In my previous blog, I outlined some questions to ask and tips to help you get started with training in your staff on new technology. Here are four more steps to take to ensure that you are thoroughly prepared when the time for the go-live comes around.
Reduce or eliminate interruptions and distractions. On-site face-to-face training in a dedicated training room ensures that distractions are minimized and attention is maximized. If this is not feasible, then you need to set and enforce guidelines for the remote training environment to ensure each user gets an optimal experience. You will be able to come up with a list like this pretty easily: Phones off, kids out of the house, no Facebook surfing, etc.
Prepare the trainer. Good training requires both technological and organizational expertise. If your trainer is a representative of the new technology company, talk to her about the nuances of your workflow so she can answer questions specific to your organization during training, not just software functionality. And if someone from your organization will present the training, they need to understand the new technology well enough to convey confidence and competence to the trainees.
Set schedules early. Don’t wait until a week or two before the training to discuss staff work schedules. You will probably have to do some resource juggling to give everyone adequate training time, especially for second and third shift who may need to attend training during the day. Also, avoid approving vacations and extended leave during the training period if at all possible so that all staff are on deck and getting the same message at the same time.
Provide follow-up resources: Provide something tangible that the trainee can take away from the training as a reference. Training workbooks and product manuals are great. In my experience, trainees love to have paper references that they can write on. If the tools you have are electronic only, that’s fine, but make sure that everyone knows how to get to the web link or has received the appropriate files. My colleagues have even created a script for self-paced follow-up training so that trainees can access a test system and get comfortable with the new system on their own before go-live.
Jill Devrick is a Product Solutions Advisor at 3M Health Information Systems.