defining Employee Engagement: The ITSM Way

You’re likely to receive a different definition of employee engagement depending on who you ask, but understanding how to apply it as an IT professional is critical. Essentially, it boils down to making sure employees have what they need, how they need it—with the ultimate goal being to enable the employees who enable your business.

The solution to providing a good employee experience isn’t one-size-fits-all. Those fancy consumer-facing mobile apps used to order lunch have provided unmatched customer experiences. Employees around the water cooler may wonder, “why can’t our own internal service process look like that?” And while your IT team isn’t responsible for delivering every service employees need, IT is responsible for implementing the tools and processes used to facilitate the employee experience with technology in the workplace. 

Employee engagement as it relates to ITSM can be defined as a connected experience for employees that is seamless, efficient, and takes full advantage of the tools and technologies available through the service desk, like mobile apps, chat, or the service portal. This may mean communicating with employees in a more efficient way by implementing chat within your service portal (to avoid unnecessary tickets), or using workflows to automatically send emails to managers whenever a basic “yes or no” approval is required.

The good news is it is possible to create more streamlined experiences for employees by leveraging ITSM tools to their fullest extent. Here are a few ITSM best practices to help redefine what employee engagement currently looks like in your office.

Lay the Groundwork for Unified Service Delivery

As the concept of enterprise service management continues to influence the modern service desk, this opens the door for other departments to re-examine their current processes. Connecting employees to services and information they need to be productive requires a unified approach to service delivery between IT and other departments.

According to a recent survey of IT pros, nearly half* indicated that a unified service platform would be key to driving the employee experience in the coming year. And with a whopping 92% of IT pros (according to the same survey) saying IT is already in some way integrated with other departments in the organization, things seem off to a promising start.

This is really where leveraging a complete service desk solution (beyond basic ticketing) comes into play. Many departments may have their own internal processes, how-to documentation, and other resources, but these can be difficult to manage and difficult for employees to access if not centralized in a single platform.

The service desk can also serve as a one-stop shop for employees to get the resources they need. A key component is an employee-facing service portal that can create a self-service culture within your organization. 

A knowledge base complete with helpful articles on anything from benefits enrollment to setting up hardware for the first time is another important step to helping employees find what they’re looking for. As it turns out, most IT professionals already understand how important knowledge management will be in the future. When surveyed* 79% of IT pros list knowledge sharing as most critical factor to enhancing the employee experience in the coming year.

Use IT Asset Data to Your Advantage

Keeping employees operational can be difficult and time consuming as new devices and software applications get added to your IT infrastructure almost daily. Whenever a user submits a ticket or starts a chat with a service desk agent, what details are you asking them to provide?

Manually retrieving basic information like a software version or model number associated with a submitted ticket is a very time-consuming experience, and something that employees (especially new employees) shouldn’t be expected to provide. These data points can be automatically populated thanks to IT asset management capabilities integrated with your service desk, so you can associate devices with users, previous incidents, or other ITIL-related records.

Having this data available is made possible thanks to IT asset discovery, and can help to reduce the amount of time spent searching for information, as well as enable more data-driven decisions.

Streamline Services with Smart Technology

You shouldn’t underestimate the practicality of using smart technology like artificial intelligence to make finding information for employees more efficient and easier than ever before. If you’ve ever found yourself searching through your email inbox for information related to onboarding or benefits, it’s never fun. Creating a library of knowledge base articles is a great step to providing a better experience for employees using your company’s service portal, and thanks to artificial intelligence this experience can be further streamlined with suggested solutions.

If an employee has an issue with their laptop, for example, AI can simplify the search for resolutions by first suggesting knowledge articles that might fit their query based on what they’ve typed in. But if that doesn’t fit their needs, AI will take it a step further and suggest categories and subcategories, helping to ensure tickets are routed quickly to the appropriate team to handle the inquiry.

Engage Employees Through IT Service Management

A comprehensive ITSM strategy promotes efficiency across the organization by enabling IT, along with other departments, to deliver services to employees in a cohesive manner. Certain tasks like ordering business cards or creating security badges can be streamlined for employees thanks to easy-to-use request forms and automations within the service desk.

Technology changes quickly, and it’s important that your IT team be able to efficiently handle service requests at a speed employees expect and in ways that are familiar and convenient.

As the on-demand economy continues to influence employee expectations, will you be prepared?

[eBook] 150 Ways to Automate Service Management Throughout Your Organization

*ITSM Survey on THWACK.com of global SolarWinds customer base in September 2019; 215 total responses.


Like many IT professionals, Liz’s entry into the tech industry was unconventional. With plans to pursue a career in public relations, Liz’s career quickly took a turn toward technology. She got her start working as a customer success manager with a research platform for the financial industry prior to joining Samanage, now SolarWinds Service Desk. Prior to becoming a SolarWinds Head Geek, Liz served as the technical point of contact for SolarWinds Service Desk customers. In this role, she combined the best of both worlds: her passion for communicating with prospective and existing customers while leaning on her multiple ITIL certifications to provide ITSM best practices to help alleviate pain points, work smarter, and streamline service desk operations. Liz is a formally trained public speaker and is actively involved in the service management community, participating in and hosting podcasts, webcasts, panel discussions, and speaking at large-scale industry events. She attended James Madison University where she earned a B.A. in Communication Studies. She's ITIL 4 certified and has never met a dog she didn't want to adopt.