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How to train employees: A guide for IT Managers [Free Guide Included!]

by | Distributed Teams, Documentation, Knowledge Management, People & Processes

In the current landscape of modern technology, the imperative of training a skilled and dynamic team is critical for sustained business success.

In this blog, we delve into how to train employees by providing a guide for IT managers. You’ll learn strategic methodologies that IT managers can harness to deliver effective training programs, fostering competence and excellence within their teams. We’ve also created a FREE “IT Training Guide” to help you get started with your own training plan!

The Strategic Imperative of Effective Employee Training

Before delving into the intricacies of employee training, it’s pivotal to grasp its significance. Imagine an IT team adept at legacy systems yet grappling with contemporary software or security paradigms. The implications span inefficiencies, vulnerabilities, and compromised innovation. Effective training is the linchpin that equips employees to tackle new challenges and improves both confidence and job satisfaction.

Step 1: Assess Your Training Needs

Every IT team has its unique composition, skill sets, and technology focus. For the newest employees on your team, great training starts with an effective onboarding process. From there, you’ll need to do a comprehensive assessment of your business, team strengths, and areas for improvement. Last but not least, you’ll want to conduct an audit of the tools and processes you have in place that will need to be included in your training guide and note anything that needs to be updated or changed before you get started.

Step 2: Have Clear-Cut Objectives

The bedrock of a well-structured training program rests on clear objectives. Just as navigation requires landmarks, great IT training necessitates clearly defined waypoints. Objectives span from mastering a programming language to an in-depth comprehension of data privacy protocols. The SMART framework—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound—provides the foundation for crafting your training goals. For example, one of your goals might be targeting completion of a rigorous cybersecurity certification within six months.

Step 3: Tailor Training Types

The adage “one-size-fits-all” doesn’t quite fit in the landscape of employee training for IT managers. Each member of your team has distinct learning styles and varying levels of expertise. Designing training programs to accommodate this diversity is table stakes if you want to achieve success. While hands-on workshops may resonate with certain individuals, self-directed online courses might align with others. Catering to individual preferences ensures an inclusive and effective training landscape.

Conduct Practical Experience and Real-World Simulations

Conceptual learning is the foundation for most training programs, but practical experience and real-world simulations add depth and variety to IT employee training programs. Establishing controlled environments for your team to experiment with new technologies will provide a safe space to learn and gain insight. For example, immersive simulations of cybersecurity incidents can bolster preparedness in responding to genuine threats.

Leverage Peer Learning Dynamics

Encouraging a culture of knowledge exchange within your IT team is instrumental. Experienced members can assume mentorship roles, guiding those with less exposure to specific technologies. Peer-led workshops and collaborative sessions amplify the cross-fertilization of ideas, fostering a collaborative environment.

Adapt Your Approach to Learning Paces

Learning velocities are not all the same. Recognizing and accommodating varying paces will make your team feel like your training plan is tailored just for them. Additionally, providing additional resources and support materials will only serve to enhance the quality of your training plan.

Step 4: Embrace the Power of Constructive Feedback

If you prioritize feedback in your training process, conversations will flow and insights will grow. Regular feedback sessions allow your team to share what is working well and what can be improved with the training process. For example, maybe a certain topic was confusing, or a video tutorial glitched during your delivery. When your team feels comfortable sharing their thoughts, you’ll be able to fine-tune your training to deliver the most value for your team. When you listen, learn, and include team insights into your training process, you’re setting your team up for success.

Step 5: Measure Training Efficacy

You can only improve what you measure. So, be sure you have a plan to track metrics such as task performance, error rates, and project success. Routine assessments and quizzes contribute to the tracking of individual progress and identification of areas necessitating additional attention. With Extelli’s Learning Modules, you can assign training to your team, track completion, and create a two-way dialog with your employees to ensure a dynamic training experience. Below are a few key metrics for IT managers to track team performance:


Utilization bridges IT success and business goals by measuring the effectiveness of IT tools and systems in driving business objectives. It highlights the synergy between IT and overarching business strategies, where insights from usage data and user feedback guide optimization.

Time to Delivery

Measuring time to delivery for IT employees entails quantifying the duration it takes for projects or initiatives to achieve specific business objectives. It involves tracking the timeline from project initiation to successful completion, ensuring alignment with strategic goals and efficient resource utilization. This metric reflects the efficiency of IT teams in driving tangible outcomes within the agreed-upon timeframe.

Ability to Adhere to a Budget

This metric involves assessing financial aspects related to IT operations and projects. Cost indicators track expenses such as equipment, software, personnel, and maintenance. Revenue indicators, on the other hand, gauge the value generated by IT initiatives, like increased sales or cost savings. Analyzing these metrics helps assess the financial impact of IT efforts and guides resource allocation for optimal outcomes.

User Experience

In essence, user experience is a tangible manifestation of the IT team’s capabilities, effectiveness, and commitment to delivering solutions that resonate with users, ultimately reflecting the overall success of the team in fulfilling its mission.

Digital Engagement

In our interconnected world, the interplay between websites and social media is a treasure trove of insights into business and IT performance. Swings in website visits and their duration, coupled with shifts in online engagement, unveil the triumphs or challenges of a company’s digital footprint. Essential Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) include online sales and abandoned shopping cart rates, encapsulating vital metrics of digital success.

Step 6: Recognize and Celebrate Employee Growth

Establishing a culture of recognition is not just a “good to have,” it is a “must have,” on your team. Acknowledging exceptional performers in their training endeavors not only amplifies engagement but also underscores your organization’s commitment to growth. Accomplishment certificates, commendations, and career progression plans are tangible ways you can nurture a culture of unparalleled performance. 

In Conclusion: Empowerment for Continued Success

In the dynamic world of technology, a proficiently trained IT team is a critical asset. By meticulously assessing training needs, setting clear objectives, tailoring programs to individual proclivities, and measuring success, an environment for excellence can be cultivated. As an IT manager, embracing a value-added training program will steer your team toward sustained excellence over time.