Training your IT staff prepares your organization to implement technologies that drive efficiency along with ensuring your employees can effectively use current technologies already in use. It has been shown employees value employers who invest in their learning and development. When businesses invest in their employee development programs, they get a lot in return; such as, increasing employee retention, engagement, efficiencies and productivity; each resulting in cost savings to the business.
The benefits of continued employee development are indisputable, especially in the ever-changing world of IT. However, finding ways to measure and then successfully communicate the business impact of IT Training is not easy; especially when technical projects tend to unfold behind-the-scenes where decision makers may not see it.
According to a study by McKinsey, only 8 percent of companies track the return on investment of their employee training programs. As a result, training programs often lose funding or do not receive the budget deserved due to an unclear value. Let’s dive into some ways to help ease the challenge of demonstrating why training is the right choice for your business.
Understanding the Benefits of IT Training
IT departments are no longer only focused on the technology. IT must also align with and support the overall business strategy. Those in IT must service and support at a much higher level than ever before. As a result, the need for IT training has increased in order to transfer vital skills in order to effectively complete responsibilities. For this, IT training typically has two main goals, to reduce risk and add profit.
IT training enables companies to do more with less along with acclimating faster to quickly evolving technologies. It equips teams with new technical competences, and makes businesses more efficient and productive, resulting in greater profits. According to a study on the impact of training and development on employee performance, it was found that although employee turnover in the IT industry is high, a company is still able to sustain its employees because of the efforts taken to provide growth and motivation through training and developmental programs.
One example is the capability to transform pertinent data into actionable business outcomes through Analytics and Data Management which positively impact your customers, operations, finances, and overall business. Data Science can cut your costs, enable leadership to make better decisions, help identify trends to better compete, increase your efficiency, and more.
Another example is the importance of implementing the proper Security Solutions in order to ensure intellectual property remains safe from cyber-attacks. Yet another example is by using Cloud Computing in order to decrease expenses on hardware and the management and maintenance of your IT systems. Or by taking repetitive tasks and using PowerShell to write and execute scripts; eliminating or automating many vital yet time-consuming responsibilities. Vital examples such as these can go on and on.
IT training just the hard skills, it’s now also about implementing a quality best practice for Service Management so both internal and external customers can receive efficient and reliable services, helping to drive both your business and theirs forward.
Proper training increases the value of your IT department without having to hire additional employees. Inspire innovation and improve current processes by incorporating a training and development program for your IT staff to learn new technology. IT training impacts personnel in their current role through developing new skill sets to in order to more successfully find solutions to problems and challenges.
The benefits of training also positively impact employee job satisfaction, morale, motivation, and retention. Employees appreciate when a company invests in their current skills and their future.
Calculating IT Training ROI
For many businesses, finding a clear way to showcase the ROI of IT Training is the best way to overcome objections. This involves calculating the immediate and future monetary value your company will see as a result of new skills achieved.
Follow these steps in order to assign a value to your IT training and calculate ROI:
- Identify the goals of your IT training. Determine what’s most important to your business and its current and future goals. Which metrics do you need to measure? Are you looking to prepare your team to address and solve issues? Are you upgrading skills to use new technology more effectively? How does your business benefit from process improvements?
Here are some things to keep in mind when measuring goals through training:
- Saving time – Will less time be required in order to perform tasks? Will less direction be required? Is there better time management or a decreased lead time to reach aptitude?
- Increase of productivity – Is there less downtime, or a faster turnaround to complete IT projects? Or a decrease in time to resolution?
- Employee performance – Are there improvements to employee dependability, tardiness or absences? Is there a decreased or eliminated need to hire new people? Is there an improved quality of work?
- Measure proficiency pre- and post-training. Identify the baseline for your goals. Next, quantify your team’s skill level with the technology both before and after training. An additional method is to also measure how equipped they are to take on projects both pre- and post-training.
- Determine the dollar value of benefits. Assign a dollar value for what you’re looking to measure. For example, if a business objective is to successfully migrate to the cloud, how much will you save by completing the project in-house as opposed to outsourcing? What additional savings will your organization see as a result of using a cloud subscription model? What would the cost be in order to pay outside talent to gain these skills?
- Finally, calculate the Return on Investment. Input the metrics into the following formula in order to find your IT training ROI:
($ dollar value of benefits) – cost of training = IT Training ROI
Getting the Most Out of Your IT Training
Make sure you’re choosing the right solution in order to take full advantage of the ROI of your IT training. Here are some possible questions to ask when evaluating your training options.
Determine if the training:
- Helps with current projects
- Decreases workloads
- Solves specific issues that you were unable to solve before
- Delivers hands-on skills which employees can use immediately
- Educates the organization on new technologies
- Creates opportunities to collaborate with others
Implementing training is the critical first step; then there comes the review after training. Completing ROI for your IT training comes from the application of the skills learned in the course(s); therefore, it’s important to record how behavior and skills changed as a direct result of the program.
Once your team(s) complete their training, schedule a meeting where the agenda is to identify the takeaways from what they learned. What do they need to accomplish post-training? What are the short and long-term goals? What are the key takeaways that can be applied immediately? What courses or certifications are the right next step in order to build upon their newly gained knowledge? Document the results of this meeting and have each team member submit their own plan for implementation.
Make sure to schedule a follow-up meeting within one month in order to keep communication flowing and to ensure the long-term goals are being implemented. Continue follow-up so the full benefit of the training can be achieved, along with uncovering more development opportunities to greater expand the positive impact on your business.
At New Horizons, we are here to help you find the right courses in order to best ensure a successful IT training implementation. Reach out to us!