In the run up to the SDI Awards 2022 gala dinner and prize-giving on 22 March, we’ve been asking our finalists about their experiences, reasons for entering and hopes for the future. Here’s the story from Fouzia Asghar, who was then announced as the winner during the ceremony!
WINNER – Service Desk Team Leader of the Year 2022
What made you decide to enter the awards?
To be honest I would never have entered myself, I really enjoy my role and like to try and make a difference in some small way everyday. I was nominated by my team and colleagues and I was absolutely stunned when I found out!
What part of the awards process did you enjoy the most?
The interview was interesting! It allowed me to explain a bit about myself, in my own words. We all approach the role of team leader differently, through the support of my wider team, and the role models in my organisation, I have been able to find my own voice and be the best I can be.
Why did you choose IT support as a career?
I have an interest in technology but also like helping and supporting people, I enjoy IT and appreciate what a great enabler it can be for our customers, with the support of the people and processes – we can add so much to the working day of our front line teams.! If I feel as though I have helped someone then I can go home with a smile on my face at the end of the day.
In the last 18 months, what has been the most successful initiative you have implemented to help your business improve its performance?
One of the initiatives I am especially proud of is the work I have been involved in around diversity in the workplace, helping colleagues to recognize unconscious bias and how sometimes we can unintentionally affect each other.
My colleagues and I started a programme of awareness, it was led and managed by us, supported by our leaders which enabled us to create a movement called “Moving Forwards”. This programme has now been running for 2 years and has successfully engaged our colleagues at all levels to be more aware and proud of our diversity.
What are your top 3 tips to make a service desk successful?
Look after the wellbeing of your team, empower your team, and never underestimate the importance of relationship building.
What one thing do you think really makes you stand out as a support professional?
I like to think that I care about people. I am a mental health first aider and try and promote mental health and wellbeing whenever I can. It is really important to me than our colleagues get the care and support they need to do what they can to support our customers.
How are you preparing to evolve your service desk over the next few years? Please share your most exciting plan with us!
Incident and request automation is our goal! We have great tools and processes and we need to bring further efficiency to our day to day task, exploiting the toolsets and driving smarter working. We have a long task list of target improvements, that will deliver some exciting changes – all of which deliver a better outcome for our customers.
Finally, the customer experience is a new area of interest for us, so we are exploring the opportunities to create and measure CX in new ways.
What does it mean to you to be a finalist in the ‘Service Desk team Leader of the Year’ category?
I am still in a state of shock I would say! I am extremely honoured and proud to be a finalist, as I have never thought of myself as a potential award winner.
What advice would you give to anyone entering the awards next year?
Enjoy the experience, its fantastic to be recognized for the work that you do.
What would you do to celebrate if you won ‘Service Team Leader of the Year’?
I can only do what I do well because of the support of my team, so any celebration will involve all of us! It will be back to the office for one of our famous “lunchtime food” and celebration events!
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