Switching to a new technology represents a change in your company’s status quo. And even though the change may be technical, ultimately managing the transition of your human resources is the determining factor in successful technology adoption. A major part of this transition is training because even the best tech isn’t helpful if people don’t know how to use it!
So, how do you set up successful training on new technology?
HERE ARE SOME GUIDELINES TO HELP YOU OUT:
1. Set the scene:
As Simon Sinek explains in his popular TEDx Talk, start with why. Explain to your employees why this change is important and its purpose. After there’s an understanding and buy-in on the ‘Why’, provide a broader overview of the impact of the change and be sure to cover the who, what, when, where, and how. For example, Who is impacted? What are the major process changes? Where can information be found? How will the training process play out? Providing this information can help reduce resistance to change.
When compiling the information above, consider the stages of the Bridges Transition Model; where do your employees sit on the transition model? What emotions might they be feeling about this technology change? What information could help ease any apprehensions?
2. Consider the content:
Regardless of the training complexity, base your training content on defined learning objectives and a robust Training needs analysis. Among (many) other things, remember to consider adult learning principles; employee knowledge, skills, and abilities; and the proficiency levels required post-training.
When delivering training on technology, breakdown the tech based on business processes, include topical examples, build on prior knowledge, and provide active learning opportunities for employees to practice what they are learning. Also, time permitting, space out training to allow employees to absorb and apply information.
Throughout training, maintain open lines of communication. Encourage participation and provide ample opportunities for employees to ask questions. Be flexible, if questions indicate the need, change your training strategy.
3. Check the results:
Plan out how you’ll check training effectiveness, whether it be a survey, quiz, practical example, etc. To determine the types of effectiveness checks to use, consider the proficiency level required; do the employees just need awareness of activities or are they learning a new skill? For more information on training evaluation, check out Kirkpatrick’s Training Evaluation Levels.
If immediate or continuing evaluation shows that training was not effective, identify the training objectives that were not met and provide additional training where necessary. Where possible, use the effectiveness check results to update training content for future use.
4. Share the info:
Chances are good that trainees may have questions or need clarifications after training. Ensure training collateral is readily available to trainees post-training. Remember, collateral should be reviewed periodically and updated as needed to maintain accuracy.
5. Retrain the process:
As the Greek philosopher said, “change is the only constant in life”. Even after your new technology is live and all training is said and done, more changes may crop up (new releases, enhancements, defect/bug fixes) and require retraining. When necessary, use retraining to ensure practice is aligned to updated processes and that any workarounds are no longer in use.
Training is an integral part of the transition to new technology! Consider your employees at every stage of the development and delivery process to create high-quality training that has the power to reduce resistance, increase adoption, and help you get the most out of your new tech.