There comes a time in the life of many businesses in which you will need to introduce some new tech into the fold. It could be that you are looking to keep pace with your major competitors out there, or perhaps you are looking to expand and automate. Whatever the reason, you are certainly going to need to make sure that each one of your team members is properly trained.
Of course, it is going to be more than likely that there will be some teething trouble along the way and some roadblocks that you will have to overcome, but this shouldn’t deter you.
New software rollouts should be properly communicated with staff members, and it should certainly be the case that the advantages are highlighted fully. After all, any sort of period of change can end up being intimidating for all sorts of different reasons. So, if you are looking to get your team up to speed with the new software quickly and easily, here are a few handy pieces of advice that can help you in achieving this goal.
Make Sure You Understand the Software
Before the software gets into the hands of your main team members – whether you are bringing in new accountancy software or a Gerber viewer – you are certainly going to need to make sure that you fully get to grips with the software in the first place. This can help you out significantly in ensuring that you understand the array of available features. After all, you are not going to want to introduce something to staff members unless you are confident in what it is all about. It is often going to be the case that the software providers themselves will be able to introduce some training, which can help you out significantly and bring you up to speed quickly.
Of course, you may not be using every single one of the features that is available, but simply having the fullest possible understanding can make all the difference in so many ways. There may be some features that you do not need to rely upon at this present moment in time, but you never know when they may all eventually start to come in handy.
Communicate the Change with Your Staff Members
This is already a point that has been touched upon earlier in the blog post. Still, it is certainly worth reiterating just how important it is that you are fully and properly communicating the change with staff members. Some will immediately celebrate the major change in your purposes and systems, whereas others are going to treat everything with a great deal more trepidation.
It is also going to be worth bearing firmly in mind that everyone learns at different paces, so you cannot simply assume that everyone is going to become comfortable overnight. Making allowances for the staff members that are going to learn on a more gradual basis can end up making a significant difference in all that you are trying to achieve. The key here is to make the changes as seamless as possible, although a period of learning is required.
Take Time for the Switch to Be Made
Just because you have decided to bring in some new software, it does not mean that you should be making the switch overnight. Instead, you are going to be better off taking on a slow and gradual approach. You will probably want to get the training on the new software done before you have the big switchover. This way, you are going to be able to keep the number of business interruptions down to a minimum right from the start.
In the spirit of ensuring that your communication is as clear as it possibly can be, you should certainly take the time to communicate the timeline with your members of staff. This gives them the perfect opportunity to get to grips with it all in the fullest possible way. Ultimately, the more time that you give yourself and the clearer that you can set out the timetable in front of you, the better it is likely to be.
Designate Some Software Champions
You are going to want to have some software champions around the business that people who are having trouble can approach whenever they encounter any challenges along the way. Ultimately, these are the people who are going to take on some extra responsibilities in terms of learning how to use the software even better than the average user. They should also have some better abilities in terms of being able to communicate with others and troubleshoot any issues that may start to spring up along the way.
At the same time, they certainly need to be able to have a good relationship with the software providers themselves. This way, they will be able to approach them directly when any sort of issues start to spring up that are not as easily solvable from in-house.
Of course, like any other aspect of bringing new software into a business, it is bound to take time to establish these champions and get them all used to their new role. However, if you have a good knowledge of your staff members and where their best skills lie, you should find it relatively straightforward to choose them and ensure that they always remain firmly on track in their new roles. Continual training is probably the best bet here.
Commit to Continuous Training
When new software comes into play, it is not simply going to be the case that you will be able to establish it overnight at your business and everything will work smoothly right from the outset. Instead, you need to be able to commit to a process of continuous training that happens over time. Ultimately, there are always going to be new features of the software that are brought out over time, meaning that new skills need to be brought into the fold.
At the same time, there may be some staff members that move to new job roles that involve using the software on a more continuous basis than before. From your initial training sessions, you should have been able to tell what has gone well and what can still be improved along the way. This way, you should be able to gradually refine your approach over time until you are eventually in a position in which it becomes straightforward.
It may also be the case that you are going to need to bring in members from the software provider to offer some training themselves. This could be the case when some crucial upgrades need to be made or another version of the software has made an appearance. Ultimately, no doubt training your team in any software should be considered a constant learning process with improvements that can keep on being made along the way.
Use a Wide Range of Instructional Techniques
Within the training itself, you should think about using a wide range of different instructional techniques, rather than only sticking to one or two. After all, you need to be made away that everyone learns in a slightly different way and no two learning approaches are equal.
Some people do better when they are learning in a way in which instructors are leading the way, whereas others prefer to have some ‘how to’ guides that allow them to pick up skills in their own time.
Some people prefer to learn with the written word, whereas others can improve when they watch videos and listen to content. Ultimately, it is going to be worth having a vast array of different learning content available that they all have the option of relying upon.
At the same time, it can also be much better if staff members are encouraged to work out what sort of learner they are themselves. This way, they are going to be in a much better place when it comes to leading and dictating their own learning and development.
Undertake Reviews to Determine the Success of the Software
When you first roll out the software, you cannot simply assume that it is going to bring untold benefits to your company with no teething problems at all. Instead, you need to be looking with an honest eye at just how successful it has been, so you can be ready to conduct some reviews and make improvements as you go along. In the worst-case scenarios, you may well find that the software that you thought was going to be so the user does not bring in the real-world benefits that you had thought it would.
Again, you are likely to want to have one senior member of staff who is involved in ‘owning’ the overall review process. They will be able to organize how well everything has currently gone and if there is anything that needs to be done better in the future. This needs to be someone who is skilled in project management and feels fully comfortable in knowing and understanding when and where improvements can be made along the way.
Create a Culture in Which There Are No Bad Questions
The only way that people are going to have the opportunity to learn how to use new pieces of software is if they feel like they are fully able to ask any questions that may arise – even those that they may feel are ‘silly’. The previous system that has already been discussed of bringing in some employee champions can make a big difference, but the more people that get up to speed with the new software quickly, the more that are going to be available for asking.
Learn for Next Time
The final point that is worth bearing firmly in mind is the point of learning. Ultimately, even if everything has gone very well with the software rollout, there are always likely to be areas in which it can be made better. Not only this, but you may also find that everything did not go according to plan at all, and you are going to need to make some wholesale changes to the strategy that you initially adopted. Whatever the case, learning for next time means that you are not going to keep on falling into the same old traps time and time again.
The rollout of new software at your company can end up being a significant experience that you need to ensure that you are fully ready for. Ultimately, these are some of the general pieces of advice that you can look to follow as a way of ensuring that all the necessary steps are taken right from the outset. Essentially, what you are going to need to do is ensure that you have a system in place that is fully open in which people feel like they can learn at their own pace and in their own way.
At the same time, you are also going to need to establish a close working relationship with the software provider themselves as they can help significantly when it comes to bringing some expertise and experience into the fold.
Making sure that everyone is on board with the new software right from the outset is also going to provide a major helping hand. This way, you can help to ensure that there are no feelings of negativity that end up impacting what you are trying to do. After all, the main points should be covered and reiterated time and time again. Rather than simply assuming that everyone is going to learn everything within a single training session, you are going to need to commit to the fact that people will develop in their own time. Plus, it is more than likely that more and more changes will be made to the software over time, and people are also going to need to be ready to take on board some additional training in the future.