5 Tips for New Software Implementation Training Success
Change management and training tips from your corporate training company
It's no secret-technology is rapidly increasing and companies that want to provide the best customer support and service need to continuously and seamlessly adapt to new software offerings.
From Salesforce to SAP to Workday or customized internal software programs, employees can only be as effective as their training when it comes to utilizing these software programs effectively.
Implementing any new change can be a challenge especially when dealing with resistance from employees that don’t want to change the status quo. Whether it’s a new compliance program, new management style or dealing with a merger change is not usually welcomed with open arms. But why do Learning Leaders that have to deal with new technology or software implementation may have an even stronger resistance to overcome?
One of the biggest reasons is because unless you’re a technology company, the average employee doesn’t love to learn about new technology nor are they comfortable with it. If they have already experienced a poor training experience where the trainer, the training content or the post-training support fell short, was unengaging or failed to meet the learning needs, the general attitude to dealing with yet another software update or change will likely be, “no thanks.”
Overcoming this resistance is something that successful training professionals can achieve. As part of an overarching change strategy, the training program also needs to be highly relevant to employees needs and specific to employees’ roles. Simply telling them about the new software is a sure-fire way to fail!.
The first step is to ensure that you have a qualified Instructional Designer who is a subject matter expert when it comes to your new software. The organization needs to also get behind allocating a budget to having this person complete a training needs assessment first. This is the blueprint for everything that will follow and lead the way to building the most effective new software implementation training program for your teams.
Another key part of the training program is your selection of trainers-assuming that you’re going to be offering in-class learning. If you don’t have trainers that are capable of delivering and answering any related question to the new software and how it can impact various aspects of your employees’ roles, then consider working with a contract trainer via an experienced corporate training vendor. Even the best content can fall flat if the delivery is unengaging, or the facilitator loses credibility because they cannot address concerns that take them off the learning guide.
Here are additional tips to success.
5 Ways to Help Your New Software Implementation Training Succeed
#1 Reverse the 80/20 rule
Focus the initial ‘go-live’ training primarily on the core 20% of the functionality that the employees will use 80% of the time.
Initial training should concentrate on speed to efficiency of the greatest usage of the system.
As part of your learning strategy consider ongoing or continuous education including additional functionality. This can be done with support materials like videos, microlearning modules, handbooks or posters.
#2 Modality selection
Align delivery modality to learner objectives and learning styles.
Instructor-led training in a hands-on lab environment is great for the ‘go-live’ training. However, if the user will only complete a task occasionally, provide them with ‘how to’ quick reference materials or leverage your LMS for easy reference.
When it comes to multiple locations or dealing with onsite employees as well as those in the office, modality becomes a key decision. Will virtual instructor-led training be effective? Will you be able to organize in-class training for everyone? Is eLearning your best option? Consider using an external partner like TrainingFolks to better manage large scale implementations requiring global instructors.
#3 Practice makes perfect
We often see new application training that ‘tells’ learners about the system or ‘shows’ the system during the training (particularly in eLearning).
In proficiency-oriented training like new software training, employees need to have access to the actual software of a simulation environment. In fact, training is often more effective if they explore the program first, before attending any training sessions.
The more relevant the training the more effective it will be, so make it as real as possible.
#4 Real-world change
Deliver training in a stable systems environment. An environment that mirrors the real-life situations of your learners will be most effective when it comes to engagement and most importantly, retention.
If an application screen is going to change after the training session, then the program is counterproductive to user adoption.
Consider day to day situations that your learners will be in and use those in the learning content. This is also a good way to design your support materials as it will allow learners to look up specific issues and deal with them in a realistic manner.
#5 Don’t overwhelm them
New technology training is usually met with resistance as it can be seen as confusing or complicated. Good training can alleviate this misconception for learners.
Ways to help with rolling out the new technology include communicating the new change as early as possible, ‘selling’ the benefits to the employee and the company as a whole effectively and finding champions that can link training to your business processes.
Try to keep it as simple as possible and focus on what the learners need to know about the technology to help them be more effective at their jobs.
The success or failure of your new software implementation and the training behind it rests on the ability of your teams to anticipate the true needs, gaps and best ways to deliver content and support employees post-training.
Remember. a winning software implementation planning requires a realistic budget (which will also get flushed out in your training needs assessment) strong communication as early as possible and throughout the process and a good needs analysis to pave the way.
If you’re in the need for a trusted training partner to help with any aspect of your upcoming new software implementation learning, get in touch with the team at TrainingFolks today. With over 20 years of global experience across multiple industries, our team of dedicated learning project teams have the knowledge and skills required to make your new initiative a success.