We all learn throughout our lives, but in the tech industry continuing education is crucial. That's why SKIDATA regularly sends its employees on training courses.
SKIDATA is convinced that learning in a company is both a shared responsibility and a competitive advantage. Therefore, it is not only about building knowledge within the company but also about sharing and passing it on. SKIDATA has set up training structures in all its branches and also produced creative online training. Everyone at SKIDATA regularly receives training and can thus become an expert– and even a trainer themselves.
Kristin Wiederhold is responsible for training in the Operations department– i.e., the training for technicians, project managers and hotline staff. "Our training offerings are linked to our career tracks," explains the 34-year-old, who joined SKIDATA from Siemens. "If you start as a technician with us, you get a 90-day plan that also includes the training for the first three months.” New employees from the operative departments are trained about 20 days a year. "The training courses they complete also give employees an idea of how they can develop their careers over the next four to five years," says Kristin.
Those who train successfully will be certified
It is important that employees receive internal certification every two years for the successfully completed training units. "This is a quality feature that is important not only for our employees but also for our customers," says Kristin. This is why SKIDATA also offers training to partner companies so that they can offer competent service where no SKIDATA employees can be on site. Some of the training takes place on site in small groups of up to eight participants, while others are online courses.
As an innovation leader, SKIDATA relies on training its own people, as the necessary knowledge is often not available on the market. "It is also important to us that the training takes place as close as possible to our products and the actual problems," explains Kristin. The training program is planned centrally and conducted locally. In 2017, there were 530 training days in Kristin's area company-wide with 1,600 participants– with participants generally completing several training units. SKIDATA has just developed a new certification for hosted services and cloud computing.
Expert Talks complement the training
Kristin also trains the trainers, with SKIDATA taking a holistic approach to education. "The focus is on ‘Blended and Active Learning,’ which means that in addition to theory, the main focus is on training employees as closely as possible to market requirements," says Kristin. The online courses aren't just videos to watch either. "The learner must actively participate," explains Kristin.
The training units are supplemented by expert talks, in which current issues are discussed in 20 to 30-minute online sessions modeled on TED Talks. "Most of the time it's about troubleshooting, best practice, and new tools," says Kristin. "The recordings are then available to all interested employees on the intranet.” So what the experts discuss in the talks is not only reserved for the experts. In this way, we want to promote continuous learning.