Implementing new technology can be tough on both your company’s time and its money. And enabling staff to adapt to the new technology is an often overlooked part of implementation. How can you help your staff get comfortable with new technology? It’s all in the training.
First and foremost, communicate with impacted staff prior to, during, and after implementing any new technology. Sometimes, upper-level management forgets to include employees in the conversation about a new technology. Management loses out on valuable feedback if they do not include staff who ultimately use the technology. Staff will feel more comfortable learning and accepting new technology if they help choose the best option. During implementation, find key players on your team and include them during the entire process. These key players will ultimately be your best bet for trainers, as well as the strongest advocates for the new solution.
Train Your Trainer
Do not overlook training your trainer to, well, train. Not everyone is equipped with teaching prowess. Unfortunately, even your best workers may not be the best trainers. Patience, flexibility, and some handy training methods can go a long way. Find someone who is naturally patient and has the flexibility to move from one thing to another without getting agitated. When you find that person, involve them in the entire implementation process, and train them to train your staff. Send them to training offered by the technology company you are buying from, or, if possible, allow them to shadow the technology company’s staff while they use the product. Empower your trainer to gather the tools needed to effectively train an entire team.
Identify a Technology Ambassador
It may seem unneeded, but identifying someone in your company who is excited to work with the new technology is important to the implementation’s success. Once the technology is in place, you need someone to engage and excite other workers to learn about and use the new technology. Your ambassador need not be a team lead, but he or she should be someone others tend to look up to.
Spend Time Training & Be Flexible
Just as your trainer needs to be patient and flexible, management needs to embrace these traits, too. Training takes time. Assuming everyone will be ready to fly after a quick three-day training is wrong. Spend time training over longer periods of time. However, do not bog down employees with training in large multi-day blocks. Instead, select a day or two out of the week to spend a few hours training, then give employees “homework” to test their skills. Not only will they be able to practice what they learned, but they will be able to come back to the next training and ask relevant questions. For struggling employees, reach out to them and listen to what they need to take their learning to the next level. Everyone learns differently, and some people may require one-on-one attention. Do not stop training just because you reach a previously specified “training complete” date. Encourage and support your employees to learn it, even if some take longer than you expected.