When you select the right software for your business, it can last you for years with proper updates, maintenance, and integration. Eventually, however, your business is bound to grow and change, and so, too, will your needs where software is concerned. Plus, newer, better, and more customizable products are likely to become available.
In short, you will eventually find yourself upgrading to new software systems, and your employees will have to learn how to use these programs to the best advantage of their positions, and the company at large. What’s the best course of action when it comes to training employees to properly utilize new software systems? Here are a few best practices to follow.
1. Start prior to transitioning
If you want employees to be up-to-speed with new software when you launch it, you have to start training well in advance of the transition so they can hit the ground running, so to speak. Your employees will not enjoy being thrown into the fire, and your business will suffer as a result of inadequate training time. Devoting time to training might set you back in the short-term, but it’s a lot better than the impact to your business if employees aren’t prepared and customers are affected in the interim.
2. Utilize online training tools
In some cases, software providers will happily supply professionals to deliver training courses for your employees (albeit often for a fee). You might be better off utilizing online training materials, if they’re offered. This allows employees to complete training at their leisure, you’ll ensure that they all have access to the same training materials, and they can return to them for reference any time they need a refresher. In addition, online materials provide easy access to employees across the globe.
3. Set aside mandatory training time
If you want to make sure all of your employees are on-board and prepared when new software systems are implemented, it’s not a bad idea to provide them with mandatory training time during paid work hours. If you expect them to do it on their own time, you might just get what you pay for.
4. Set clear training goals
It’s important that your employees are able to effectively and efficiently use new software in daily operations. In order to ensure optimal preparedness, it’s best to set clear training goals for employees to achieve. This could include testing at the end of training segments, or running sample scenarios to see how well and how quickly employees perform, just for example.
5. Get employee feedback
Encouraging employees to share questions, comments, and suggestions is a great way to improve training procedures now and in the future. While current employees will probably get some amount of on-the-job training once software is launched, their feedback can help you determine how best to train new hires as your company grows.
Training employees to use new software systems is bound to result in some amount of frustration and grumbling, but when you go about it the right way, you’ll see optimal retention and hopefully improved performance following implementation.