Training Your Staff
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Thread: Training Your Staff

  1. #1
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
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    Training Your Staff

    I hear a lot from the employees and tech workers themselves about what training they are pursuing or about whether or not their companies support and/or pay for their training. I am curious though about the training issue from the other side of the fence.

    In other words, if you are a manager of tech people, server admins, helpdesk personnel or field service technicians, etc., how do you handle training and ensuring that the staff remains knowledgeable with changing technology?

    What do you need to be doing to make sure your staff is properly trained and keeps up with the changes in technology and the industry? Should regular training updates be mandatory? Should a company pay for this training? If training is voluntary, what do you do with employees who refuse to obtain training they should have?

    I know that I used to have all of my training paid for. Now my company has gone almost entirely to web-based, self-paced training followed by begging and pleading to get someone to pay for the any associated certification test. At least there is an abundance of web-based training at our disposal though.

  2. #2
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    my current employer will pay for any certification exams I want as long as I pass them. If I dont pass I either have to pay to take it again and pass or pay them back. They also supply books for me, and the higher up techs that are already loaded with certs take 1 day a week and rotate teaching a class abut everything we should know (MS, Cisco, *NIX etc) as an incentive to go to these classes we are given free lunch on that day and are paid to be there. ON top of this, if we have an idea for a project we would like to undertake the company will both support us and pay us to do it if we can show it will benifit the entire company. Like the Live CD reviews I am undertaking, I will be doing this on company time with company computers.
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  3. #3
    In And Above Man Black Cluster's Avatar
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    Managment By Objectives

    I think companies should always follow thier employees to chack out if they are matching the job description or not. If not they have to make sure that this person will gain the proper knowledg, by enrolling him/her to a course or something. It is always better to improve the current staff over employeing new employees. This is globaly acknowledged.

    As for your questions...

    how do you handle training and ensuring that the staff remains knowledgeable with changing technology?
    What do you need to be doing to make sure your staff is properly trained and keeps up with the changes in technology and the industry?
    MOB, Managment by Objectives. Larg corporations and some (SMEs) use this method to check out if thier employees match the job description that they possess. For instance, a company is like a body every part is linked to the other. The top managment puts a work plan and some objectives to be met. At the end of the year they check out whether those objectives have been met or not, if not, then WHY? They refer to the employees and check out, whos fault is the shortage? MOB also lead to more motivated staff

    In a nutshell:
    [1] Check the Job Desciption and match it with the employee.
    [2] At the end of the year check out if the objectives have been met or not, then ask WHY?


    If training is voluntary, what do you do with employees who refuse to obtain training they should have?
    Companies always have some red lines, like the qualifications an employee should have. Companies MUST make the training mandatory, otherwise the company will be in trouble as the employees knowledge will get older and older, Specailly in the Technologies field.
    Following this path, the company will fire an employee everytime it makes a mess. They won't be knowing of any problem unless they just made a mess.
    Yes, companies must always look for training thier staff at thier own expense.

    Some might say, what if another company headhuntted him/her. Do the company lose all its moeny over that training? The Answer is NO. Usually they set a contract ,between the company and the employeer who got trained at the expense of the comapny, admitting that he/she got trained and in case of withdrawling, he have to pay the company back AND he/she won't be dismissed unless another qualified person is in place.

    Just my $0.02
    Cheers
    \"The only truly secure system is one that is powered off, cast in a block of concrete and sealed in a lead-lined room with armed guards - and even then I have my doubts\".....Spaf
    Everytime I learn a new thing, I discover how ignorant I am.- ... Black Cluster

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kite's Avatar
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    At my job, I run around fixing computers for the teachers when they break. The teachers do get occasional technology training, but only for new tech such as their laptops or power point presentations. None of the training is mandatory either. What they NEED is a general computer use course, but they will most likely never get it. As for trying to teach them, I make it a general rule to keep them in the dark due to matters of job security, if you get my meaning.
    I know your type, you think "I'll just get me a costume, rip off the neighborhood kids". Next thing you know, you've got a jet shaped like a skull with lasers on the front!
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  5. #5
    They call me the Hunted foxyloxley's Avatar
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    I make it a general rule to keep them in the dark due to matters of job security, if you get my meaning.
    I work as school tech support too, and I try to educate each teacher with everything I do, as I find that if they know just that little bit more, then they will be just that little bit more careful, and when things DO fail, they can give me a more concise answer, ie, they no longer just mutter something along the lines of "it's buggered"

    The company is small, but promised everything, gives zip.................

    I would like to believe that there are some companys out there who DO train and appreciate their techs, I've just not heard of any yet.

    What do you need to be doing to make sure your staff is properly trained and keeps up with the changes in technology and the industry? Should regular training updates be mandatory? Should a company pay for this training? If training is voluntary, what do you do with employees who refuse to obtain training they should have?
    They SHOULD be more proactive in their training / updates

    Training SHOULD be mandatory

    In an ideal world they would pay, but I would accept exam fees, and a 'lending library' style affair, wherby they will loan you any required books that they have purchased.

    Anyone who refused training, IMHO, has reached the end of their career path, and this should be made perfectly clear to each member.

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  6. #6
    Master-Jedi-Pimps0r & Moderator thehorse13's Avatar
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    In the early 90s, companies would invest the 10s of thousands of dollars in technology employees. They expected an ROI for several reasons. The first is that technology did not (or so it was perceived) move nearly as quickly as it does today so the investment should last for years. The second was that people didn't jump positions as quickly as they do today.

    Fast forward to the late 90s. Training became hot in the form of certs (MSCE comes to mind). At first, companies reacted much like they always have. They invested in people but soon after, training became VERY cheap and thus the wheels were set in motion for two things. First, massive hopping of jobs looking for an instant pay increase. The second, certs were rotting from the inside out. So many people were offering them that eventually, the 100k salary promises vanished from the advertisements. Companies got wise to both conditions and left the training up to the individual.

    Today, companies have turned back to an older classic model. First, experience is now required and certs are not the first thing they look for. Colleges have done corporate America (and abroad) a huge favor. They now train these people before they hit the job market which relieves the pressures on corp. budgets to get these people certified. Remember that back in the day there was no real organized CIS programs like they have today. At best you got mainframe, programming and *maybe* some Novell networking experience (if your school had a nice budget).

    Now, here is how we handle training today. First, we *require* a technical degree. Second, we require some type of experience and last, we allocate a small training budget of $3,500 per person per year in order for them to attend security training which fits their role. For example, if I have a policy guy, he goes off to SANS for a policy course and then whatever he has left in training dollars can be used on technical courses of his liking. This money can also be used for industry certs that are approved by management.

    Anyway, hope this is helpful.

    --TH13
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  7. #7
    Just Another Geek
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    In my company they use RA (Result Agreement) and CA (Competence Agreement). The RAs are things like projects you've participated in and brought to a satisfying conclusion. The CAs are training and certification. Both RA and CA get evaluated every 6 months, you'll also agree (manager and you) to new RAs and CAs. Your raise is directly linked to your RA and CA. If you score normal you get a normal raise. If you score outstanding you get a higher raise. Seems to work...

    As for paying for training/certification, my company pays the bill. I only have to pay them back if I leave the company within a year.
    Oliver's Law:
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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