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You’ve Chosen Business Software, Now What? The Importance of End User Training

So you’ve made the decision, selected your software, implementation is underway and you are shortly due to go live. So much to organise and yet often the crucial process of incorporating an end-user strategy is forgotten – arguably the most important. Unless your staff are trained on using your new software, you cannot expect to reap the full benefits of the investment.

In addition to this there is often the challenge of staff being resistant to change. By explaining the reasons behind a new system to create an understanding, outlining the benefits and providing training, you will be on the road to staff embracing these changes.

The key to planning the end-user strategy is reviewing the practicalities – How many people need to use and understand the new system? How quickly do you want the rollout to all staff?

Once you have an idea of the above, you can decide on the most appropriate delivery of training. You may select hands-on computer training with an instructor, seminar style with a presenter, manual based training or maybe even virtual learning. you may also need to consider to conduct the training individually or in group focussed sessions.

Selecting the best delivery method will depend on several factors:

  • The number of staff being trained and the timescale of delivery – this will determine whether you train as a group or individually
  • How your staff are geographically spread – finding the best location to conduct the training and consider virtual learning
  • The processes involved in the new software that staff need to grasp, for example maybe practical training through the activity will speed up the learning process as opposed to a presentation on how to use.
  • What resources are required for the training – Uploading software or using the internet, manual production?
  • The level of Interactivity required eg. – will role play be necessary, would group activity increase understanding and raise motivation levels?
  • Who is best to facilitate and deliver training – do the software company recommend or provide training for staff or will you require an external/internal facilitator?

Creating the correct training environment is another consideration. One aspect of this is bridging the gap between staff skill sets, not all staff might need the same level of training, it could be more effective learning and time-wise to deliver tiered-skill level training to separate groups.

Following this, the physical learning environment chosen will impact learning. Staff must be comfortable, relaxed, have the necessary tools and no distractions in order to listen, interpret and actively engage in the information being passed on to them. So often, IT and technical issues can get in the way of learning; the smooth delivery of training is key to those receiving and eliminates frustration of those delivering. By getting this right, you will save time and money in unnecessary errors being made. To maintain the benefits of your new system, it is equally important to educate new starters, possibly consider incorporating it into Induction plans and for those fully trained, updates and refresher training should be scheduled.

By having your End User Strategy as a key point in your planning when purchasing of software, your business will operate more efficiently and maintaining a competitive edge and encourage a culture that embraces change.

About the Author

Kate Smith is an expert in helping corporate coordinators deliver successful training events, drawing upon her years of experience in managing corporate and hotel venues in the UK. She is now the Sales Manager for Karstens conference and computer training venues in Melbourne and Sydney.