IT Training Budgets Under Strain

Training budgets for IT end user skills have taken something of a hit in recent years. Most technology these days is promoted as intuitive and easy to use and training is often seen as an unnecessary expense. Most people will master enough skills to “scrape by” but the cost of people working in long-winded, inefficient and out-dated ways is a cost to business that is rarely factored in.

IT Training Benefits Business

As software evolves, with more and more productivity features, few people in the workplace (outside the under 25s – the digital natives) explore these capabilities. Most people’s primary focus is, of course, on getting the job done and they struggle to make time to see how they can save time by exploiting the technology sitting on their desk. This means companies are losing out on some of the business benefits they purchased new systems for in the first place. A good training program will count as a competitive advantage and should be regarded not as optional, but as a pre-requisite.

Tips for Training Plans

When putting together a training plan:

  • Ensure that on-the-job training is planned, monitored and evaluated – adhoc, informal training sessions have their place but should not form the major component of training delivery.
  • Provide training just-in-time; gaps between training and implementation drastically reduce the effectiveness of the training.
  • Provide different delivery methods for trainees to keep training fresh and engaging.
  • Plan in additional training after the new software has “bedded in”. Once users feel confident with the basics they will want to advance to more sophisticated functions. Without proper follow-on training, users are left to muddle through on their own – not efficient and not cost effective.

And finally, end-user training should always be a planned part of your learning and development strategy and not just “thrown together” at the last moment – unless you have money to burn!