Agile training organisations like yours will, eventually, face a conundrum: In order to increase course bookings and offerings, do they hire an army of administrators or invest in a training management system?
When seeking fast and sustainable growth, training technologies tend to be the answer. These systems are, ultimately, less expensive than inflating the wage bill, while providing an immediate ROI. But it’s not as simple as just purchasing and implementing dedicated software.
Your project’s success comes, in part, from gaining internal buy-in from the get-go. Especially one as far-reaching and revolutionary as training management software. That starts with…
Addressing technological angst
Let’s be honest: People don’t just hear the word ‘automation’; what they hear is ‘I’m getting replaced by a robot.’ It’s rarely an accurate assumption; an issue that needs to be confronted at the absolute earliest stage.
We’ve been racked with technological angst since technology existed. The Spinning Jenny, the telephone, the television and, currently, the Internet have all been sources of fear for many who fail to understand their purpose. It’s no different in today’s ‘automation age’.
The initial step, then, is to dispel all the myths and misconceptions surrounding automation – namely, that the robots are coming over here, stealing our jobs…
It’s a concern that Udo Jahn, general manager at Modern Engineering recently touched upon, saying:
‘Automation exists to make employees more productive. You wouldn’t want to dig a mile-long trench with a shovel, would you? That’s why the backhoe was invented. One piece of machinery can be far more productive than 10 people with shovels. But even if this shovelling is done away with, the people are still needed for other parts of the job.’
What automation offers individual employees is the opportunity to discover new skills that benefit them and your business. We only have to look at the statistics surrounding the introduction of barcode scanners and associated point-of-sale systems to see how this works. According to McKinsey & Co.:
‘The large-scale deployment of bar-code scanners and associated point-of-sale systems in the United States in the 1980s reduced labor costs per store by It also enabled a number of innovations, including increased promotions. But cashiers were still needed; in fact, their employment grew at an average rate of more than 2 percent between 1980 and 2013.’
Better processes equal better business and a better workforce.
Set out the why’s
If you’re in the market for training technologies, then you’ve clearly found your pain point. Maybe you want to slash the amount of time you spend on administration. You need to streamline operations and end a reliance on stacked systems and spreadsheets. You want to offer delegates their own online training portal.
Whatever your reasons, understanding the ultimate purpose of implementing a new system is necessary. If you don’t really know why (or you’re kinda vague and hazy on the details) then you can’t expect your team to get behind the project.
Effective communication is the best way forward here. Something you undoubtedly excel at. Articulate clearly why you’re bringing in a new system, and how it will enable your business to address those pain points that currently prevent you from delivering a service that benefits everyone; you, your team, and your delegates. Maintaining an open channel throughout the process ensures all key stakeholders are kept ‘in the loop’. No nasty surprises, no unfair objections, no ‘I didn’t know the system could do that…’
Encourage ideas. Let employees voice their concerns. If you’ve chosen the right system for your business, these issues won’t prove difficult to allay. At the same time, this gives your team a chance to feel involved in the entire process.
Focus on job-specific benefits
Training management software has the capability to affect almost every area of a training company – whether it’s training managers or your sales and marketing department. You’ll want to avoid, then, is a one-size-fits-all approach to gaining internal buy-in. What matters to your IT department is unlikely to be what matters to your administrators.
Happily, training management software systems are broad enough that identifying the key benefits for each job role is fairly easy. For instance, Finance Managers will appreciate automatically generated invoices; your trainers will get a kick out of two-way diary scheduling; HR managers will benefit from easy target setting and monitoring… Different strokes for different folks.
As such, take time to really understand your system’s full capabilities – and, more importantly, how the many functionalities pertain to each role. Communicate those benefits in terms that matter to those you’re speaking.
Here’s the thing – Don’t just tell them how they’ll deliver better training; show them.
Any software supplier worth their salt will offer a personalised system demonstration. Get your key stakeholders involved in these so they can see how the system will work within their individual departments. This opportunity also means they can ask job-specific questions related to their day-to-day tasks, ensuring staff continue to feel engaged throughout the process.
Smooth and successful software implementation relies on gaining internal buy-in (download your free guide here) at the earliest possible stage across your training company. Be open, honest and communicative and once you have your paws on that new system, your business expansion can really begin.