Software and computer training is often the missing piece of a company’s IT strategy. Many organisations neglect the business computer training which would enable employees to use IT effectively.
Training helps ensure you’re making the most of your investment in IT. Having employees who know how to do things properly will make your company more efficient, cutting business IT support costs and streamlining business processes.
Additionally, the right software training can reduce frustration amongst your staff. There’s nothing worse than wrestling with a computer to make it do what you want – especially when it might only take a brief training session to learn how to do it.
The benefits of computer and software training do need to be weighed up against the costs in time and money, but most companies will benefit from some formal business computer training.
Many companies use on the job computer training almost exclusively. Although encouraging employees to pass knowledge on to each other is important, putting too much faith in on the job training can result in bad practices becoming entrenched in your business.
Besides, if your training has no formal structure, it’s hard to be certain your employees are getting business computer training that will improve their IT skills in a way that will benefit your business.
The best way to assess your computer training requirements is to run a training needs analysis. Ask your staff what they need help with, and look at how your business is performing. Are you using IT in a way that helps meet your business objectives? What are the weaknesses that appropriate computer training could help you overcome?
Once you have built up a picture of where any gaps lie, you can fill these with different types of training:
You may be able to cut the cost of computer training by taking advantage of free training courses and grants. There are some sources of free training listed on the Directgov website.
Once your business has implemented some IT training, conduct regular training reviews to ensure you’re spending your budget in the right places. Get employees to assess the quality of courses they attend, and seek feedback on trainers who come into your business.
You should also review the effectiveness of the computer training. Are your employees now more comfortable using IT? Has the number of support issues dropped? Is your business performing more effectively as a result?
Remember that computer training is only effective when you give your staff the chance to practice and absorb what they learnt. This may cost you some time and money, but your whole company will benefit in the long run.