Make your staff IT savvy
US Research shows that the millennial generation (young people whose birth years range from 1980 to 2000) love technology so much that they would rather have access to social media than a bigger salary! How do you make you sure this generation continues to innovate while educating and motivating your older work force? How can you overcome the traditional workforce’s resistance to IT change, while satisfying other employees’ needs to evolve and improve efficiency in carrying out their daily tasks? Here are some tips that SureSkills use to help their staff stay on the cutting edge of the IT workforce.
Constant need for up-skilling and training
Many companies find it difficult to get employees to attend corporate training. Both HR and workers are often reluctant because it means taking time away from the office and in some cases at high cost. With a domestic and global shortage of certified IT industry professionals and corporate training budgets steadily returning to pre-recession levels, many companies are now undergoing Training Need Analysis (TNA’s) with their preferred training provider to ensure they are getting the maximum ROI on investment (ROI) from their training investment. CFO asks CEO “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?” CEO: ‘What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”
Get employees on an individual learning/certification path, map out their competencies and address the gaps in their skillsets with certified training that aligns to business requirements. It is vital that traditional academic qualifications are supplemented with industry accreditations and practical experience for your chosen field. We always encourage our clients to do TNA’s with their employees to ensure they are addressing the skills gaps within their workforce and in return get the technical (or practical) skills coupled with theoretical knowledge. We then work with our clients to ensure there is a structured learning path set out for each company employee to ensure their professional development.
Implement internal collaboration tools
We found that by integrating innovative (or cutting edge) internal business communicative tools such as using internal Instant Messaging (IM’s), Yammer, Skype and video-conferencing our employees are constantly enhancing their social skills. We noticed a considerable change in attitude towards modern social tools from our more mature work force and they have openly stated that these new internal tools have given them confidence and self-assurance to reach out to both existing and prospective external clients via non-traditional methods (such as LinkedIn).
Ask for employees inputs and reward them
‘Millennials’ tend to keep a finger on the pulse of the latest innovations. We ask all staff to watch trends within the technology sector – we always encourage our staff to communicate interesting tech articles or whitepapers. Whether they are sending out messages on internal communications boards or posting in a LinkedIn group, we always encourage our employees to be seen as thought leaders and Subject Matter Experts (SME’s).
Set tech goals for staff using simple gamification methods
Modern workforces are driven by recognition and status. Whether it is as simple as completing internal profiles or your workforce being tasked with fully optimising social profiles (LinkedIn etc.), gamification is always a good way to keep your staff tech savvy. Many multinational companies are going down the route of Training & Leadership Academy’s. Not only do these academies map to industry certifications, they also have ranking systems where employees strive to become top learners and achieve ‘Continuing Professional Development’ (CPD’s) points which are often rewarded by HR for recognition of achievement.
“If you can gamify the process, you are rewarding the behaviour and it’s like a dopamine release in the brain. Humans like a game.”
-Frank Farrall, Deloitte Digital
Gemma Morgan, Training Sales Manager and Senior Learning and Development Manager with SureSkills commented: “Years ago, the trend was for staff to complete a multitude of courses to gain a full certification stamp such as MCSA, MCSE; whereas now organisations are focusing on certifying their staff on specific technologies, methodologies and practices which help the business to meet their strategic objectives and therefore allow them to get the best from their systems and their people. In addition and aside from technical skills, accreditation in methodologies such as PRINCE2 and ITIL service management continues to see high demand and is almost a prerequisite for both IT and every other project-driven industry role. As well as that we have seen a shift from waterfall development to agile development in recent years with a lot of project managers opting for more agile PM approaches like Scrum Master Project management courses. We have also noticed a big demand for Business Analysis training over the past 18 months where companies are sending employees on training courses with the aim of enabling them with the skills to identify business needs and determine solutions to business problems.”
Recently SureSkills has seen consistent demand for technologies such as; VMware vSphere and Cloud, Microsoft Server and Amazon Web Services technologies. The traditional IT infrastructure person has seen huge changes in recent times with their domain outsourced and migrated to the cloud. Many companies are hugely interested in the public cloud and as a result of their questions and enquiries we have invested in partnering with Amazon Web Services, the largest public cloud provider in the world, to offer our clients insightful public cloud advice and certified AWS training.