Love it or hate it, a big part of your job as an IT professional is training employees. These training sessions could be in the form of email memos, group meetings or one-on-one appointments. Whatever the setting, your training needs to be well thought out and considerate of the fact that sometimes, you’re working with people outside your industry.
5 employee-training mistakes
There is no doubt about it; training employees is a difficult task – especially if they have been doing things they same way for years. It is not an impossible task to teach people new technology and break bad security habits. Here are some things to avoid:
1. Using tech lingo
Dumb it down. Your company’s employees did not go to school for information technology or infosec and spend years in a technology-based work environment. Many people will openly admit that the extent of their IT knowledge is to turn a device off and turn it back on again to fix a problem, so use everyday terminology to help them understand processes and function.
2. Having a one-way conversation
Listen to the employees and their problems. While you may be the tech expert, they are the ones using the hardware and programs everyday; they may know something you don’t. When employees get their issue fixed, they will respect you for listening to them and helping and are more likely to listen and help you in the future.
3. Not understanding the business
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could anticipate the needs of your employees and business? While, you can if you truly understand how your business operates. The best IT teacher is one who understands the reality employees live in and teaches to that—not a manual or textbook. Sometimes you can compromise with your employees and make their lives easier without jeopardizing safety.
On that same note, you can’t make everything easy for employees; sometimes the textbook way of doing things is the only way to keep your business safe and safety comes before convenience. Don’t over-promise simplicity in use or function, but DO promise that you’ll provide them support as needed.
5. Establishing incorrect priorities
Learn how to prioritize. As we discuss in a recent blog post, sometimes doing less is more in cybersecurity. It is better to prioritize business and employees needs and do higher quality work in the most important, vulnerable places than to do low quality work everywhere.
All things considered, the bottom line is to be respectful of your employees. Training can be hard on the trainer and the trainee. Foster an open dialogue and be patient. They’ll get it.