Companies Beef Up Cross-Training

IT workers often face employer expectations of managing multiple skills as the workforce shrinks.

Kimberly-Clark, for example, has reduced the number of IT job descriptions from more than 350 titles to about 40 — many of which now require multiple skills, according to a Computerworld report.

While many IT workers might be able to meet the company’s old job requirements, they probably couldn’t meet the new ones.

To deal with this conundrum, companies are providing education and cross-training to help workers transition. In fact, 57 percent of organizations in a recent survey plan to enhance the skills of their existing IT workforce.

For example, Cook Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth, Texas, launched a “pod” training program, which brings together a veteran professional, a mid-career employee and a new hire in a triple-cross-training program. The goal is for all three to exchange information that yields both a sharing of institutional knowledge and experience with new ideas and approaches.

Companies are also forming strategic partnerships with community colleges so tech workers can acquire the hands-on experience and technical skills they need to fill current job openings.

For example, Michigan has developed the Shifting Code program that works with local companies such as Compuware, Quicken Loans and GalaxE. Solutions to teach employees in-demand software skills.

These programs offered by employers committed to training and development can help IT workers from falling into the unemployment line and may be worth your effort to attend.

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Comments

  1. BY Fred Bosick says:

    Amazing! Some companies are beginning to see the light. Let’s hope that along with the training comes raises.

  2. This is really good news. Rather than hiring out, these companies are willing to train existing employees to fill the gap. I hope more are able to follow this example to grow an in-house workforce instead of replacing it…

  3. BY James says:

    How does this help out of work IT employees. Cross training was promised when companies began outsoucing.

  4. BY Leslie Stevens-Huffman says:

    James,

    Hopefully, companies will stop looking for “perfect” candidates if they have a way to build or develop talent. When companies cut staff at the beginning of the recession, many slashed training and development budgets and started looking for outsiders to fill complex job descriptions. However, some of those jobs have gone unfilled, and buying talent on the open market is usually a short-term strategy, especially in large and mid-size companies. It will benefit everyone when companies return to basics like training and development.

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