- Forrester Councils
- Councils Overview
- log in
Posted by Nigel Fenwick on March 31, 2010
What if there was an easy way to increase employee productivity by 10% using the technology that’s already in place? What would that do to the bottom line? Even a 1% gain would be significant for most large organizations. In this day and age when CIOs are competing for budget and every dollar of technology investment must be justified, CIOs should not overlook training as a means to boost employee productivity and the ROI of existing technology investments.
Unfortunately it seems that too few people really know how to use the applications they have available in an effective way. Take for example the proliferation of spreadsheets in the workplace. Tools like Microsoft Excel have amazing features that support some powerful analysis and reporting. Yet many people fail to utilize basic productivity features built into such applications. We probably all observe people misusing tools and completing work the hard way simply because they don’t know any better. And Excel is just one tool that many of us use day-in-day-out. Outlook has some amazing features to boost productivity but few people know how to take advantage of them.
Even where some level of training in core ERP applications is provided to new employees, we know that very little is actually absorbed in early training. And much of IT training is focused on what buttons to press in what sequence to get a job done; very little seems to focus on how to use all the technology together as part of a productive business process.
As IT budgets have been squeezed over the years some CIO’s have moved technology training out of IT and into HR. However HR departments are not directly impacted by untrained staff in the way IT is, often resulting in weak measurements of success such as how many employees have been trained, or employee satisfaction measures, and not actually measuring the change in the employee’s ability to use the technology.
While poor training lowers productivity, there are also direct costs to IT resulting from a poorly trained workforce. On any major IT project, inadequate training can result in complete failure that costs millions to repair. In addition, poor training increases the burden on IT support services and reduces overall employee satisfaction with technology as a support for getting their job done, putting the success of IT at risk.
One option is for CIOs to re-focus IT resources on technology training as a way of reducing support costs and increasing employee satisfaction with IT. At the risk of repeating things we all know, here are ten proven steps in developing an effective IT-led training program:
Do you have more suggestions from your own experience? Which two or three do you feel have the greatest impact? Please share in the comments below.
(You can also share your thoughts with me on Twitter @NigelFenwick)
Next post: The ultimate grocery shopping app?
Previous post: The secret of successful social communities: 4 social needs
Save Money On Your Next Software Negotiation
Work with our software negotiation experts to save 10–20% on your next contract »
Lead BT Transformation
Develop customer-obsessed strategies to drive growth »
Forrester's CX Index
Predict how actions to improve CX will affect revenue performance.
Measure the customer experiences that matter most »