More and more technical/IT jobs involve regular communication with business stakeholders. Despite this, many companies don’t give technical teams the training they need to become good communicators. What do you think? Are you giving your IT staff the right training?
It is important to maintain the coding skills of your IT staff. It is also important to help them be good communicators.
Companies spend money on executive and leadership communication training. While leaders need to communicate well, most conversations and communication are between workers. When worker communication fails, mistakes happen, delays happen, and projects fail.
Here are three reasons you should invest in communication training for your IT staff.
Reason 1: Lack of comms skills training limits your technical leadership pool
Not training people in communications limits the career growth of your current employees. No employee will ever make a good leader without good communication skills.
IT staff can progress to higher levels based on technical merit. Then they hit a ceiling where technical skills alone aren’t enough. Their lack of communication skills prevents them from progressing higher up the company.
Why does this matter? When it is time to find a new CIO, CTO, VP or director, there will not be many candidates within your own company to draw from. That means you have to look outside the organization. When technical staff see this they see a limit to their career prospects within the company. They will be more likely to look elsewhere for their next role.
What does that mean for your organization? It means you will lose your best talent. It means you will almost always have to look outside the organization for the next leader.
Can you see how this grows into a big problem in the not-too-distant future?
Reason 2: When communication fails, projects fail
An IDC analysis estimates that 70% of all digital transformation initiatives do not reach their goals. It is estimated that more than $900 billion of the $1.3 trillion spent on digital transformation in 2018 went to waste.
That is billion — with a ‘b’. Even if only a tiny part of that waste comes from communication failure, it has to be worth trying to fix.
Reason 3: You are missing out on a large pool of innovative ideas
Innovation is not the job of a small group in an innovation lab. Innovation comes from people doing work and seeing problems every day.
IT staff make up an increasing percentage of the employees in major companies. One in four companies has more than 10% of their employees in IT-related jobs. How much are you missing out on because 10% of your workforce is not able to communicate their ideas?
Not only is 10% of the workforce not able to contribute to the greatest effectiveness. But this 10% are working on the complex tools and systems that most companies rely on to function. How much could you save by innovative efficiency savings in those systems?
We can all agree it is important for IT staff to keep their coding skills up to date. But in addition to that core skill, it is also important to have good communication skills.
Communication skills are critical for anyone wanting to become a manager or leader. They are also important to help employee career progression. Preparing your employees to be leaders increases the candidate pool for the top jobs. Without good communication skills, companies run the risk of project delays. They will also incur higher costs to complete work. Don’t let your company burn through money because communication skills are lagging.
Finally, can you afford not to tap into the innovation potential of your whole workforce? Think about this when you are planning the next training budget. Are you giving your IT staff the right training?
If you are interested in finding out more about improving the communication skills in your IT workforce, please get in touch.