What is technical skills training?
Technical skills (or hard skills) refer to role-specific skills that are required to perform a job. Unlike soft skills, which have more to do with personalities and character, technical skills are learned and mastered over time. They can also be measured through a test or assignment. To learn more about the difference between hard skills and soft skills, check out our soft skills training guide.
One example of a technical skill is HTML, which is a learned skill required to become a professional coder. Similarly, knowing how to operate a table saw is a learned technical skill among woodworkers.
Technical skills exist across industries and job functions, and they can range from knowing how to operate a physical tool to understanding a digital process. It’s important to train your employees from time to time to ensure they’re equipped to perform their roles successfully. But we’ll dive deeper into the importance of technical skills training next.
The importance of technical skills training for employees
Technical skills training programs help set your employees up for success in their roles. While you’ve likely hired people with relevant prior experience, it’s still important to train them on the tools and processes specific to your organization. For example, a sales hire may be very experienced with Customer Relationship Management software but might never have used the one your company does. Training them to use your specific CRM can help to minimize any need for trial and error, speeding up their productivity.
And technical skills training isn’t just for new employees. As job descriptions across industries are constantly evolving, it’s important to equip your existing team members with the most up-to-date information in their industries. When employees can keep up with the latest skill demands of their roles, they’re more likely to perform their tasks with confidence, which can lead to higher employee engagement and satisfaction.
Top technical skills training for employees
While technical skills exist across industries, here are some of the most in-demand skills in the corporate world today:
Data analytics skills are increasingly desirable across industries. The thought of data can be intimidating for many people, but there are varying levels of expertise needed. For example, being able to understand a company’s website performance metrics or social media metrics is valuable for any digital marketing role. Even if you’re not directly responsible for interpreting the data, it can help you make strategic marketing decisions within your role.
Social media management
While it’s important to understand social media performance metrics, it’s also important to know how to follow up on them. For example, knowing how to build a strong social media strategy can help you (or the person responsible) create content with a meaningful business goal in mind. Similarly, keeping track of your brand sentiment online – also known as social listening – is key to being a social media manager.
Advantages of technical skills training
While we’ve touched on why it’s is important, we also want to highlight some key advantages of technical training, both for the organization and individual employees:
Stay informed on the latest skill demands
In a fast-paced, digital world, job descriptions are ever-evolving. This means it’s not enough to conduct technical skills training once and hope your employees are eternally equipped to succeed. Updating your training content from time to time and upskilling (or reskilling) your existing workforce ensures people keep up with the latest demands for their roles. Similarly, new software is emerging all the time. It can be easy to get comfortable with a tool you’re familiar with, but technical skills training can help you stay on top of the latest industry trends.
Complete projects faster
When your employees have the necessary (and the latest) skills to perform their jobs, they’ll spend less time looking for information and more time working on and completing their tasks. This means your organization can expect to complete projects faster, which can enable your business strategy to evolve at a quicker rate.
Increase employee engagement
As mentioned earlier, properly-skilled employees can execute their tasks with more confidence. Not only does this lead to a higher project completion rate, but also increases employee engagement within the organization.
How to learn technical skills online
The best way to keep up with technical learning needs is to let subject matter experts (SMEs) in your organization create resources themselves. We call this approach Employee-Generated Learning (EGL) – where employees create learning content for each other. It’s also a much more scalable approach than relying on a central learning department to pump out resources for every department, which can delay the ability to meet on-the-job learning needs.