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How can I decide what kinds of training makes the most sense for my IT staffers?

How can I decide what kinds of training makes the most sense for my IT staffers?
There are three areas you need to investigate to answer this question. First and foremost, you should have some idea of your future IT growth and development plans. Wherever staff is weak or unfamiliar in topics, tools or technologies already planned for future deployment or use, it's essential to get them up to speed in those areas.

Second, it's important to develop you existing IT staff so that you'll want to train more junior members to advance into more senior positions. This often works best with a combination of training and mentoring or junior-senior partnership arrangements. IT management should also have plenty of ideas on this, and will probably want to contribute to staff development plans around bringing in entry-level people and helping junior people advance to more senior positions and job roles.

Third, it's important to work with IT staff and management and give them some leeway in terms of training and development. As long as they know their training and development dollars must yield bottom line results eventually (and it's a good idea to set a medium time horizon, such as two-to-four years in terms of when such investments must bear fruit) they will usually stay away from "gee whiz!" topics and concentrate on training and development that is likely to pay off.


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Don't forget to encourage and motivate rather than assign and command to benefit from the training.