Technology, including the latest software and hardware, is evolving so quickly in our world that it is not uncommon for businesses to need regular training seminars to keep their greatest asset - their workforce - properly trained. In fact, in many work environments, the only constant is… change. That means if businesses want to remain current in terms of technology updates they must develop a tried and true training strategy.Software training in particular is key to being successful in the business world. The benefits of having a robust software training strategy include increasing employee engagement and retention rates, encouraging innovative thinking, mitigating security risks, and giving your organization a competitive edge.For some businesses, training happens only when a major upgrade occurs or a new certification is needed, while others include training as a regular part of an employee’s job throughout the year, possibly at a monthly or quarterly mark. While every business rolls out training in a different manner, one thing is common among them all - there is a sense of dread and apprehension at the change that new software can have on their devices and normal workday routine. Since change can be hard, we thought it would be a good idea to discuss some tips to help your employees embrace the change and make it a less anxiety-filled event for your business. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of having a strategy for your software training, the options for intervals of training, and some tips on how to make your training rollout a smooth one.
Strategic Training Benefits
We get it. Change can be hard especially when it is not change you feel comfortable with or understand completely. Changes in software can be especially discomforting because you seem to have just gotten used to the last change and now the latest and greatest thing has come along and another change is just around the corner. Believe it or not, change in business (software especially) is a good thing. New technology can improve the functionality of devices, can address current security issues, and improve efficiency and productivity. This can only happen, however, if your workforce has been properly trained on the new software. Here are a few statistics regarding the benefits of training that may change your mind about how critical these training and software changes can be for your organization. The following stats are provided by Lorman, a leading provider of online training and continuing education for professionals and organizations.
74% of workers are willing to learn new skills or re-train in order to remain employable
70% of employees would be somewhat likely to leave their current job to work for an organization known for investing in employee development and learning
Retention rates rise 30-50% for companies with strong learning cultures
As you can see by these numbers, employees want an organization to invest in a solid training strategy. Additionally, it can be just as beneficial for employers as well as employees in terms of retention rates.
Training Interval Options
When to schedule training is a huge issue in many businesses. Finding a time that doesn't interfere with the actual work that needs to be done on a daily basis can be a challenge. Options for training can include the following.
On-the-job training is when a mentor works closely with a small group or individual as they learn the new software. This strategy can be helpful when onboarding new employees or dealing with a group that is particularly “change-phobic.” One negative of this practice is that it can take time and means that a mentor will not be doing their job during the training process.
If a software update is small and the workforce is self-motivated to learn, a weekly meeting to discuss the changes can be just enough for some businesses.
Monthly or Quarterly Training
This interval for training may be a happy medium for many businesses that find they have new employees often and some that need regular training for skills development. Quarterly training can help when software has been updated or changed and a new group needs to be educated about the use of the software.
This option is actually a great one for medium-sized businesses that are looking to hold a training session for the entire workforce at one time. Taking a day or so to train can be a great way to get everyone updated and educated on the latest changes in the software.
Tips to Make Training Go Smoothly
As we mentioned earlier, not everyone loves to embrace change, especially on the devices they have come to count on to get their work done. Therefore, here are some tips and tricks that can help your organization roll out a software change that will be less intense and give everyone a chance to adapt.
Announce potential changes and training early when possible. No one likes change that is a surprise.
Give employees a chance to choose the style of training that best suits their style of learning whether that is with a mentor, as a group, or on their own.
Create a training hierarchy where seasoned employees are trained and serve as mentors.
Use training incentives for employees to use new software.
Make training a priority to improve buy-in within the organization.
Set clear and realistic deadlines and rollout methods.
The more clear you are about your training process, the schedule, method, and deadlines, the more your workforce will have a chance to learn at a pace and in a way that is best for them. Spectra Networks is experienced in training all sizes and skill levels of organizations. Talk to our team about your software rollout and your training needs.