The key components of good end-user training

Classroom-style instruction is one approach to delivering end-user training.

Rolling out new HR software can pose a challenge for human resource administrators and company employees alike, and there is often a period of adjustment. Effective end-user training is essential to minimizing the inevitable learning curve, and to making the most of the investments (of both time and money) your company has made in selecting a new software solution.

Deb Shinder of TechRepublic offers the following advice for rolling out end-user training and decreasing the chance of a decline in productivity:

Set realistic goals.

In order to mitigate productivity loss, it's crucial that human resource professionals are educated on the inner workings of the new system as quickly as possible. However, giving them too much to digest at once can be counterproductive.

Setting realistic goals is just as important when software is being upgraded rather than replaced.

"Training might be expected to proceed more quickly because users are already familiar with a previous version. However, if there are many changes in the new version or it has a very different interface, users may actually find an upgrade more difficult than switching to a completely new software package," Shinder explains.

Understand that employees have varying baselines of knowledge.

Part of setting realistic goals for end-user training is understanding that some of your staff members will require more training and repetition than others. Shinder recommends training employees of differing levels of tech knowledge in separate groups.

Determine the appropriate training format.

Different approaches include:

  • one-on-one/hands-on
  • classroom-style/hands-on
  • seminars
  • computer based
  • book-based/self-paced

Training should be tailored to the specific software.

Using screenshots or printouts of the new or upgraded software will put training materials into context and help employees recall what they've learned when interacting with the new system.

If your human resource department is looking to adopt a new software solution, an HR consulting service can help determine which system is most compatible with your office's needs.