In times of recession – how does ITIL Service Management help to keep your good employees?

Today I was interviewed by somebody from the itSMF about trends in the education and training industry. Inevitably the questions go the the current economic climate and the position of education in all this.

To me this is really easy – but then again: I run an education company so I am slightly biased –  ITSM education really helps organisations to make a difference. Note that I don’t say ‘training’ as I don’t have a lot of positive things to say about organisations who only focus on the training aspect.. teaching monkeys tricks…  Of course there is a training aspect in each educational program but there is so much more to it! Being an educator means that you know your subject as well as have the ability to make people understand what this new theory means for them – in their working environment. You need to understand that it is NOT about you but about the students. Educating is more than presenting, it is about focusing on the needs and requirements of the students… constantly.

Anyway, stepping down from my soap box for a second here, I strongly feel that ITSM education can make the difference between an IT organisation that is subject to outsourcing or an IT group that adds to the overall corporate goals. ITSM education make the difference to the individual wanting to get that new job, and helps to get passed by when the redundancies are handed out.

Like I said to the interviewer today; I am constantly looking for new staff. We filled 2 vacancies in March and are currently advertising for 2 additional vacancies. So I see my fair share of applications and resumes across my desk. In comparison to 12 months ago, we receive about 10x the amount of applicants but I can’t say that the overall quality of the applicants has risen. Mind you, there are still gems out there – and they stand out! But what I expected to see as a result of all these job cuts and redundancies was that a lot of highly skilled people with fantastic experience and backgrounds would be applying for jobs.. and I don’t see that at the moment. Not in Australia that is…

Why do I say this? Well, for highly competent – qualified and experienced ITSM staff members the jobs are still out there and it is easy to stand out among the other candidates. So adding ITSM to your resume could be a good thing for individual IT professionals.

On the other side – IT organisations can use ITSM education as a differentiator to maintain their high performing employees. Offering educational opportunities to them will make them highly productive in the work place – making sure the IT group can cope with the new requirements and added work pressures – but also happier employees as they know they are valued and continue to improve their skills and qualifications. This seems to be a way to retain your good employees. High performers want to be challenged, and constantly learning new things or improving current processes. ITSM education gives them the opportunity to do this. This ultimately saves you money through retention of your high performers and not having to look for new staff as well as an improved IT delivery mechanism.

Benefits no matter where you look! So, what’s keeping you from educating your staff?!