Key reasons to develop your IT staff

There are many reasons why you should invest in your IT staff and develop their capabilities. I can’t think of a single reason why you should not.

Are you aware that many IT managers don’t want to invest in training and developing their employees?

Hard to believe but it is true, , , many managers are afraid that once an employee gets trained he or she might leave the company for a better job somewhere else.

I’m sure this probably happens on occasion, but here is what I would say about this perception:

“Investing in your employees and developing their skills tends to cause them to stay with you , , , not leave you.”

Key reasons to invest in your IT staff:

A. Creates a stronger team – Stronger, more capable employees can do more, , , they are more productive, and your team will become much more successful.

B. Easier to manage – Stronger teams are easier to manage. More capable employees require less direction and can simply achieve more.

C. Motivation – IT employees are motivated by training and education. They are hungry to learn more, keep current in changing technologies, and appreciate it when their company invests in developing their capabilities.

D. Reduce turnover – What I’ve seen is that employees tend to stay with you when you invest in them.

E. Build depth – Creating a Training Plan for every employee you have gives you opportunity to build depth in mission critical skills, , , this gives your team flexibility and an ability to deal with issues much more effectively.

F. Identify your replacement – Developing a candidate to replace you positions you for more responsibility. New opportunities are not given to managers who are not prepared to take them, and being positioned with a replacement is a key part of being prepared.

G. More responsibility
– Coupled with Item-F above, organizations that achieve more tend to be asked to take on more responsibility, , , a good thing for all.

Every employee on your team should have an annual training and education focus!

The motivational value alone is too great to miss out on. It also gives you an exceptional ability to fill in gaps in your team’s skill sets and things you need to support your clients effectively.

Each employee on my team receives an annual Performance Plan, and in each plan I include a section titled, Training and Education. This way, it forces me to invest in each employee and focus their development in areas that will help the team and our company.

To determine what you put in each employee’s Performance Plan, begin with a global look at your IT support situation. Here is a quick approach:

1. Take some time to identify what you need in terms of IT support skills and capabilities (don’t forget soft skills).

2. Quantify what you have.

3. Develop a list of needs to focus on based upon the skill gaps you identify in “what you need” versus “what you have”.

4. Identify training and education that will address your gaps.

5. Target individuals to receive the training focus you decide to invest in.

6. Put each employee’s list of training to be targeted in their Performance Plan.

Be sure you review every employee to ensure each has specific training and education targeted for him or her.

Every employee needs an annual training and education plan!

Be proactive in developing your IT employees and you will see good things come from it, , , a stronger, more motivated team, , , and an organization capable of achieving more success.

These are some mighty good reasons to invest in your IT employees.

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