Technology training starts before implementation, and never truly ends. There will always be new users, new processes, and new software platforms to integrate. Get the most out of your technology training plan by going in prepared with these strategic training tips.
Our Top 5 Technology Training Tips:
1. Always, Always Do It
A new technology tool may seem intuitive or elementary to you, but there will always be users who find it daunting. Frustrated staff members may decide it’s unnecessary and resist using it at all.
It’s never enough to give a simple heads up about the tool or application with a link to SOP resources. Make room in your technology implementation plan for live training sessions and one-on-one user interaction, no matter what. The number one technology training tip is to do it. Always.
2. Never Go In Blind
A short pre-assessment, email survey, or even just a “hands up if you’re familiar with this” before the session gives you valuable feedback to hone the technology training plan.
If you plan the training session with no understanding of what your staff already knows, you’ll end up wasting valuable time on elements that don’t need much reinforcement. Get the input you need to provide trainees with the concepts and instruction they really need.
3. Prime Their Engines
Especially for highly technical training, it helps to prepare your staff in advance for what they’re going to learn. Send out some brief, accessible materials that show off valuable use cases, summarize core topics, and explain (or demonstrate) basic functions.
These resources are primers that will flatten the learning curve and stay useful as references after the fact. In fact, it’s critical to create an IT knowledge base for users so that you can minimize support tickets in the long run.
4. Prepare For Questions
Heard of the Pareto Principle? Essentially, it states that for most events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Computer science applies it to bug-fixes: fix 20% of the most-reported bugs, and you’ll eliminate 80% of errors and crashes.
If we apply it to your technology training plan for new system implementation, the Pareto Principle would say that 80% of learning will come from 20% of the training. But which 20%? The best way to maximize your time and provide exactly the training your staff needs is to let them ask the questions.
Try to anticipate every question they might ask and prepare detailed answers to every one of them. Repeat each asked question aloud before you answer. The answers to actual staff questions are often the best learning material that will come out of the session.
5. Train Close to the Action
Technology training can be complicated. Don’t overlook the risk of knowledge attrition. Staff benefits most from training methods to learn new software when the session is relatively close to “go time.”
If you’re preparing staff to use an agenda builder in conference management software, it wouldn’t make sense to train them before the call for papers has even gone out. Wait until the abstract review is wrapping up, and they’ll be working on the agenda relatively soon.
A brief time to synthesize the training is necessary, but don’t wait too long, or their skills will quickly deteriorate and need refreshing.