One of the most important components of a long and successful IT career is professional development and continuous IT training. IT managers that encourage this behavior in their departments will find that it ultimately benefits them, their companies and the entire IT staff.
This becomes even more important as organizations place additional demands on IT staff, implement new technologies and struggle to find qualified IT talent, explained Forbes contributor Glenn Llopis. Education, training and teaching can help existing staff succeed even with those challenges.
Training, education important in IT departments IT managers should not only be good listeners but they should also empower their workers. And yet, a recent survey by Harris Interactive found that two in 10 Americans said that a manager hurt rather than helped their career. Here are several strategies that IT managers should implement to strengthen their department and support their workers:
- Eliminate weaknesses: Instead of criticizing staff for failing to have certain skills, make sure they are given the opportunity to develop those abilities. This will lead to a more well-rounded IT department, as employees consistently have the skills needed to perform their jobs well.
- Replace lecturing with teaching: Instead of leaving knowledge and leadership in the hands of a few, managers can help more of their staff gain skills by not only having them complete a task, but also explaining why. Over time, this will allow staff to take on more responsibility and better understand how their work fits into the department as a whole.
- Encourage staff to investigate new tech trends: Cloud computing is a great example of an IT trend that many professionals had to take the initiative to learn about. As new technologies are introduced into the workplace, it’s important that IT training is used to teach staff about them.
- Ask for research: When starting a new project or changing a system, encourage staff to do research that will help them understand how something has been completed at the company in the past. Encouraging staff to think critically about IT projects and learn from other case studies will ultimately save companies time and money.
And perhaps most importantly, explained Llobis, managers need to encourage and teach their staff about innovation.
“Employees want to create impact,” he wrote. “Allow them to be part of the innovation-based projects in your company by letting them get their hands dirty. Ideation is important, but being part of implementing the ideas that come to life can be a more exciting and meaningful growth opportunity for your employees that will inspire them to perform.”
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