IT professionals–tell us when you finish

Amazingly enough, this is one of the most common complaints I hear about IT professionals: “I asked them to do such and such, and I waited a long time, and never heard from them. I was more and more frustrated every day! I finally asked them and they said they had completed the task a long time ago. Why in the heck couldn’t they have told me it was fixed?”

Why in the heck, indeed. This is a “safe at work” newsletter so I did not quote the executives directly. Face it; if the user tries to do something, gets an error, and asks you to fix it, they darn well expect the IT professional to tell them when it is fixed! They have better things to do than repetitively test the situation to find out when it is done. The same thing applies for an added feature, change request, or any other task they ask for.

When asked, it turns out that IT professionals have the attitude, “Well, they asked me to do it, so I did it. Why should I have to tell them it is done? Why can’t they just trust me?”

This is indeed a trust issue. IT expects the user or executive to trust that it is done, and the executive or user trusts IT to tell them when it is done. For an IT professional not to report back reduces or even destroys the trust the executives have in them.

When the user or executive has to ask if the task was complete, the IT professional feels untrusted.

I hope you have the IT professionals who always report back that a task is complete. If so, then they clearly understand trust is something you earn. If they have a habit of not getting back to people to tell them a task is completed, instruct them to do everyone a favor and start saying when they finish! You will break the cycle and start increasing trust right away. This will help you and your organization as much as it helps them!

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