Most company technology requires training but not necessarily custom training. When training is needed and the technology or process is custom then custom training is also needed.
From communication and collaboration tools to project management systems and data analytics platforms, companies rely heavily on technology to streamline their operations and drive productivity.
No matter the employee (yes, even youngins who have grown up on technology), they don’t all feel comfortable with technology especially those who are not tech-savvy or work outside the IT department.
You can’t expect people all to be tech-savvy and they’re especially not always as eager for change as leadership is. When you introduce a new software system to your team, you’d expect them to be excited and eager for it to revolutionize the way they work.
But instead of excitement and eagerness, you’re met with confusion and frustration. It quickly becomes evident that people are struggling to adapt to the new technology, hindering their productivity and affecting the overall efficiency of your organization.
That’s why it’s essential to train employees in company technology. Training is an essential step in change management. By empowering employees with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate and utilize corporate technology effectively, you can make sure all employees are equally as prepared and ready for new digital tools.
It’s important to ensure every employee, regardless of their technological prowess (or lack of), can learn to embrace and leverage company technology to its fullest. Otherwise, all the investment from the IT department is just wasted resources.
We understand that not all technologies require custom training. Some may be so basic that no training is needed (likely not many like this, though), or more likely if it’s a generic tool such as Microsoft 365 then custom training isn’t needed. Either employees are expected to know the basics of the tool or off-the-shelf training can be used. There’s tons of training for Microsoft 365 available in places like Udemy or LinkedIn Learning.
When it comes to custom tech or processes that are unique to your organization, providing quality training is indispensable. We’ll take a look at the importance of training employees for company technology and explore the benefits of custom training. We’ll also share practical tips and strategies to ensure that your training initiatives are effective and engaging, maximizing the adoption and utilization of technology across your organization.
The perfect place to start is taking a look at the importance of training employees for company technology rather than leaving it up to chance.
The Importance of Training Employees for Company Technology
When it comes to technology in the workplace, training employees is not nice to have, it’s a necessity. The rapid pace of technological advancements means that organizations must constantly adapt and evolve to stay competitive. And that starts with ensuring that every employee has the skills and knowledge to effectively use company technology.
One of the key reasons why training employees in company technology is important is because it improves productivity. When employees are confident and proficient in using the tools and systems they need to perform their jobs, they can work more efficiently and effectively.
Want to know what improved productivity leads to? Better output, and ultimately, improved business results.
Good training also reduces errors and mistakes. When employees are unfamiliar with technology or lack the necessary skills to use it properly, they’re more likely to make mistakes or encounter difficulties. This can result in wasted time, frustration, and even costly errors that could have been avoided with proper training. When employees know how to use company technology it will not just reduce errors and mistakes but as a side effect will also reduce calls to the help desk.
I saved the best one for last: It boosts employee morale and satisfaction. People are miserable when they aren’t properly trained for their role. They’re unprepared, stressed, and plain hate it. An immediate negative outcome from that is a high level of turnover. That means training reduces employee turnover.
When employees feel supported by their organization through comprehensive training programs, they’re more likely to feel valued and engaged in their work. This can lead to higher job satisfaction, increased loyalty, and reduced turnover rates.
Some benefits have been covered but let’s give it its own section because the benefits are important to acknowledge.
Understanding the Benefits of Custom Training
While occasionally simple tools may be intuitive enough for employees to grasp on their own, most are not. And when tools are custom and have special processes not understood by most then custom tools require specialized knowledge and skills.
By tailoring training programs specifically for your organization’s unique technology and process needs, you can ensure that every employee receives the instruction they need to succeed. Not only that but training can be built custom to include scenarios that are specific to your employees. Scenarios are one of several ways to break down corporate technical training challenges.
Salesforce is one SaaS that seems relatively generic since most companies use it in some capacity. Unfortunately, each implementation of Salesforce as well as the processes for it are unique from one company to another. That means custom training is essential to capture the uniqueness of your organization. So, generic training is often not possible. These are some of the benefits your organization will realize with custom training.
It allows you to focus on the specific features and functionalities of your company’s technology processes. This means that employees can learn exactly what they need to know to perform their jobs effectively, without wasting time on irrelevant or extraneous information.
Off-the-shelf training can’t be unique to your employees and it can’t effectively use scenario or custom information relevant to your employee’s jobs. It’s typically just a generic point-and-click walkthrough that’s ineffective, boring, and can be hard to follow and apply to the job.
Custom training enables you to address the unique challenges and pain points that your employees may face when using company technology. By understanding their specific needs and concerns, training can be designed that directly addresses these issues, providing practical solutions and strategies for success.
When employees are invested in your company’s tech, it fosters a sense of ownership and investment in it. When employees receive personalized training that is tailored to their roles and responsibilities, they are more likely to feel empowered and motivated to make the most of the tools at their disposal.
This can lead to increased adoption rates, improved utilization of technology, and ultimately, a higher return on investment for your organization. Bonus: If you allow employees to share streamlined ways they’ve found of working in a system then you can also foster an environment of continuous improvement. Providing a place to share and get help on an enterprise social network can be a tremendous benefit.
