A little rant.
Depending on when you ask me, I either love the buzz of the summer holiday and September, or despise it. Ultimately I must enjoy it to an extent to keep doing it, but there is no denying it’s getting much harder.
I’ve talked before about the increase in technology in schools since the pandemic – both in terms of hardware and software, and therefore an increase in regular use by all abilities. This summer has appeared for many, to be a time of consolidation and structuring of gains from the pandemic.
And that’s good. But now it needs to be matched with training time and staff development.
The biggest issue we have in September is people haven’t listed to us in their haste to stop work. And now they panic.
They don’t listen to information, and then blame others for their failure. They don’t attend training, and then moan there is no training.
You can’t expect impact from changes if nobody knows about it
I am sure I sound like an arse when I remind people we told everyone about this before the summer. That we have been open all summer for them to test and that, yes, they need to test it prior to September.
Often forgotten – or simply not appreciated is – we’ve never done this before either. Never navigated a pandemic, never moved to cloud en mass mid term, deployed hundreds of devices to work anywhere with demands of 100% uptime.
Numbers of users and devices are ever increasing as is demand. IT teams staffing and pay is not. Like others, our teams have weathered almighty storms, but they haven’t had the last 6 weeks in a safe harbour, they have been out at sea, trying to clear up the mess and meet new demands as the lessons and fast paced developments change regularly.
In fact, trying to retain staff let alone recruit is getting more and more difficult. We know the UK as a whole is suffering, and let’s be blunt – it’s a lot easier with a small bit of experience to get a good paying IT job right now.
So, make sure you support your teams this year, and every day. Things may not go right. Things may not be perfect – but consider the scale and the depth of what they are now doing to support users and consider how you might support them. They don’t need chocolate or special days or announcements. They need you standing shoulder to shoulder showing confidence that they can do their job, and fix issues.
Those who work with IT on a human level (and of course teams doing the same back) get much higher satisfaction then those who look down on, and blame us.