Ensuring staff members have the knowledge and tools are just two aspects of training – instilling confidence to help them pass on important elements of the training to fellow team members is just as important. How do you get the blend right? Carrie Roberts, Training Team Leader at Bond International Software, offers her top tips on maximising the value of training and increasing efficiency.
Getting the most from training sessions can be challenging for companies. The balance between sharing important information about a product or programme and communicating with the course members in an interactive manner can be tricky for course leaders.
Creating a workshop that enables participants to test their new knowledge helps to remove barriers later in the training lifecycle – especially when participants will be required to share their new insight and knowledge with colleagues.
Never ending training sessions using reams of handouts and a few ice-breakers for good measure are fast becoming things of the past. Companies have realised that in the current 24/7 switched-on business world, people do not have time to focus high levels of attention on training.
An interactive workshop model that allows individuals to experiment with a software product, assess how key tasks can be undertaken or information requirements met, is a very effective way of embedding knowledge, especially regarding product functionality. This is a particularly important model for companies opting for in-house training and relying upon a small number of people to share the knowledge and insight gained on a training course with the rest of the team.
Improving the effectiveness of knowledge sharing is just one part of the equation – organisations also need to ensure training is provided at the right time. It is therefore essential to consider training early in the procurement process. Doing this helps three-fold; firstly it provides the company with an initial insight into whether the product will feasibly work for its unique situation; secondly it provides the company with an opportunity to identify levels of training needed, an inventory check as such; and finally it will increase efficiency, by ensuring everyone required is lined up ready to go as quickly as possible – avoiding unnecessary delays.
Ultimately, training is about getting the most out a product or software. With budgets still squeezed for many companies, getting the most for your money – and making the most of your technology – is important. Having dedicated significant resources to selecting a solution and overseeing the implementation, it seems strange to underestimate a key part of this process – ensuring your team members are confident and effective in using the technology. Looking at who you are training, when and how best to share that knowledge across the team, are essential steps in realising return from your software investment.