Well-Designed Training Is Key for Filling IT Skills Gap

    In recent years, mostly due to budget cuts, staff training has fallen to the wayside, which kind of makes you scratch your head when you read stories of CIOs lamenting the IT skills gap.

    A recent addition to our IT Downloads library, an excerpt from the book “Exemplary Performance: Driving Business Results by Benchmarking Your Star Performers,” looks at the importance of staff training and how it can improve your team’s performance. According to authors Paul H. Elliot and Alfred C. Folsom, well-designed training can reduce ramp-up time for new hires by 30 percent.

    However, one particular point the authors make is that training is not the end-all, be-all for improving performance. Inadequate performance may not necessarily be the result of a skills gap; rather, it could be the result of other factors at play. In that case, adding training to the mix will not provide the outcome you desire.

    But if a lack of skills and/or knowledge is indeed the cause of your team’s lackluster performance, the authors stress that storing the information in the appropriate place — either in the memory of the performers or externally in what they refer to as “performance support” —  is key to producing effective results.     

    Though just a single chapter, it provides a wealth of information for investing in your current employees and even luring in those much-talked-about millennials who, despite some myths, tend to crave coaching and training.

    In addition to the book excerpt, use the following tools from the IT Downloads library to evaluate your employees’ skill sets to tailor a training program that address their skills needs and your goals.

    IT Security Training Tool: Security covers an incredibly wide range of disciplines, and every enterprise needs to evaluate the specific skills it needs to shore up with employee training programs. This spreadsheet-based tool lets you rank the needs and strength of your team and then outlines a security training program that best meets the company’s needs.

    Personal Training Scorecard: Personal development is a lot like an IT project — you have to identify tasks and goals in advance if you expect to see success. Use this tool to identify skills and capabilities you need to work on to reach your objectives.

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