Information Technology Services (ITS)

Creating a culture of continuous learning in ITS

Published on: August 25, 2023

Creating a culture of learning is one of the ITS core values. To ensure that we are continuous learners who maintain our ability to be innovative and creative in the ever-changing field of IT, the Office of the Chief Information Officer has launched new initiatives and programs over the past year to support employees across our three U of T campuses.

Enhanced employee onboarding program

In March 2023, the Office of the CIO launched a three-part employee onboarding program to orient new employees to the IT@UofT vision and culture. The first session was led by Bo Wandschneider, CIO, and Laurie Harrison, Director, Digital Learning Innovation, to help new employees build an understanding of our shared vision and values and how they relate to their work and roles within ITS.

Part two of the program included a series of six weekly meetings where ITS employees worked in small groups to discover their strengths and how to enliven them in work and everyday life. Following this series, the program wrapped up with a session exploring the professional development opportunities at the University and tips for how to set learning goals.

“The employee onboarding program hosted by ITS helped me develop a deeper sense of understanding of ITS’ shared goals and recognize how all the different departments are interconnected in order to meet our goals,” said Sabrina Sopian, Process Design Analyst, Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration, ITS. “I also enjoyed having the opportunity to connect face-to-face with those who I may not be able to cross paths with otherwise.”

Forty-five ITS employees hired since March 2020 completed the onboarding program. In September 2023, a buddy program will be launched to match new staff with an experienced ITS team member who can support them while they adapt to their new role in ITS.

Updated and new professional development resources

The IT@UofT Employee Resources SharePoint site was updated with new resources on professional development topics for ITS employees:

  • Digital workplace skills, which includes resources such as the Microsoft 365 Training Centre and Connect+Learn sessions
  • IT professional skills training, which offers resources on project management, leadership, information security and Microsoft platform specializations
  • Career development, which provides details about specialized career development programs, professional learning opportunities, financial assistance for continuing education and more

Since these resources launched in October 2022, they have been viewed more than 800 times.

Enterprise Skills Initiative programs

The University partnered with Microsoft to offer Enterprise Skills Initiative programs to all U of T staff, which helps learners build on their skills with Microsoft technologies.

ESI launched in October 2022, and since then almost 400 IT@UofT staff have been active in the ESI portal, with 145 enrolled in Microsoft Virtual Training days and 40 Microsoft certifications passed.

U of T staff are encouraged to log in to the ESI portal to explore learning opportunities relevant to their roles.

More professional development resources

The IT@UofT Employee Resources site is your access point for all IT@UofT professional development resources. Bookmark the site for easy access or find it on the ITS website homepage.