Can basic IT training boost staff performance in SMEs
In smaller and medium-sized businesses in particular, IT training is often a neglected priority. Staff may learn skills on a need-to-know basis and simply garner enough information to get by. This post will look at how even basic IT training can boost staff achievement and enhance business performance across the board.
Why invest in IT training?
IT training in some form or another is likely to be a requirement in any business that does not have a dedicated IT department. While it is possible to recruit staff with IT skills to fill positions where related knowledge is most needed, investing in IT training enables a business to add value to a team already in place. It can also introduce staff to new software and platforms more easily and help to identify efficiencies in current operations.
Who needs training?
Training requirements will of course be dependent upon the operational nature of the business but even the most experienced of staff can benefit from IT training, particularly when it comes to the introduction of new software. In an office environment where most staff are required to use computers as part of their role, some IT skills learning is likely to be needed for anyone new who joins the business. This may be as simple as guiding staff through file naming conventions, server use and any regulations of use or include demonstrating best practice with software.
What should IT training cover?
You and your staff members may find that you are able to navigate your IT systems fairly competently but need assistance in troubleshooting problems and system failures. However, IT training can be beneficial at a much more basic level. Though school and university leavers are routinely trained in the use of common administrative packages like Microsoft Office, this is not likely to include how to mange Outlook emails and calendars to increase efficiency. Similarly, use of programs like Microsoft Excel or Word may be at a purely functional level. An introduction to shortcuts and elements of formatting at an early stage can increase confidence and competency. This in turn can lead to better record keeping, data analysis and communications, and help to retain or win business or even to identify potential problems in advance.
How often should training be carried out?
Training all staff in the basics of the IT requirement of your business can lead to quick operational wins, but the introduction of a longer term training plan is fundamental in maintaining performance. In addition to helping with the day-to-day running of your business such training can operate as part of a wider benefits scheme and help staff members to feel valued and in turn willing to give more to their role.
to find out how The IT Training Surgery can help you get your staff up to speed, call me Shelley on 020 8203 1774 for a chat about your organisation’s requirements.