Making Advanced IT Training Part of Your Culture
Updated: June 15, 2023
How is your organization working to overcome the IT talent shortage? For those looking to hire, two of the most straightforward routes to recruiting strong employees are hiring for potential and creating a culture that attracts top tech professionals. If you’re looking to do either (or both!), incorporating more IT training and development into your culture is the place to start. Here’s how a focus on advanced IT training can help you build a company culture that will attract the best candidates and retain your top employees.
The Growing Demand for Advanced IT Training
Many companies consider only compensation and benefits when trying to determine what employees and prospects want. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg — your company culture and career development opportunities can have a massive impact on the quality of talent your organization attracts. Today’s job seekers often look for opportunities where they can continue to learn, gain more experience in specific skill sets, develop new skills, and expose themselves to different technologies and operating systems. According to a 2023 survey by Deloitte, a nearly 30% of Millennial and Gen-Z employees listed learning and development opportunities as something they look for in employers. In addition, those looking for learning opportunities with their employers tend to be better performers. In fact, 83% of employees surveyed by Workplace Intelligence report that improving their skills is a top priority. Gallup also assessed the quality of the talent pool, finding that high-quality candidates are more likely to be attracted to positions and companies that offer opportunities for growth.
Not only will offering professional development help entice in-demand tech talent to favor your open positions, but it can also boost retention. Employees who are satisfied with the career development programs provided by their employer are more likely to remain there over the long term. Offering IT tech training and development opportunities, thus, allows your organization to attract and retain top IT professionals more easily. It is, therefore, critical to fully ingrain these opportunities into your company’s culture.
Why Is IT Training Valued by Employees?
Employees — at least the type of ambitious, motivated employees you want to attract — understand that soft skills are not enough and tech skills quickly go stale. No matter how highly qualified an employee is for a tech career, without ongoing training, their technical support skills will quickly become outdated. Your employees want to stay up to date on the latest operating systems and cloud computing knowledge so they can remain relevant and advance in today’s quickly evolving business landscape. Working for a company that offers skills training solutions and certification exams is so important to millennials and Gen Z employees that almost 75% say they plan to quit their current jobs within the next year because of a lack of skills training opportunities.
When you provide skill development training for your employees, especially in enterprise organizations, they feel valued. In turn, they’re more likely to value their job and stay with your company longer.
Why IT Training Should Be a Priority
With the growing tech talent shortage, there aren’t enough interested candidates to hire with the right tech skills. Without in-house training programs, you’ll enter a vicious cycle of laying off good employees because they lack certain skills and information technology knowledge while simultaneously trying to hire new people. Not only is this inefficient, but it can also negatively affect employee morale.
Keep Retention High
Instead, you can improve your employee retention by implementing a tech talent development program. Offering employees CompTIA certification opportunities, training on cloud storage, and programs on any new operating system can help them stay up to date. Employee turnover costs U.S. businesses $1 trillion annually. While training programs aren’t the only factor that affects employee retention, they do have a big impact.
Show Appreciation for Employees
As every hiring manager knows, it’s hard to find good employees. When you do find them, you want to hang on to them as long as possible. You can show your appreciation for your loyal employees by giving them the training they need to upskill or reskill. They’ll be able to protect their jobs, and you’ll be able to fill open positions.
Hire From Within
One of the biggest benefits of offering IT training solutions to your employees is that you can create the workforce you need. You already have top performers and loyal employees who’ve been with you for years. Instead of taking a risk on someone new, you can hire and promote from within your current workforce.
Reskilling your current employees lets you avoid the double whammy of laying off good workers and having to hire new ones. Hiring new employees is much more expensive than reskilling current ones.
The shortage of tech talent has left businesses in a race to outbid one another for the most qualified workers. A talent development program gives you an edge over other businesses, helping you attract and retain the most curious, motivated employees.
Additionally, employees whose skills are sharp will be more productive and perform better than workers with outdated skills. They’ll understand their roles better and make fewer mistakes.
If you want to be a high-performing organization, you have to set high standards. IT training shouldn’t be a one-off event. Incorporate it into your company culture to keep your workforce agile and ready for whatever the future holds. With the rapid pace of tech innovation, you can’t be sure of what new skills your employees will need in the coming years. But by hiring for character and training for skills, you’ll always have a competitive advantage.
How to Integrate Advanced IT Training Into Your Culture
Once you’ve established that training and development are of value to your organization, it’s time to integrate them into your everyday life and culture. As the leadership sets the tone for the office, ensure that both your executive team and your frontline managers are involved in the opportunities you offer. These efforts can range from allowing extra days off (for developmental purposes, including seminars and conferences) to establishing mentoring programs within and across departments.
Once you’ve set a precedent that training is the office norm, all you need to do is provide the opportunities. To start with, you can offer employees memberships to industry-relevant organizations and encourage participation.
Consider tuition reimbursement for external courses or programs, or sponsor instructor-led sessions at the office. When individuals go to off-site events, encourage them to share their experiences and insights at departmental or company-wide meetings.
Lunch and Learn
Establish a monthly or quarterly “Lunch and Learn” program that features internal and external speakers who can provide insight into a particular topic or skill. Great employees will thrive in a learning-based culture, and you’ll be able to nurture them along their paths for career growth, building loyalty, and retaining your best talent.
The Benefits of Advanced Technology Training and Development
Integrating tech training can help with recruiting and engaging talent, but its benefits extend much further. Companies that provide employees with comprehensive training generate 218% more income per employee than those without formal training programs. The American Society for Training and Development also reports that organizations with strong development programs have a 24% higher profit margin than those that spend less on training. Investing in your employees’ professional development entails far more than providing a job perk. You’re attracting better candidates, saving money by lessening turnover (replacing employees is staggeringly expensive) and boosting your bottom line.
Incorporating tech training and development into your workplace culture can be a huge differentiator in the marketplace. Job seekers crave these opportunities, and in order to effectively hire the talent you need, it’s critical to offer candidates what they want and train those with potential.
Are you in need of growth-minded tech talent? Benchmark IT can help you find the right people.