Most people dislike change. This makes implementing organizational changes difficult.
If your company is about to undergo significant organizational changes, then preparing employees is the best way to mitigate change resistance. In fact, a comprehensive end user training strategy is an essential component of an effective organizational change management plan.
Unfortunately, less than half of companies in our 2019 ERP Report included customized training as one of their project activities.
The 2021 ERP Report
This annual report summarizes our independent research into organizations' selection and implementation decisions and their project results.
1. Ensure Executives are on Board.
Executives should understand the importance of change management and understand what activities are necessary for change management success. It’s especially important to set realistic expectations around employee training in terms of budget, timeline and resources.
2. Assume You Have Underinvested in Training.
We have yet to be involved in a project where the company spent too much time on training. Rather than looking for ways to save money by cutting change management activities, you should look for ways to help employees feel comfortable with change. This will actually decrease your overall costs and increase your ROI in the long-term.
3. Start With Business Processes.
Before designing a training program, we recommend documenting business process changes. Only then can you determine the impact of change on employees and the knowledge gaps that need to be filled.
We use change impact assessments to help our clients connect the dots for their employees in terms of the way things work now and how they will work in the future.
4. Begin Training Early.
There is a common assumption among project managers that employee training should be conducted a few weeks before changes are rolled out. Instead, employees should receive multiple rounds of training well before they are expected to adopt new processes and/or technology.
While it is tempting to train employees in one session, this is never a productive practice. Regular training sessions ensure employees retain information and learn to use new software functionality as it is rolled out over time.
5. Customize Employee Training.
Everyone learns differently, and a one-size-fits all approach leads to broad skillsets with holes in understanding. The ideal solution is to offer individualized training. This helps you address individual roles and skill levels.
One tool you can use is a change impact assessment. This helps you identify how change will affect each employee and guides you in developing individuated training plans.
6. Use Employees as Trainers.
As business owners, you may not always know the details of every employee’s job. This is why it’s a good idea for a managers and subject matter experts to take on the role of trainer.
This peer-to-peer learning technique is especially effective in large organizations. Employees can each be assigned a coach who understands their role and provides personalized feedback.
At Panorama, we design train-the-trainer programs for many of our clients implementing new ERP software. This helps them efficiently train employees on new business processes and technology.
7. Use Mobile Technology.
Much of today’s workforce works remotely. Training these employees can present a challenge.
However, incorporating mobile technology in your training strategy ensures remote employees receive effective training.
Popular apps, like Slack, can improve training through gamification. In other words, you can test employees’ knowledge via quizzes and games. This leads to higher engagement and memory retention.
Microlearning is another mobile-friendly technique that breaks training content into a smaller, more manageable pieces. This often includes short videos that employees can watch at their own pace.
Geo-fencing is one mobile technology you can use for microlearning. It is a location-based service where mobile phones use GPS, Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a programmed action when an individual enters or exits a virtual geographical boundary.
While traditionally used by companies for marketing purposes, some companies are using geo-fencing for microlearning. For example, field employees who work with compliance-related issues can be sent push notifications reminding them to conduct specific checks.
8. Combine In-person and Online Training.
While many employees find that in-person training is the best way to learn, it can be difficult to hold employees’ attention without incorporating online training materials.
Using multiple teaching methods, such as pre-recorded videos and demonstrations, can keep employees engaged during in-person training sessions.
When employees inevitably forget concepts over time, online resources, again, become useful. Many ERP vendors have user communities that provide ongoing support to end users.
Online training is especially effective for Millennial employees. Traditional classroom-based training alone won’t cut it with this group.
Effective Training Programs
Developing an effective training strategy will ensure the success of your ERP project or change initiative. In fact, we have found that employee adoption is one of the main drivers of benefits realization.
This is why Panorama’s ERP consultants design comprehensive change management plans for companies and prioritize training early in the project. If you are planning for major changes at your company, let Panorama help you develop a strategy for success.