The power of knowledge in the security industry
The perception of a lack of time for training is an ever-present challenge. As short-term priorities take precedence, training is often pushed back to the eternal tomorrow. And, training often has a cost to be factored into hard-fought budgets, as well as the commitment in employee manhours.
However, constant learning and development is essential for an organization to remain competitive. Raising employee knowledge enables companies to increase competence and improve service, which in turn can increase sales. While training develops the individual, including their career prospects, companies that invest in training are more likely to recruit talent and retain it. A focus on training from employers and employees alike also raises standards across the industry as a whole, improving the security outcome for end customers.
Network technology is constantly changing. This makes continual training even more important to stay ahead with innovation in the security industry. In this blog post, we’ll look at the importance of learning from the perspectives of the employee and employer.
Why increasing knowledge is important for the individual
A commitment to training helps you increase your value to current and future employers. As well as reinforcing the contribution you offer in your current role, increasing knowledge and skills can improve career progression and job opportunities in your existing organization – or elsewhere. The opportunities that training brings can also help you discover new roles and possibilities that you hadn’t previously realized were available.
While training ensures you stay up to date with emerging security technologies, the right training often includes theory and practice that isn’t technology brand-specific. This can make the learning transferable wherever your career takes you. Alternatively, to set your skills apart, training can be highly specialized to help you acquire expertise in demand.
Perhaps most importantly, the benefit of a commitment to lifelong learning creates a virtuous circle, with increased confidence leading to higher satisfaction and enjoyment. The better we perform, the more enjoyable the challenge becomes.
Why is increasing employees’ knowledge important for the company and end customers?
The bottom-line benefit of investing in training is improved commercial performance. Whether your company focuses on system design or installation, gaining the capability to consult across a wider range of technology gives the potential to increase sales.
What’s more, increasing knowledge via training can also raise profitability through the transition from product-only sales to the more complex arena of solution sales. The ability to consult on and manage a security solution not only adds the value of the additional products, but also the value in know-how to achieve it. Achieving a solution sales capability also helps to secure long-term partnerships, showing customers that your competence is scalable to their growing needs.
Whether you trade on products or solutions, the more knowledge your employees have, the better the customer experience. Not only will this increase satisfaction for each project, it will also help secure customer retention long-term. From the customer’s perspective, working with a partner that invests in training to develop its employees provides better solutions and service.
Building your company’s brand as an investor in training will also help you to position your company as a high-quality service provider. Ultimately, the knowledge and expertise of your staff will help to attract more customers – and increase your premium.
To achieve these benefits, you need to attract and retain talented staff. The acceleration in job mobility and changing nature of the workplace today means talent retention is more important than ever. According to LinkedIn, the overwhelming reason for employees staying at a company is because of opportunities to learn.
Learning and development also strongly contribute to mobility inside an organization, since more capable employees can take on increased responsibility. This is also key for retention, where LinkedIn’s latest Learning Report suggests that companies excelling at internal mobility retain staff for almost twice as long as companies with few opportunities.
A company’s commitment to continuous learning is also an important factor to attract new staff. Demonstrating a commitment to staff development is becoming less of a benefit and more an expectation.
How should training be selected?
To increase commercial performance and service levels – and staff retention across departments – training in the network technology sphere should span sales as well as technical roles. To pick the right training, it’s important that it can be applied in real world settings, although it might have a practical or theoretical basis. It’s also vital that the training level of expertise is matched to the employee’s experience and skill to ensure that learning is achievable and useful. Whichever learning approach you choose, it’s crucial to schedule time for it. In short, if training is not prioritized, it won’t happen.
Learning from others within an organization is important, and the experience and expertise internal to each company is a valuable resource. Equally, a competent team member will often share and spread that knowledge amongst the wider team. Even so, a challenge of relying on colleagues to provide training includes the time commitment required of those responsible for teaching, as well as a limitation on knowledge of the very latest technology.
Therefore, working with the right training partner can help you innovate, creates new opportunities, and opens up new markets by enabling you to sell something new to existing customers. Whether that’s adding new technology, from audio speakers to analytics, through to complete solutions, a training partner is an ally, giving you the expertise to achieve your commercial goals.
Technical trainers don’t just have mastery over their subject, they also have training techniques that enhance the speed and effectiveness of learning. A third-party adjudicated qualification also confirms knowledge acquisition, awarding certification as an objective assessment of competence and knowledge. This validates learning for the parent organization as well as the individual.
Continual training ensures value
To retain knowledge, it must be revisited. This means applying the learning on the job, as well as updating knowledge and skills with regular training updates.
If training is viewed as an isolated exercise and as an activity detached from an individual’s development and potential contribution to increased business, it can feel like a box-ticking exercise. However, if it is integrated into your day-to-day work as a part of how the individual, the company and the customer grows, it will add value in every step and prove how powerful knowledge can be.