In a recent article of ours, we highlighted the advancement of technology and the positive disruption it can have on businesses. But with exponential growth, there can be concern. As technology continues to rapidly advance and progress, organizations are realizing the importance of “up-skilling” their IT staff. However, inadequate training practices can result in underdeveloped team skills and put the organization at a disadvantage in the market.
It is commonly acknowledged that keeping IT teams up to date with the latest technology, business, and security advancements is crucial for achieving optimal performance and productivity. The pressure may be on the business but ultimately it lands on the shoulders of the IT talent they hire. Having IT talent that are eager to learn, challenge their processes, and show progress is critical. However, not much attention is given to the mistakes made by IT leaders when establishing and overseeing training programs, especially when training is seen as a mere mandatory task to get a new team member up and running. When it comes to management, there are three major things IT talent can look out for when it comes to their training.
#1 Aversion to change
Change is constant. According to Dalan Winbush, the CIO at application development platform firm, Quickbase, committing to ongoing learning, development, and business alignment is crucial for staying ahead and accomplishing larger business objectives. Given the ever-changing nature of technology, as an IT professional, your team must continuously stay current on new innovations to remain effective in their roles.
Winbush warns that neglecting continuous learning and growth in favor of emphasizing business alignment may lead to stagnation, a lack of innovation, and an inability to achieve organizational goals. Additionally, as technology for training continues to advance rapidly, intelligent automation (IA)-driven training options, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, have the potential to improve training outcomes by providing highly targeted instruction geared towards relevant job-specific and business-related training. These offerings can offer personalized learning opportunities for individuals.
#2 Diversity in learning
Diversity comes in many forms. In the IT professional world, expanding your knowledge by working alongside colleagues who bring diversity of thought is equally as fulfilling as if you are learning together. Be on the look out for employers who do not acknowledge the distinctive qualities of individual IT team members, as the result will be inconsistent training outcomes, at a minimum.
It is crucial to consider that people have different thinking patterns, with some being analytical, creative, or visual thinkers. This highlights the importance of training diversity within teams, as it enables members to tackle issues and obstacles from various perspectives. This approach can foster the development of more innovative and effective solutions, as well as allowing for better decision-making. Ultimately, look for a training environment that fosters:
- Varied Perspectives: Individuals from diverse backgrounds bring unique perspectives and experiences to the table. These differing perspectives can lead to more innovative ideas and problem-solving.
- Enhanced Creativity: A broader range of experiences and ideas can fuel creative thinking and lead to novel approaches to common challenges.
- Improved Decision-Making: With diverse teams, there is a wider range of viewpoints that can be considered when making decisions. This can lead to better decisions that take into account a broader range of factors and considerations.
- Strong Communication: Diversity can lead to an environment where individuals feel more comfortable expressing their views, which can lead to more productive and effective communication.
- Increased Empathy and Understanding: Training with a diverse group of individuals can lead to increased empathy and understanding for those from different backgrounds, which can help build stronger teams and foster a more inclusive workplace culture.
Overall, diversity is essential during training, as it allows individuals to learn from a wider range of perspectives and experiences, leading to improved creativity, decision-making, communication, and a more empathetic workplace culture.
#3 Elevating soft skills
Textbooks and classroom settings may be learning environment that IT professions can excel at. But proper professional training should not overlook the importance of soft skills, too.
Watch out for training programs that do not embrace soft skills. Flat out, it is a serious mistake to solely prioritize technical skills and disregard other crucial professional capabilities, including business acumen, communication management, and leadership. If team members are unable to effectively communicate with and influence colleagues and stakeholders, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to create solutions that are beneficial for everyone involved.
To wrap this up
Continued education is a facet of all professional careers, but don’t let the promise of educational support be the winning feature. Let the actual programs do the talking. And if you are ever on assignment and you have strong feedback about an employer’s IT training, make sure to leave them a rating and review within SkillGigs to help your colleagues in their decision-making process.