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Three Ways to Develop Internal IT Talent

woman and man looking at a computer

In the wake of the “Great Resignation,” LinkedIn has been buzzing with career update posts and job change notifications. With 60% of tech professionals on the hunt for a new job in the next 12 months, you may be wondering what you can do to retain the talent you have (and maybe even attract some top talent from somewhere else, too). 

Investing in an employee’s growth and development is a vital part of employee retention.These are just a few ways companies can provide valuable opportunities for employees to expand their skills:

1. Offer on-demand, self-paced, and self-motivated learning resources.

Career-pathing conversations with managers are a great way to flesh out employees’ individual goals and ambitions, highlight areas for growth, and identify soft or hard-skills needed for career advancement. Pairing those conversations with access to virtual, always-available learning opportunities to develop those skills helps kick those career-pathing plans into action and puts the employee in the driver’s seat.

Though multi-day off-site training sessions can still have merit, fully virtual or hybrid options open a new world of possibility. Even pre-COVID, when travel was more frequent, didn’t we all find it difficult to take a large chunk of time away from the office? Those all-day cram sessions also aren’t necessarily an effective strategy for long-term retention and in-depth learning. (And nobody misses the stale donuts and cold coffee served during breaks.) 

2. Provide real-world stretch assignments and challenges. 

How many times did you roll your eyes during a high school math class and groan, “When am I ever going to use this?” Learning principles, rules, and frameworks is dry and boring without some sort of real-world application. Give employees opportunities to learn through stretch projects that have actual impact and implications—either within the company or as a company-sponsored volunteer effort.

Making these stretch projects and challenges open to anyone in the company—not just a single job function or department—can have other benefits beyond just skills building. Partnering with other employees across the organization organically fosters relationship-building, breaks down silos between departments, and encourages interdisciplinary collaboration.

3. Provide pathways for rotational training. 

More formal, structured training rotations are another great way to push employees out of their comfort zones and provide opportunities for learning and growth. This could mean giving managers a chance to “get their hands dirty” with projects that require technical skills they haven’t used in a while or cycling employees through a project or two in a skill or functional area outside their expertise. 

Want even more ideas? Read on for ten additional ways to develop your tech talent. 

Have some “stretch assignments” that are a little too big of a stretch? For some projects, you just don’t have the time or internal resources to do it all yourselves. We’re here to tackle those IT challenges alongside you. Contact one of our Inteleca expert engineers to learn more.