Tailoring Training to Meet Individual Needs
Custom company technology training makes it possible to tailor corporate technical training in the best possible ways. It will empower you to customize training for employees by role, task, locale, skill, or any number of other ways.
One size does not fit all when it comes to training employees for company technology. Off-the-shelf training is typically going to be video-based and relatively non-interactive. That’s one of the traits of courses on Udemy and LinkedIn learning.
There’s a lot of opportunity for interactivity and trying before doing for company technology. We use software simulations to help employees truly learn with realistic scenarios and practice in a near-lifelike environment. Understanding the task and completing the task is much more effective than simply watching generic videos that show you how to click through software and nothing more.
Where’s the context!?
It’s no there with generic training but custom training is highly tailored to employees.
Tailoring training for employees and even the individual will be much more effective. It’s a great way to help every employee become comfortable with company technology.
Maximizing Adoption and Utilization of Technology
Training employees for company technology is not just about teaching them how to use the tools, it’s about maximizing adoption and utilization. After all, what good is a state-of-the-art software system if no one knows how to use it effectively?
To maximize adoption and utilization, your organization needs a culture of continuous learning and improvement. This means providing ongoing support and resources to employees even after they have completed their initial training. Whether it’s through regular refresher courses, online tutorials, a comprehensive knowledge base that’s easy to search, or a dedicated help desk, ensuring that employees have access to support when they need it can make a significant difference in their ability to effectively use company technology.
Another strategy for maximizing adoption is by creating opportunities for hands-on practice and application of the technology. This could include setting up sandbox environments where employees can experiment with different features. You can even implement contextual help in a training environment to walk employees through tasks and give them more context to the process.
By providing these opportunities, you allow employees to build confidence in their abilities and reinforce their learning. As mentioned earlier you can also allow employees to share streamlined workflows on your enterprise social network.
Social learning to the rescue!
One more thing that will help you maximize adoption and utilization: regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your training programs. Collecting feedback from employees, monitoring performance metrics, and making adjustments as needed will ensure that your training initiatives are meeting the needs of your organization and driving tangible results.
Developing Engaging and Effective Training Programs
The success of any training program lies first and foremost in its relevance to employees because relevance truly is the king of training. Relevance is the key to engagement which helps facilitate effective learning. Here are some tips for developing engaging and effective training programs for company technology.
Set Clear Objectives
Clearly define what you want employees to achieve in training. It always helps to set clear performance objectives rather than sticking with traditional learning objectives.
In other words, what do employees need to do to succeed in their jobs? This will help guide the content development process and ensure that the training is focused and relevant.
The Right Method
Don’t simply use a bunch of instructional methods because you once heard someone say learning styles are relevant or even real (they aren’t relevant and oversimplification of them is harmful including/especially VARK).
Use the right method(s) and nothing more. You don’t need a document with text, one with pictures, a video, and something with audio. The requirements of what needs to be performed will dictate how to best train employees.
No matter how someone thinks they learn, they’ll will never learn to perform a specific process in software by listening to a podcast better than doing it in a realistic simulation. So, the content will likely dictate the training strategy more than any individual or even general category unless that category is highly relevant (such as skill level).
Use real-world examples and scenarios to help employees understand how company technology is used in their work. This will help employees see the value and relevance of what they are learning.
We like to use software simulations specifically to make training interactive and easier to learn. While software tutorial videos are popular for training, they’ll never be as effective for learning company technology as a realistic simulation will be.
Encourage active participation in a scenario by incorporating interactive elements into your training programs, such as a simulation where employees have to perform the action. This will enhance engagement and retention of information.
As mentioned earlier, providing ongoing support is crucial for maximizing the adoption and utilization of technology. While it’s not good to rely solely on the help desk (the goal is to reduce help desk calls after all) it’s still a valid method for providing support.
Just make sure there are plenty of other resources and the emphasis is placed on helping employees help themselves. There’s nothing worse than learned helplessness and training employees to go that route.
There are two great methods for reducing learned helplessness:
- Making it easy to find resources either through an easily searchable knowledge base or contextual help.
- Allowing employees to collaborate, share, and figure out solutions in an environment such as your enterprise social network.
Technology is a fundamental part of every organization. To thrive, employees need to be empowered by knowing how to use company technology. They need the skills and knowledge to effectively use it all for their job.
While for some types of company tech generic training might suffice, more often than not custom training tailored to the specific needs of your organization will be not just necessary but more effective. It will bridge the gap between technophobes and technology enthusiasts.
By providing relevant and engaging training, your organization can ensure that every employee has the opportunity to learn company technology effectively. It also creates a culture of continuous learning and improvement while reducing learned helplessness.
By developing relevant and engaging training programs, providing ongoing support and resources, and fostering a learning mindset within your organization, you can empower your employees to embrace company technology and thrive in the digital era.
When you’re ready to empower employees and help everyone benefit from company technology equally, schedule a free consultation to discuss your next technology integration. We’d love to learn more about it and work with you to plan an effective implementation of it that makes sure all employees are equally empowered to benefit from it.