Investing in People Pays Off in Long Term

Even though employers may be tempted to cut back on IT training initiatives to reduce company costs, such a move demonstrates short-term thinking and ultimately could prove to be detrimental, said Chris Pirie, general manager for marketing and sales at Microsoft Learning.

“One of the least cost-effective things you can do is not invest in your people,” Pirie said. “Companies that don’t take care of people [who] are on their payroll run the risk of [having] those people [quit and join] companies that do invest in their skills.”

The consequences of losing these employees — which include having to rehire and retrain new ones — is unnecessarily expensive, Pirie explained. That’s because research is forecasting a 4 percent gap in IT skills until 2012, which means there will be a need for 7 million IT jobs a year.

“That’s why [forward-thinking] companies right now are doubling down in the investments they make on their people,” he said.

Organizations usually respond to the need for IT training in one of two ways.

“We see some knee-jerk responses in organizations [where people] say, ‘Training is discretionary; we can’t afford to spend money on it. We’re going to cut training expenditures in order to protect our [profit and loss],’” Pirie said.

“But we’ve also seen companies that [agree] it’s a better time than ever to really invest in [their] people and invest in the skills of [their] people,” he said.

The latter response, however, is the smarter strategy because it…


Deanna Hartley

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