By now you know that investment in technology is critical to deliver business results and achieve strategic goals. However, have you considered your team’s capabilities when it comes to leveraging technology?
Implementing new and better tech is crucial to growing your business and expanding your expertise, but unless your people can take full advantage of that tech, you won’t see the full ROI. This, of course, is where training comes in! If you are designing an internal technical training program, check out our top three tips to ensure your training is as effective as possible so you can reap the many benefits of positive employee training!
1. Assess the Current Capabilities of Each Department and Make an Assessment for Each Group
Consider each group within your organization:
- What is most important for them to know or learn about the tech tools that they use?
- How well are your processes connected to technology capability?
- How proficient are they at using the technology today?
- Do they need to use the tools remotely, and are they able to do so effectively?
- What tools have the largest knowledge gap (and thus the biggest need for training)?
- Are there common problems or complaints that their current tech toolset could help solve?
Additionally, have a deeper conversation to judge the department’s understanding of how the use of technology connects to the greater business strategy. Understanding this link should empower them to think about how they can better use the tools available to them, as well as get them thinking about how new tools or processes could impact the business.
2. Prioritize a Department and Get Started
Once you have a baseline and insight into how your teams use and view technology, define what information and tools will be most valuable for the department(s) to receive additional training. Determine the schedule and content of the training by talking to different team members, and identify your advanced users who can share their best practices and help develop the content. From there, you’ll need to develop training content, provide the training and information that the team requires, and then assess. There are far more effective training techniques and strategies than we have room to discuss here, but consider what might work best on a case-by-case basis (for each tool and each department receiving training) and go from there. However, we do recommend conducting training in short increments over time — no one will remember much from an all-day 8-hour training session!
3. Assess the Impact and Determine How the Training Will Evolve
Once a training program is complete, you’ll need a way to measure its effectiveness so you can tweak it as necessary for future trainees. In other words, the training needs to transition from a point-in-time initiative to an ongoing evolving service. Have another conversation with teams who have completed the training and see how their view on the connection between their tech tools and the company goals has changed. Look deeply at measurable productivity related to the tools and how it has changed since the training.
Moving forward, think about how new hires will receive training when they join your organization. (Will they use the same training program, or will a department veteran who has been through the training show them the ropes?) Who owns the tool within the department to facilitate updates and stay up-to-date on new versions and features? This component is critical to keep the momentum moving forward.
Once you have all that under your belt, consider the impact of your training when deciding how far you take the approach throughout the entire company. (Not every department or tool will require the same level of expertise or training!) However, it’s essential that education and training are ongoing as the IT tools and strategies you use continue to evolve, because their business impact on your company and new technological capabilities can be significant. One last item — don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. Start small, and let it grow and evolve. Getting started is at least half the battle!