Training your IT workforce prepares your organization to implement technologies that drive efficiency along with ensuring your employees can effectively use current technologies already in place. It has been shown that employees value employers who invest in their development. Investing in learning and development programs increase employee retention, engagement, efficiencies, and productivity; each resulting in cost savings to the business.
The benefits of ongoing employee development are indisputable, especially in the ever-changing world of IT. However, finding ways to measure and then effectively communicate the business impact of IT Training is not easy 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 training programs. As a result, training programs often lose funding or do not receive the budget they deserve due to an unclear value of their training programs. Let’s dive into some ways to help mitigate the challenge of demonstrating why training is the right choice for your business, its customers, and its employees.
Understanding the Benefits of IT Training
IT departments are no longer just focused on technology. Those in IT must also align with and support the overall business strategy. IT must service and support at a much higher level than ever before; therefore, the need for IT training has increased in order to transfer the relevant skills and 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 adapting faster to quickly evolving technologies. It equips teams with new technical capabilities, and makes businesses more efficient and productive, resulting in higher 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 activities.
One vital example is the capability to transform relevant 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, entitle 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 and guarded against cyber-attacks. Or through using Cloud Computing in order to decrease expenses on hardware and the management and maintenance of your IT systems. Yet another would be 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 extends past hard skills. More essential IT training focuses on implementing a quality best practice for Service Management so both internal and external customers can receive efficient and reliable services, helping to propel both your business and theirs forward.
Proper training increases the value of your IT department without having to hire additional staff. Inspire innovation and improve current processes by integrating a training and development program for your IT staff to learn new technology. IT training impacts employees in their current role through developing new skill sets to in order to more effectively find solutions to problems and challenges.
The benefits of training also positively affect employee job satisfaction, morale, motivation, and retention. Employees appreciate businesses that invest in their current skills and their future.
Calculating IT Training ROI
For many businesses, finding a clear way to demonstrate the ROI of IT Training is the best way to overcome any potential objections. This involves quantifying the immediate and future monetary value your company will see as a result of new skills attained.
Follow these steps in order to assign value to IT training and calculate ROI.
1. Identify the goals of your IT training - Determine what’s most important to your organization and its current and future goals. Which metrics do you need to quantify? Are you looking to prepare your team to address and solve problems? Are you upgrading skills to use new technology more effectively? Would your business benefit from process improvements?
Here are some things to keep in mind when measuring goals through IT training:
- Saving time – Will less time be required in order to perform tasks? Will less supervision be required? Is there better time management or a decreased lead time to reach proficiency?
- Increase of productivity – Is there a reduction in downtime, or a faster turnaround to complete IT projects? Or to decrease time to resolution?
- Employee performance – Are there improvements to tardiness or absences? Is there a decreased or eliminated need to hire new talent? Is there a better quality of work?
2. Measure proficiency both pre- and post-training - Identify a baseline for your goals. Next, measure your team’s skill level with the technology both before and after training is complete. You may also measure how equipped they are to take on projects both pre- and post-training.
3. Determine the dollar value of the benefits - Assign a dollar value to what you’re looking to measure. For example, if a business objective is to successfully migrate to Azure, 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 obtain these skills?
4. Finally, calculate the Return on Investment - Input the metrics into the following formula in order to find training ROI:
($ value of benefits) – training cost = ROI for IT Training
Get the Most Out of Your IT Training
Ensure you’re choosing the right solution in order to maximize the ROI of your IT training. Here are some potential questions to ask when evaluating your training options.
Does the training:
- Help with current projects?
- Decrease workloads?
- Solve specific issues that you were unable to solve before?
- Deliver hands-on skills that employees can use immediately?
- Educate the organization on new technologies?
- Create opportunities to collaborate with others?
Implementing training is the first step; however, it’s not the last. Completing ROI for your IT training comes from the application of the skills learned in the course(s).
Once your team(s) have completed training, schedule a meeting where the agenda is to identify the takeaways from what they learned. What are their action items post-training? What short and long-term goals will be implemented? Which key takeaways can be applied immediately? What courses or certifications are the right next step in order to build upon their newfound knowledge? Document the results of this meeting and have each team member submit a plan for implementation.
Make sure to schedule a follow-up meeting within 30 days in order to keep communication flowing and ensuring any of the long-term goals are implemented. Ensure to continue follow-up so the full benefit of the training can be achieved, along with uncovering more development opportunities to expand the positive impact on your business.
At New Horizons, we’re talking about IT every day—and not just with a variety of clients, but with leading vendors—about industry trends and real-life challenges. And because of these close partnerships, New Horizons is positioned to help businesses like yours leverage our knowledge experts to discuss strategies, implementation, and troubleshooting.
We are here to help you find the right courses for your IT Training needs. Reach out to us!