Training is great, but many of the IT professionals I talk to these days report that money for training is limited or nonexistent. For IT workers feeling grumbly about the lack of resources for training, here are some no- or low-cost ways to fill the education gap.
Exchanging ideas can help get IT workers out of silos. Some organizations are purposely creating interdisciplinary project teams, but casual interactions can be encouraged with lunch-and-learns. Discussions – between junior and senior IT workers, among specialists in different technologies, with coworkers in nontechnical areas like sales and marketing – can enrich all the participants.
Train the trainer
Identify one person who is willing and able to act as a trainer and send them to a class. When they return, they can share their newly acquired knowledge with coworkers. It’s not free, but you’re getting many workers trained for the price of one.
Vendor presentations are free, although they do cost in terms of meeting time. But it’s a way to learn about a new technology and how the solution might fit into the current IT environment. It doesn’t hurt that sometimes the vendor will provide some refreshments, too.
Cross training takes time but adds value, because unless you’ve got a large team, your IT shop probably doesn’t have the luxury of redundancy. No IT worker wants to feel threatened because others know their jobs, but cross training lets staff enjoy vacations free from panicked calls or emails from the office. Cross training is smart from a management perspective since it makes teams resilient when dealing with unplanned absences.
Webinars are an easy way to make a lunch hour educational. Whether offered by vendors, research groups, trade groups or professional associations, webinars are designed to deliver helpful information in a short amount of time. Maybe the subject matter highlights a new area or suggests a different application of familiar material.
The 451 Alliance offers regular webinars for our members to get real-time insight from our research analysts. Check our additional resources page to sign up for a free webinar.
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