4 training tactics to use when implementing new software
This blog post was written by Angela Nino, Training Manager at Versitas, who provides innovative training methodologies for corporate learning environments.
Assimilating new technology is never an easy task, but it is necessary to keep your organization on the cutting edge. And, to protect your investment in the technology, user adoption training will be crucial.
When fully integrated, the software will most likely increase productivity and efficiency. But during the interim process of transitioning and executing the roll-out you will normally find resistance to the change. Let’s take a look at what we’ve seen minimize issues and smooth the process.
Teach the basics
Start with the big picture of where the software fits into the current business structure. Don’t assume that everyone knows how it will affect their tasks. This information could be conveyed at the beginning of a training session or in a company-wide communication. However you choose to push out the information, keep it concise and to the point.
If the new technology is similar to something your employees already know, use the older software as a way to provide a basis for understanding the new software. If the program is completely different, take the time to explain even the most basic parts. Even though it should feel intuitive, sometimes doing a quick lesson on the basics can make the transition much easier.
Be aware of different learning styles
Just thinking about training a whole organization on a new software seems overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.
Break your training down into smaller segments and follow a hybrid approach. Some employees will prefer in-classroom training and others will like online training. Spend some time learning about different learning styles and modalities to help get a handle on what might work for your team.
One method that seems to work well is to have students attend an in-classroom training session or complete online learning modules for the basic and intermediate level features of the software. Next, set up 30 minute to 1 hour small group sessions of 1-3 people for employees to ask specific follow-up questions. This could be done with an in-house person that already knows how to use the software or by a third-party trainer. Then, have additional online and in-classroom sessions for intermediate and advanced levels.
Always, always, always set your expectations before creating any of the learning curriculum for the new software roll-out. Expectation setting should also include looking at the expected ROI, and later the actual ROI, so you can establish goals. These beginning steps cannot be skipped!
After you develop the goals and expectations, get formal feedback at least once during the training. Often, you can get your best comments from your employees informally throughout the process. Ask for feedback at each training session via an online survey or in person. Remember to ask specific questions that require open-ended responses to get the best feedback. Stay away from no or yes questions.
Next, determine how quickly everyone needs to be up to speed on the new software. Then, do an assessment and measure the effectiveness of the training. If you are not where you want to be, you may need to seek additional training.
Practice what you preach
Learn the program yourself, even if you won’t ever need to use it. Understanding new software is critical to a system implementation whether or not you will be working with it.
If the program helps drive your organization’s business, everyone needs to understand the basics to be able to address software related issues and to understand how information flows. By setting the example of making the new software a priority, employees will know that their time investment in training is important, too.
Struggling with user adoption? You’re not alone. At a recent Salesforce nonprofit user group, attendees put their heads together to come up with 9 helpful user adoption tips.