Management is a lot different than being an IT tech, so the learning curve can seem a bit steep. Management requires a unique set of skills, and delegation and training are a big part of that set. Luckily there are plenty of tools and strategies you can employ to lead your team effectively. This is your guide to effective IT management and training.
Find the training gaps
It’s pretty common for a training program to be inspired by a problem. Are there some training gaps you need to reconcile? Sometimes it can be an unresolved conflict that management is struggling with, or the team isn’t cooperating effectively. For your program to be effective, it needs to be targeting the gaps, so identify those gaps. There’s always some aspect of your operation that can be improved, and if you can anticipate problems on the horizon, that is even better. “One great way to take the temperature is to see what your employees have to say. You can get a ton of valuable information this way, since they are on the ground and have a different perspective than you,” suggests Darlene Lee, HR manager at Next Coursework and BritStudent.
Delegating is important
Delegating can be difficult for some people, especially if you’re an experienced IT tech, but new to managing people. But it’s essential if you’re to do your job well and lead your team. “Learn to step back and let your assigned team members tackle a problem, you don’t need to get involved every time, and you definitely don’t need to micromanage. Make the important decisions when it’s necessary but remember that you’ve got a whole team of professionals around you,” recommends Kerry Davis, career writer at Australia2Write.
Use the right tools
Having the right knowledge and subject matter is only half of what makes a good training program, you also need the right methods. The way your employees learn affects how well they will retain and put into practice those new skills. One tried and true way is the traditional in-classroom setting and that can be a good environment for group discussions and learning through a hands-on approach. You can also do online classes in real time, which can be very useful if your IT team is spread out and not all in the same building. Another option that can be very effective is a custom training program, which is a program designed especially for your team and situation.
Measure and follow through
Whatever training program you decide on, it’s key to measure your results and implement some new ideas. It’s pretty hard to say how effective your training program is if you’re not measuring it for a return on investment. Hopefully you’ve got some goals you’re working towards, because those will guide how you determine if your training program is working effectively. Check and see if you’re improving the efficiency of your team through training. You might even find your team functions well enough that you don’t need to hire that extra person you were anticipating. A big part of training is the debriefing session held at the end. Provide your employees an opportunity to think and process what they’ve learned. Get some feedback from them about what they’re actually taking away from the experience. See if they are comfortable with the material or need clarification on some things. Ask how they’ll apply the new training to their day to day work. This is the most important part because it gives you an idea of whether the training is something that’s going to be applied and useful to the job. It also encourages your team to remember what they’ve learned and makes it more likely they will implement new ideas and practices.
Learn to connect with your team
When it comes down to it, you need to connect with your staff and show them you care. People tend to work better for a leader they like and respect. Take an interest in your team, things such as their birthdays, families, and interests. Get in the habit of having conversations with employees that go beyond the next immediate task you need from them and strengthen your relationships. If one of your team was a rival for the position you were chosen for, talk to them about it in private. If there is animosity, do your best to turn them into a friend and ally. Be conciliatory and emphasize that it was a close contest and you’re looking forward to working with them.
Management is a whole new ballgame. If you’re new to the position, then you might feel overwhelmed with how different it seems to be from your previous IT position. There’s no reason to feel overwhelmed, there are plenty of tips, tools, and strategies to help you adjust and thrive in management. Focus on building good relationships, learning how to delegate well, and how to effectively train your team.
Author Bio: Emily Williams is a devoted marketing specialist and writer for PhD Kingdom. Along with developing brands and personal improvement, she is excited about interacting with readers looking for help with marketing and startups. Emily has over five years of experience and loves helping intelligent people meet their online goals.