When you implement new software in your business, it is essential that employees are brought up to speed quickly. The reason for this is that the implementation period means downtime for your company. Even if you are operating, you will not be operating at full capacity until your employees have learned to use the software well. Here are a few tips to speed the learning process for new software.

Tip #1: Offer a Variety of Training Techniques

Not every employee in your building is going to learn the same way. Some may learn best through hands-on experience while others will need to read up on new software before they are able to use it well. One of the best ways that you can quickly train employees is by offering a variety of training techniques, and letting them choose which method they may use. Some may want to read the manual and others may choose to learn by watching a video, or by practicing with the software. A lot of websites, like FileCenter by Lucion, offer a page designated to navigating the site for self-learning. Some sites are filled with user guides and videos that you can email to your employees to watch and read through for themselves. You will be surprised to find that taking note of your employees’ different learning styles can significantly speed the learning process

Tip #2: Give Employees a Knowledge Test

It is very likely that each of your employees comes from a different background, including previous employment and experience with similar types of software. For this reason, some employees learn more quickly than others. One way to speed the learning process is by offering a knowledge test before training is started. A knowledge test gives you a chance to learn which employees have a basic understanding of the software and which need to start from the basics. Then, you can focus on training the employees that really need it without forcing the ones who don’t to sit down and train through the basics.

Tip #3: Don’t Burn Employees Out

When you make employees sit down and learn the entire program in a few days, it can really burn them out. As a result, they may not retain as much information as they would if it were administered in smaller segments. Instead of concentrating training on a single day, administer it in segments over a week. While it seems that this would take longer, it actually helps employees learn better and makes it less likely that they will need to relearn information that has already been discussed.

Tip #4: Choose Interesting Materials

When you try to train employees with boring materials, they are a lot less likely to retain the information. This means a longer training process because it is likely that you will need to repeat information on the software before they learn to use it. This can be detrimental if you were hoping for a quick training process. To combat this, choose interesting materials. If you can relate the software to a process employees are familiar with, choose informative but interesting graphics, or incorporate videos into the training process. This way, your employees will learn quicker than they would otherwise.

Tip #5: Hire an Expert

A lot of software companies will allow you to work with an expert when training employees. This can significantly speed the training process because employees will not have to seek out someone who can answer questions they may have. If you think this is out of your budget, consider hiring an expert for a day when you know most employees will be in the office. Call a company meeting and be sure that someone is taking detailed notes for the employees who are not in attendance. Screenshots and other useful graphics can help speed the learning process for new software as well.

About the author: 

Lautaro Martinez is a small busienss owner who shares his insights and tips into running an effective and smooth office. If you would like to learn more about Lautaro, check out his Google+ profile here.