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Training: IT or HR function?

By steve-f ·
I was recently asked what the difference between the stack and sort functions on one of our copier/printers (I am 2nd and 3rd line support)
I had no idea, I rarely use copiers and their repair is outsourced.
I did research the answer and gave it to the person who asked.
His response was "IT should send out an email note to all users telling them this"
My response was that we could not send an email explaining every function of every device, and even if we did, it would not be a good method of education.

It got me thinking, who is responsible for IT training? If HR hire someone whose excel skills are sub-par, who is responsible for resolving this?
If a user wants to know everything about a copier, should they research it themselves, or should the IT helpdesk/service desk be responsible for training too?
If users in 2009 do not know how to add a printer in Windows, who has failed, IT or HR?

Do many organisations have an IT trainer role? Are they part of IT or HR? Is there enough work to keep them busy for 5 days a week?

Lots of questions here, but the main question I am interested in is in the title.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

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Depends on the company and the department.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Training: IT or HR functi ...

I wonder about this a lot myself. Ultimately I think it's a manager's job to be sure his people are trained to do their work effectively. That doesn't mean he or she is responsible to conduct the actual training, but should locate resources to do it. Often HR or IT will take the lead in conducting this training, but that's usually a decision made at the CxO level.

I'm a mediocre trainer, especially in a classroom setting, and I don't really enjoy doing it. I get frustrated with my inability to convey concepts clearly enough for people to understand me in one or two tries. Then I start to show my frustration to the attendees, and it can be mistaken for my being upset with them.

Lump that in with us not having the floor space to house a full-time computer training facility, and not enough training needs to justify equipping one.

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Corporate Culture plays a role

by TNT@support In reply to Training: IT or HR functi ...

Like Palmie mentioned, it depends largely on the structure of your organization. At my last job the HR person was nearly technically illiterate. No way she could do the training. At my present position the IT Director is also the HR director, so often lines get blurred.

My thinking is that IT is first a service-oriented field. If I have time to answer a user's "how-to" question I will, but only if I'm not busy fixing a real problem that is keeping someone from work. Often I will tell the person, "Good question! I'm not sure, but I would Google..." I provide them search terms that will likely get them the answer they are looking for, then ask them to share what they find out with me.

I think you handled the problem with grace and aplomb. If you have a SharePoint server maybe start posting those questions in a Tech Q&A section. It might help keep those kinds of questions down to a minimum.

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How are we defining training?

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Corporate Culture plays a ...

I don't consider briefly explaining specific features of a copier as 'training'. I get the mental image of classrooms, formal content, exercises, etc. Answering one-shot, one-on-one questions is providing information, but it's not what I think of when the subject of training comes up.

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I vote for both I.T. and H.R. based on experience.

by EncinoMan In reply to How are we defining train ...

I worked for a Global chem. mfg. co which permitted the training plan to be chosen locally, site by site. At my site H.R. was given ownership of the training function for the entire plant. Training content was supplied and controlled by the other functional areas such as I.T., Inst. and Elec., etc. In this way each functional department obtained the training content they preferred for their employees while H.R. supplied oversight of quality, effective systems, tools and form of training modules assurng that they met parameters required by government, corporate and local policy. I really wanted to be a fulltime trainer but some have it and some don't. I observed that this system worked well for those who WERE good trainers.

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Here's how I see things

by jmgarvin In reply to Training: IT or HR functi ...

As a trainer for a software company, I firmly believe in the company training their own folks internally. I also firmly believe that IT should train those folks.

Why should IT train internally? To keep costs down. People break equipment, waste IT time, and do generally stupid things because they haven't a clue what they are doing. Too many organizations don't care about training and they really should.

Honestly the first week for a new hire should be training from IT, their department, HR, and any vendor specific equipment/software. Realistically, you'd need a small training department (say 2-3 people per 1000 employees). Not only would this save a LOT of money and time in the long run, but also in the short run you'd have more productive employees.

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In the various management courses I've done, they all

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Training: IT or HR functi ...

agreed that training administration and organisation is a HR function, sometimes done by a sub-unit of HR or a split off HR unit if there was a big enough training component. HR is responsible for identifying training short falls of new hires, that is where the person hired falls short of that set out for the position, and seeing they get trained before being sent to the work area. Line managers are responsible for identifying the training needs of their staff and putting them forward for courses.

The delivery of the training is another issue. If it's IT training, then HR can organise for suitable IT staff to deliver the training, or to hire in a suitable trainer to do the job. The most common is someone is contracted to do the main part of the training course and an IT person turns up towards the end to provide the in-house perspective of the material being taught.

As to having a dedicated IT trainer, that will depend upon the size of the organisation and the amount of training involved, and what is being taught - can't have a Linux guru teaching about how to create an Access database if he doesn't know how to do it.

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Training: IT or HR Function?

by shaunakd In reply to Training: IT or HR functi ...

Hi Steve,

First of all it depends upon the type of training. If Training realted to any IT realted topics than it is duty of him to arrange a training, as one requires help of HR/Admin. Same if the topic is related to any HR than training should be arranged by HR Deparment.

So I think this make some how clear to you.

Thanks

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Onboarding

by ba_arbogast In reply to Training: IT or HR Functi ...

There is a definite difference between what you train on for an new IT staffer vs. standard user. We are working on developing an On-boarding technique for both types of employees. We will be using a combination of PPT, Webinars, and Hands on for both types.

I support 23+ different departments for a local government so I can train the IT overview but then have to have the IT rep in the different areas teach their part. Part of what I have been tasked with is helping the IT reps train consistently with appropriate documentation and learning styles.

I agree that culture has a lot to do with it. Lots of places don't recognize that investment at the beginning pays off huge in the long run with regards to loss of productivity for both Help Desk and the employee.

If more organizations recognized that HR and IT have to work closer together on this issue, they would be so much further ahead.

Just my thoughts. BA

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In the organizations I was in...

by Fregeus In reply to Training: IT or HR functi ...

..that had a trainer, he was in the IT group. Excel (to use your example) is more towards IT than it is towards HR. HR can organize the courses, but IT have to give them.


TCB

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Joint venture between IT and Biz

by Jacko'All In reply to In the organizations I wa ...

At my current position we assist our University(under Business) group update in-house online simulations of the application which we develop. There are also online courses that are available through the same web portal for applications such as Word, Excel, Outlook, etc. Though, ultimately it is the managers' duty to ensure that his/her direct reports utilize the training material available. Which in my experience they do not spend enough time or effort in doing.

All of that being said I do not feel that it is the support personnel's responsibility to provide the "how to"s to the end user for standard apps (i.e. Word) or home grown apps if there is documentation and training readily available.

*Stepping up on my soapbox*

Think about what you would do if you were asked to do something new. You would either inquire how you could obtain the correct training or figure it out yourself. Some of it is simply a little bit of personal responsibility, which many people have seemed to loose sight of.

*Stepping down of the soapbox*

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