Businesses that boost the technical skills of their employees lift their productivity and profits, as well as improve worker satisfaction. Despite knowing this, most firms still suffer from skill gaps.

A recent survey in the UK found that while most companies accepted the business benefits that would flow from improving their staff’s digital skills, only 14 percent felt their staff training was adequate.

2016_JAN_ALL_PEOPLE - Building tech-savvy staff

This mirrors the experience everywhere else, where most companies want to do better but, despite the best of intentions, are often caught up fighting other battles.

For this reason, we’ve assembled our five top tips for building up your employees’ technical skills.

1. Set a baseline

Improving your team’s technical abilities in a systematic way is impossible without a starting point. First, assess their existing skills and set that as a baseline. The assessment reveals what they need to learn, their current skill level, aptitude, and interests.

2. Train your top people first

Delivering the same level of training for everyone in your company in the short term can be unrealistic and prohibitively expensive. Instead, focus on a group of top technicians and keep them on the cutting edge of your industry’s technology and best practices. Those techs can gradually spread their knowledge throughout the company.

3. Use online training

Moving some training programs online, through a learning management system, presents a great way to save money on travel, and provides technicians with an on-demand library of training lessons they can go back to for a refresher at any time. Teacher-led training can also be delivered online for many programs including simPRO Enterprise and Service.

4. Time it right

Most service technicians are busy and don’t have a lot of time to devote to training — either online or face-to-face. Instead of overloading people, choose times of the year, week, or month that make the most sense. In the HVAC industry, “shoulder season” — in the spring and autumn — is typically slow, so many companies use that time to train staff.

5. Use new knowledge quickly

Mastering new technical abilities depends on using the training quickly and often. If you wait too long after training to start applying new skills, the training can be wasted. This then interferes with the timing and effectiveness of future training.

Erin Haywood simPRO

By integrating every aspect of your business, simPRO allows you to easily identify the who, what, where, when and how-much of any job. Get your work done on time and get paid on time. simPRO job management software helps simplify your processes and improve your bottom line.