According to the Canadian Center of Science and Education research, ‘training activities’ played a crucial role in successful ERP implementation and had a significant effect on an organization’s performance. While implementing a new software system, organizations need to consider many important aspects. Most companies concentrate on the dollar value and neglect other key elements. In fact, training the end-users can make or break the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation in your organization.
In this context, let’s check the best practices to train your employees on new software systems.
1. Involve employees right from the software selection process
Training on software systems can be successful, if training starts right from the software selection process. Including your users or employees in the software selection and decision-making process helps them understand the benefits of the new software system. Eventually, your employees will own the software and use it to ease their day-to-day job responsibilities. This will help you train your workforce on the new software system effectively.
‘The 2014 ERP Report: Organizational Change Management’ says that 50% of companies cited organizational change management as the primary issue causing operational disruptions. Creating awareness through training can address most of the change management issues easily.
You can train future users, i.e., newly recruited employees by giving access to a trial version of the software system. Many vendors provide these trial offers. Multinational enterprises appoint super users, who have comprehensive knowledge about the utility of the software and also provide online help resources to train new employees on the software systems.
2. Define clear learning objectives
While implementing new software, you need to set definite and measurable learning objectives for what employees will be able to do with the new software system. For example, when you’re implementing a new SAP FICO module, set performance-based learning objectives for your accounting staff. Give them a target for the number of transactional entries to be made within the stipulated time in your online simulation. This will equip them to replicate the same in the actual work environment.. To avoid cognitive load during training, it’s always better to fix achievable targets. If the learning targets are burdensome, they will turn off your employees’ interest in training.
3. Choose online training
If your employees are spread across various regions or different continents and work in various time zones, online training is a good option. In the given setup, classroom training becomes highly expensive and time consuming. Online training is a cost-effective alternative to meet your employee training needs.
- Online training helps to train employees dispersed across the globe and different time zones
- Its cost-effective and saves employee productive hours
- One time investment and you can train all the time; training reinforcement is much easier
You can provide the pre-requisite training through e-learning and also blended learning. In this pre-requisite training, your employees become familiar with the new software system and get a basic understanding of the software processes. Online training helps you teach navigational overviews and business process overviews in the new software system.
Online training also acts as a post-go-live aid and support after rolling out the new software system. Online training support helps bring new employees to speed and offer updates if there are any changes in the software processes and steps.
4. Provide role-based training
While implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in your organization, you need to develop training modules according to the roles and responsibilities of employees. You can’t develop a single training course and train employees across a spectrum of roles. In an ERP setup, not all employees use all the features of the software. Some organizations tend to train employees on tasks that are not relevant to them. So while developing a role-based training, training on the tasks should be relevant to their roles.
That’s why you need to prepare separate training modules should be tailored to meet the functions, roles, and responsibilities of your employees. Even in individual departments, train employees based on their roles and daily usage on the software. That is role-based training. This makes the training relevant to your employees and enhances the value of training.
5. Collect feedback
Never undermine the significance of feedback in your software training sessions. Feedback helps you gauge user acceptance for the newly introduced software system. This will also help make necessary improvements in your training program. Opening up anonymous feedback collection channels will help employees share the actual challenges and concerns in using the new software.
You also need to provide your users continuous support. Though formal training may stop after ERP go-live, the learning process still continues. Employees may still get doubts while using the software. Allow them to express their views and ask questions through feedback channels. Based on the queries, suggestions, views, and doubts, you can always improve your training.
You need to bring about the necessary changes in business processes and infrastructure to implement a new software system in your organization. Involving your employees, right from the beginning of the software selection process helps you handle change management issues effectively. Providing relevant training according to their roles and responsibilities helps them to do their job effectively.
What were your experiences in ERP training? We would like to hear from you.