IT therapy for the masses

Just taken on a really interesting client with a unique concept which I will be shouting about shortly. Evie Consulting is an IT firm, providing the usual services – but with a twist on psychology.

Having worked in IT in the past (and my husband being an IT professional) I understood exactly what Fiona Hannah was talking about, immediately. Working as THE IT helpdesk/trainer at Eversheds Newcastle way back in the dark ages, my task was to bring everyone off typewriters (yes, that long ago) and onto Microsoft office.

As always happens, some coped better than others. However, one secretary, who had been there forever and was in fact an extremely good secretary, lost the plot. She coudn’t get the hang of a mouse and was trying to write words in the air with it. Finally, she went on sick leave for a few weeks with stress, before returning and trying again.

Some time later, she returned but still no good. Finally, in desperation, she worked alongside my desk for a while, so she could get 1-1 tutoring on a daily basis. It didn’t work, and she left, feeling worthless and the company lost a damned good secretary.

Although I hope everyone is now using Office in the same way they use the kettle in the mornings, any new software introduced into a firm which impacts heavily on daily use, is more often than not met with scepticism and sometimes downright dislike. The results can range from increased sickness and a downturn in production to passive resistance – finding ways around the system or simply a downright refusal to use the software.

Fiona, a qualified psychologist, has hit on something, I think, with translating techie speak and focusing on the psychology of the user. Investment in this sort of approach must surely give a good return on the budget, with increased motivation, smoother management of change and maintained productivity.

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