“Zombie” Training and Development Programs the Norm for Organizations

TEKsystems Survey Reveals Majority of IT Training and Development Programs Lack Executive Sponsorship or Leadership; Organizations Unable to Map Efforts to Business Outcomes

HANOVER, Md.--()--TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, today announced survey findings conducted by its Training and Education Services practice that examine the presence, assessed value and business impact of technology training and development programs within organizations. More than 300 IT leaders (i.e., chief information officers, IT vice presidents, IT directors, IT hiring managers) and 900 IT professionals were polled.

Key findings from the survey are:

IT Training and Development Programs Lack Leadership
Less than half of IT leaders able to map programs to business outcomes

             
Does your organization have a chief learning officer or other executive responsible for developing an IT and business training and development curriculum?   Yes   No   Don’t know
IT leaders   23%   59%   18%
             
My organization has been able to correlate IT training and development investments to positive business outcomes.   Agree  

Neither agree nor
disagree

  Disagree
IT leaders   47%   37%   16%
     
  • TEKsystems’ Take: Less than one-quarter (23 percent) of IT leaders report that their programs have an executive sponsor or are overseen by a C-level executive. Furthermore, less than half (47 percent) agree that their training and development efforts are correlated to positive business outcomes. These findings indicate that the vast majority of organizations do not have a strategic approach to training and development and therefore are not producing desired outcomes for the business.

Significant Portion of IT Training and Development Programs Exist in the Shadows
Leaders overestimate awareness of programs

             
Does your organization offer additional IT training and development options in order to attract or retain IT talent?   Yes   No   Don’t know
IT leaders   68%   22%   10%
             
Are [your employees / you] aware of what policies and opportunities your company has in place for IT training and development?   Yes   No   Don’t Know
IT leaders   73%   11%   16%
IT professionals   57%   26%   17%
     
  • TEKsystems’ Take: Overall, 68 percent of IT leaders indicate their organizations offer training and development programs to attract and retain talent. However, findings point to the necessity of elevating their strategic importance and properly promoting these programs. Although nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of IT leaders believe employees are aware of programs, only 57 percent of professionals know they exist. In order to maximize program effectiveness and return on investment, organizations need to clearly define, structure and promote training and development programs to incoming and existing employees.

Current IT Training and Development Programs Fall Short in Addressing Skills Gaps
Neither IT leaders nor professionals express overwhelming confidence in efforts

                     
How confident are you in your organization’s ability to train/upskill internal personnel to fill future IT skills gaps?  

Very
confident

  Confident  

Somewhat
confident

  Neutral  

Not
confident

IT leaders   9%   44%   18%   20%   9%
IT professionals   14%   28%   9%   35%   14%
                     
Responses  

Strongly
agree

  Agree  

Neither agree
nor disagree

  Disagree  

Strongly
disagree

IT leaders: "My organization has been able to successfully fill IT knowledge gaps through training and development initiatives."   8%   52%   27%   11%   2%
IT professionals: "The training provided by my current employer has improved my ability to meet the demands of my current role."   12%   33%   34%   14%   7%
         
  • TEKsystems’ Take: Just slightly more than half (53 percent) of IT leaders are confident or very confident in their organizations’ ability to prepare employees to fill future skills gaps, with professionals even less optimistic (42 percent). Additionally, 40 percent of IT leaders and 55 percent of professionals did not indicate their organizations have filled knowledge gaps through training and development efforts. This data is consistent with the overall finding that most programs are lacking in strategic alignment to desired business outcomes and are therefore realizing only partial benefits.

Availability of IT Training and Development Lessens Turnover and Increases Loyalty
Program availability and effectiveness can decrease employee churn

         
[Has an employee / Have you] ever left [your organization / a job] due to lack of career and/or skills development opportunities?   Yes   No
IT leaders   60%   40%
IT professionals   53%   47%
                     
An organization that provides excellent professional training and development creates more loyalty in its employees than one that does not.  

Strongly
agree

  Agree  

Neither agree
nor disagree

  Disagree  

Strongly
disagree

IT leaders   32%   50%   15%   2%   1%
IT professionals   45%   42%   10%   2%   1%
         
  • TEKsystems’ Take: The majority of the IT leaders (60 percent) and professionals (53 percent) say a lack of career and skills development opportunities leads to organizational churn. Additionally, more than 8 in 10 IT leaders (82 percent) and professionals (87 percent) agree that training and development programs increase organizational loyalty. This illustrates that organizations have a proven method at their disposal to increase loyalty and reduce attrition—assuming that these programs are focused on the professional training and development that employees feel they need.

Organizations Need to Foot the Bill for IT Training and Development
Programs need to be viewed as necessary overhead to maintain a strong workforce

                     
Employers should be expected to pay for training/development courses.  

Strongly
agree

  Agree  

Neither agree
nor disagree

  Disagree  

Strongly
disagree

IT leaders   15%   50%   23%   9%   3%
IT professionals   34%   40%   19%   5%   2%
                     
[Employees should / I would] consider taking less compensation if an organization provides free training and development programs.  

Strongly
agree

  Agree  

Neither agree
nor disagree

  Disagree  

Strongly
disagree

IT leaders   1%   18%   22%   47%   12%
IT professionals   8%   26%   29%   27%   10%
         
  • TEKsystems’ Take: The majority of IT leaders (65 percent) and professionals (74 percent) believe that organizations should carry the cost for training and development programs. Additionally, IT leaders express that it should be considered as part of the cost of doing business—with less than one-fifth (19 percent) believing it should impact employee compensation. This, combined with the previous section, indicates that training and development programs can address turnover and increase employee loyalty.

“We’ve found that these ’zombie’ training and development programs—lacking direction and focus, autonomous but without authority—are rampant throughout organizations. Few IT leaders indicate their organization has a chief learning officer, or map training and development to business outcomes, yet the majority of IT leaders indicate they have training and development programs in place,” said TEKsystems Research Manager Jason Hayman. “As a result, many training and development programs exist in a nonstrategic vacuum, and have limited impact on the organization. That’s unfortunate, since it appears organizations acknowledge they offer training and development in order to create higher levels of employee loyalty and retention. For maximum effectiveness, it’s imperative that organizations reevaluate their programs, define a training and development strategy and structure, and implement their efforts to create real business benefit.”

TEKsystems’ Jason Hayman is available for additional commentary. For more information about the survey, or to schedule an interview, please contact Nathan Bowen at nabowen@teksystems.com.

About TEKsystems®

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, we understand people. Every year we deploy over 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals—while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.

TEKsystems. Our people make IT possible.

Contacts

TEKsystems
Nathan Bowen, 410-540-3090
nabowen@TEKsystems.com

Release Summary

TEKsystems Survey Reveals Majority of IT Training and Development Programs Lack Executive Sponsorship or Leadership; Organizations Unable to Map Efforts to Business Outcomes

Contacts

TEKsystems
Nathan Bowen, 410-540-3090
nabowen@TEKsystems.com