It is during this time of the year when front line colleagues who truly deserve the accolades for their student service will receive awards in front of a cheering crowd. I have personally received one myself for my work with student organizations as an advisor and so this post is not from a place of sour grapes. Oftentimes, I personally receive praises that should be reserved for the work my IT colleagues just because I am the one talking to the customers. I do make sure to correct those giving me recognition and emphasize that for every application and service we provide, it requires team effort.
For every front line customer service professional, there is a layer of support behind them that makes their ability to provide service possible. In these days when most, if not all, business processes depend on technology, the IT staff is often involved at some point in the customer service process. There are many roles within an IT organization, including operations support positions such as help desk, server, and network admins. They often work after everyone’s gone home and during weekends to maintain and upgrade our systems. In my opinion, these are some of the hardest jobs and these are the positions that receive the least recognitions. When our systems and networks are running well, they are invisible and only when the email system or the network goes down do people even know they exist.
I know that the colleagues I mentioned above are driven by their desire to be of service to others and not by accolades. Appreciation of their work and their value to the organization does go a long way. Next time you have the opportunity to thank your IT staff, please do so.