How Our Team Can Improve Their Technical Knowhow

This post will explain How Our Team Can Improve Their Technical Knowhow. An employee who understands the rigours of their role is invaluable. However, there is a huge range of skills that are essential in the vast majority of industries. Technical skills are a very good example. The problem we have is that technical skills are not necessarily embedded within the people that we trust to do the roles. Some employees don’t have a greater level of proficiency in this field, or they don’t develop their technical skills as they should. So what does it really take to “plug everybody in?”

Identifying Gaps in Their Knowledge

The first place to begin is to identify the major holes. There are many ways that we can train employees up, for example, having cybersecurity awareness training as part of a regular roster of lessons. But every employee is different. We need to ensure that we are identifying individual gaps in their knowledge. Are they not technically skilled because of their age? There are many employees who are not necessarily great with many aspects of the internet, let alone technical skills. Identify the right gaps, and you can train them better.

Establish Trial Periods

When we identify where an employee can benefit more, we start to establish a base level of support to give them the skills they need. Trial periods in specific software or machinery is vital. After all, people learn better by doing than by reading or learning information. It’s important that we embed this within the culture of a business. Having skill swap sessions can be a great way to achieve this. When people are paired up with someone who has a greater understanding of the technical components, it’s important that this other person is able to explain information in a very simplistic way. So choose your skilled employees carefully.

Individual Training

Group training is beneficial, but the problem we all have in a workplace setting is when a group of people descend on a classroom to learn technical components, they may not be able to grasp certain aspects the same as others. There are always people who are more than happy to show off that they already know about this, but it is the role of the trainer to understand that everybody needs to come along in an organic manner. Regular testing is beneficial here, but individual training is far more effective. It can be expensive to invest in one-to-one training, but it is a far more valuable approach to guaranteeing employees a solid level of understanding.

Use Incentives

When we are unloading our employees on training session after training session, whether it’s one-to-one sessions or in groups, the fact is that we’ve got to measure their abilities to have learned this information. Incentives are one of the best approaches to helping people uncover that motivation to learn something. You can do it through a skills-based incentive program. The fact is that it is not necessarily the knowledge that needs to be tested, but the performance within the role. And this is why an incentive program shouldn’t necessarily be used directly to test someone’s knowledge but should be used within the working environment. 

The right incentive programs can increase employee performance by as much as 44%, which is why we must always give proper credence to the notion of compensation plans. You can set up a plan so that the incentive or bonus is not received until every part of the team displays a specific level of proficiency. This also helps other employees to help the members of their team along which increases group accountability.

Is It the Tools That Are the Problem?

Learning to build your business with employees who have technical proficiency is one thing, but it’s also vital to remember that it’s not necessarily the employees that are the problem. We may have specific software packages, but if employees keep coming back saying that it’s not easy to use or it’s a lumbering dinosaur of tech, you have to collect all of their responses and put them into something that will ensure they have their needs met.

If you are developing systems in-house, it’s got to be easy to use and it’s got to go through a crucial trial period where employees can honestly and constructively criticise the program. There’s no time for defensive IT experts to say they can’t do any better. This is what a trial period is for. 

The importance of ensuring that everybody has technical knowledge cannot be understated. A bare minimum of knowledge should be expected amongst your team.

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Haider Khalid

IP MPLS & Enterprise Core Network Engineer, CCIE# 52939
Haider Khalid is an IP MPLS & Enterprise Core Network Engineer (CCIE# 52939) who has worked with several ISPs & Telecom operators in Pakistan, Middle East and the UK. He is always keen to learn new technologies and likes to share them with his peers and other people. In case of any questions or feedback, please feel free to drop a comment below or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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