Building A Team That Cares

To create a great team, you have to hire the right people for the job.

Frequently IT support companies err in their hiring practices by solely focusing on that potential employee’s hard skill set—the computer software/hardware knowledge they possess, or the certifications they have.

If you hire someone with fantastic technical skills; but they have a bad attitude, it really doesn’t matter how good they are. They will bring the morale of the department down quickly, and customers will complain.

That’s why we believe it is equally important—and quite possibly even more important—to have excellent soft skills, or interpersonal skills, in addition to technical skills. It’s been said, “Skills can be taught but attitude can’t.” This is true, especially in a support desk environment.

To create an outstanding customer experience, here are a few of the soft skills that we look for when we’re hiring:

  • Communication skills: An excellent communicator is able to build rapport with team members and clients. They ask meaningful questions and express themselves in a clear manner—both verbally and through written communication. 
  • Teamwork: Being a “team player” has been a cliché in business for years, but the reality is the success of a company never rides on the shoulders of one person alone. It takes the synergy of everyone’s talents to make a business successful. Being part of a team means every person depends on one another, and they know everyone has their back. We’ve found that when employees are valued for the gifts and strengths they bring to the team, their productivity increases along with job satisfaction. They are willing to go the extra mile to support each other.
  • Adaptability: Our work day (or life) rarely goes exactly as planned. When things get off track, you need the ability to be flexible and focus on finding solutions. Employees also need the ability to learn new skills on an almost daily basis as technology platforms constantly evolve and change.
  • Able to take risks/learn from mistakes: Many companies focus on perfection at all costs; but when employees are scared to make a mistake, their creativity often shuts down. We’ve found that employees, who are bold enough to step out of their comfort zone and take a risk can become some of the strongest team members.
  • Empathy: This skill cannot be stressed enough as we work in an increasingly global community. A support desk agent with strong empathy creates connection, and connection creates understanding. Customers who feel like they’ve been heard and understood will give rave reviews on their experience.
  • Positive attitude: Being focused on solutions, confident, optimistic and upbeat.
  • Being intentional: An employee who approaches their day 100% focused and present with their team and the customers they serve will make a lasting positive impression on everyone they interact with.


It’s been said that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. As we focus on creating a customer experience, not just resolving support tickets, we are more effective at serving others and showing we care when we possess soft skills in addition to the technical skills.

Micah Laughlin

Micah Laughlin is the founder of Canvas IT and a leader in technology management services, supporting organizations of all sizes and helping them to thrive in spite of IT challenges and organizational changes. His first-hand experience with Service Desk Outsourcing companies led him to create a better way of doing IT outsourcing, the way he’d want it done. Today his philosophy carries on at Canvas IT as he creates a custom solution for each client just the way they’d want it done. Micah’s service desk management philosophy has supported dozens of growing businesses, adding value to the IT services they provide. Prior to founding Canvas IT, Micah spent more than 24 years managing IT operations – with 18 spent balancing the need for open, flexible systems with the restrictions of the highly-regulated healthcare industry.

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