Do Companies Really Need IT Training Nowadays?

Companies have often had an ambivalent attitude toward training. Sometimes it is seen as a burden, as a cost which hits profitability and hence it is often sidelined or ignored. How many times have you seen job adverts that require candidates to have previous experience and skills required to perform a role? It is almost as if companies expect people to develop and acquire skills for themselves. I guess companies can either look to recruit people with the necessary skills or offer to train existing employees in the skills the company requires.
Of course, training employees involves financial costs and time; it is often viewed negatively because of that. However, advertising and recruiting suitable candidates with the required skills, also incurs a cost. Let’s think about it. Where are you going to get those candidates from? From your competitors or from other industries are most likely sources. How, though are you going to attract employees of your competitors to jump ship and join your company? Offering them a better salary and benefits would seem an obvious approach. Hey, though, offering higher salaries is also a cost and it’s a year on year cost as opposed to a one off or short term cost involved in training.
So rather than look at training as a cost, can we see it as a cost-cutting measure? Can we say that training an existing employee in a new skill is cheaper, or more cost-effective, than poaching a new employee at a higher annual salary? Well, give that question to your finance team and let them crunch the numbers.
Let’s now scale up the question. Let’s assume we do not need just one new employee with new skills but that our entire or bulk of the workforce need to be upskilled in order to utilise a new improved software service. There will, of course, be a reason why we are introducing a new piece of software (unless we simply met a good salesman!), the reason may be that the old service no longer met our needs, the new version is faster, more comprehensive, connects better with other systems etc. etc..
When we are introducing a new service on a wide scale, it makes sense to include training of the end-users to help ensure it gets used and gets used correctly or to best capacity.
You may feel that we live in an age of ‘digital natives’ where young people coming into work have grown up with digital technology all around them since birth. However, everyone of them has had to learn how to use that digital technology. When a newer digital technology gets introduced, people have to learn how to use it, no matter how ‘intuitive’ it is designed to be. This is why training, in this case IT training, is important and why companies, even today, still need IT training.

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