technician in server room

“Helpful” Employees are Hindering Business Technology


Innovative and savvy employees can bring a lot to an organization. They can ramp up your production and boost your bottom line. Increasingly in the Millennial generation we’re seeing more and more employees that want to go above and beyond and have responsibilities that extend beyond a basic job description. Employees that take initiative are hard to come by – but what happens when helpful employees actually hinder your technology? What am I referring to? Things like operating system updates, updating antivirus definitions and other workstation updates should never be completed by employees. Here are just a few instances when well-meaning “helpful” employees hinder your business technology.

They’re installing add-on applications.

Savvy employees do what they can to stay productive, but slow servers and outdated line of business applications can sometimes hinder their efficiency, forcing them to search for other tools. Some of the biggest culprits that we see compromising company security are unauthorized downloads. In an effort to be more efficient, employees might download applications and toolbars that they think will help – but in the process they’re putting a lot of additional tools and add-ons into the processing load for the machine and actually slowing it down in the process; not to mention all the viruses and malware that they could potentially be downloading. Prohibiting unauthorized downloads is just one of the policies that we suggest business owners include in their employee handbooks.

They’re completing upgrades at the workstation level.

While your IT provider should turn off any notifications that occur at the workstation level, it’s important that your employees understand what your Managed Services or IT partner is providing for your organization. If updates are being done by that provider, employees should know so that they don’t upgrade workstations when they’re prompted and inadvertently take that station down when the updates are done incorrectly and not working with printers or other systems.

They’re acting as a Google Helpdesk for themselves.

While it’s great when an employee can fix an issue on their own, the internet includes some particularly poor advice when it comes to IT support. Rather than searching for fixes to their issues online, your employees should always take any issues that they don’t know how to resolve immediately to Help Desk. The top tier IT companies have very quick response and resolution times and will make sure that the root of the issue is fixed so that the problem doesn’t recur. If an employee attempts to troubleshoot an issue themselves, it goes undocumented and often isn’t resolved at the core of the issue.

Skilled employees are an absolute asset to your organization, but with a little education on exactly what the arrangement is between your IT provider and your organization, they don’t have to spin their wheels attempting to update workstations, fix their own technology issues or install additional applications. If you’re struggling with employees that are constantly inadvertently breaking your technology, it’s time for a little education and policy to help you reign in some of your issues.