When it comes to employing new staff, it is essential to spend an adequate amount of time and effort, ensuring that their skills are up to scratch in the critical areas. For the vast majority of businesses, this includes the area of information technology (IT). With a wide range of backgrounds and qualifications, new employees could have a starting point anywhere on a continuum. Therefore, it is vital to establish where they are compared to where you would like to be. Continue reading for our advice on how you can support new employees to get up to speed with their IT skills.
Assess their ability
When we use the word ‘assess’, we do not expect any organization to test their employees formally. Imagine starting a job and then having an exam paper thrust under your nose. That would not be a great way to start your career in a new place, so it certainly isn’t something any employer should consider. Instead, keep an eye on new employees’ work, as you would anyway. It may also be worth asking them to tell you about the areas they feel they need support in, and then act upon that information. Indeed, a skills audit can be useful for all staff, not solely those new to your business.
Providing all employees, who have similar responsibilities, with the same type of equipment is essential. If one member of staff has a high-range tablet, such as an iPad, yet another is expected to carry out the same work utilizing a lesser quality one, this is most unfair. Likewise, ensuring that access to software via a Windows Server CAL, for example, will ensure improved employee productivity. How can an employer expect the same outcomes from two different members of staff if they do not start the race from the same place?
Once you know where the gaps in employees’ collective knowledge lie, you can put training in place to upskill them, ensuring you support them to reach their full potential. In doing so, of course, you will create an IT literate and competent workforce. In-house training is the cheapest option, and if you have a confident member of staff who is keen to share their expertise, you could go down this route. Alternatively, paying for the services of an external company may work better for you. For some people, this will be a preferred option as they may fear embarrassing themselves in front of a colleague, whereas they can feel more able to be open and honest with someone external.
Starting a new school often resulted in you being given a buddy. It may seem a little odd, but it can work well if your company embraces a supportive culture. Pairing a new colleague with a strong existing one can yield fantastic results. Of course, this can only work if both parties are truthful, and the buddy is willing to impart knowledge whenever necessary. A set of rules can help this system to be beneficial, ensuring that all understand what is expected and for how long this will be active.