Growing talent shortfall is one of the main concerns for the IT industry. Combine that with the high salary businesses have to pay to hire IT experts and the problem becomes even more severe. This forces IT leaders, to get the best out of their existing resources to keep the operational costs low. That is where IT training comes in handy.
You might be wondering why I should spend thousands of dollars on IT training. It can reduce your employee turnover rate, provide growth opportunities, help employees realize their full potential, and increase their revenue.
- 76% of employees are looking for career growth opportunities
- 74% of employees admit that they have not reached their full potential.
- 40% of employees with little to no training will leave the company in the first year.
- Companies that invest in IT training can generate 24% higher profit than companies that don’t
Here are seven ways in which CIOs are transforming IT training.
Adopt an Omni Channel Approach
The pace at which the IT industry is evolving forces businesses to adopt a continuous learning approach. Companies will have to develop a culture in order to embrace continuous learning. Moreover, you also need to cater to the needs of employees and provide them a choice when it comes to the medium of training. You can opt for online learning platforms, benefit from the knowledge and experience of your subject matter experts or use experiential learning methodologies.
You can also tap into resources offered by your vendors and partners for training purposes. IT leaders should continue to model the behavior or continuous learning. More importantly, you can also play a role of a mentor and prepare future leaders by nurturing them, even if it is a small group of people. You will see the positive results of this later down the line.
Start a Virtual Learning Program
According to Sue Jean Lin, Senior Vice President and CIO of Alcon, “Talent is closely connected to organization’s results. The deeper an organization prioritizes talent development, continuous learning, diversity, and inclusion, the higher the organization performs.”
Alcon, IT started a new virtual learning program called Digital Fluency virtual learning program. They followed it up by introducing new topics every month, helping their employees learn a lot of new things. The results were extraordinary. You can also achieve the same level of success with your online learning program. Another significant advantage of conducting virtual learning sessions is that you can record them and watch them later.
Nimesh Mehta, CIO of National Life Group, thinks that CIOs need to ditch the tactical approach and adopt a strategic approach instead. His advice is to encourage employees to learn through bite-sized videos, podcasts, reading material instead of a week-long training program.
According to him, “Learning is important, but applying the learning is critical to success. Building trust in learning is essential as peers need to connect, communicate, and collaborate as part of their learning process. This can be especially challenging when employees are learning virtually.”
He is also a big advocate of using the power of storytelling in IT training. Reflecting on the way he trains his employees, he said, “We take real-life examples from work and create opportunities to pitch, explain, or ideate through storytelling. To learn multiple approaches to storytelling, teams have switched from PowerPoint and multimedia to practicing their verbal storytelling skills.”
Higher Engagement and Participation
This pandemic has prevented many professionals from flying and attending conferences, seminars, and workshops physically but it has also given more opportunities for people who have never participated in those events because now they are being held virtually. Additionally, you don’t have to book flights, hotels and spend time packing your bags and commuting from one place to another. This has increased participation in those virtual events.
IT leaders should also revisit the training content and tweak it to suit remote learning needs. By designing highly targeted training programs, you can not only prepare future leaders but also hone their IT skills. Not only will these programs equip employees with technical expertise but also business knowledge they need to thrive as future leaders.
One of the major shifts in the behavior of employees is that they are now preferring one or two-day specific, problem-focused conferences instead of five-day generalized conferences targeting a broader topic. This not only reduces the overall cost but also gives them flexible schedules. As a result, they can learn at their own pace and learn topics that are directly related to their profession or field of work. Moreover, it can also give them access to higher quality content, qualified speakers, and more relevant topic options to choose from.
Experiment With Different Learning Methods
The key to the success of your training program rests heavily on the way you apply technology and analytics to take your business and industry to the next level. To do this, you need to hire the right people for the right job and keep them engaged from the beginning.
Instead of relying solely on one learning method, you can experiment with different learning methods and see which one works the best. Here are some of the learning and training methods you can try.
- Virtual Training
- Lunch and Learn
- Managerial Leadership
Unlock The Full Potential of Your Team
As the role of IT continues to evolve and the talent gap keeps getting wider, it is imperative for IT leaders to maximize the resource they have and get the best out of their employees. The same goes for hardware. If you buy VPS server, make sure you take full advantage of it. For this, they will have to identify the hidden potential and develop it into something more meaningful. The best way to do that is to supplement the training materials with hands-on experience.
You can create buddies who can motivate and support each other in learning, understanding, and practicing new things. Even though you might not see quick results from this tactic but it can have a positive impact in the long run.
How do you increase the effectiveness of IT training in your organization? Share it with us in the comments section below.