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  • Writer's pictureChris Gibbs

Ask The Experts

Have you ever asked a member of your existing team to take on the role of training new employees on computer applications? Was this successful for everyone involved and was it cost affective?

I am sure you have great people in your workplace that are experts in their departments, but merely showing someone a process to follow should not be considered as training and you should think about whether they are the right people to take on this role.

There are a few things to consider before asking your team to undertake a training role. For example...

  • Do they have the capacity around their current workload to train others?

  • Do they have working examples they can demonstrate to ensure their new colleagues are equipped to handle a variety of scenarios?

  • Do they know the system well enough to ensure nothing is missed that could cost your organisation money or loss of reputation in the long-term?

  • Are they patient and understanding with the ability to explain things differently if new team members don't understand something?

  • Are you confident that they will share their knowledge and experience?

If you found yourself saying "yes" to all of the above, that's great! You truly are in a really good position to get new team members up and running successfully. Just ensure you give the existing team member time to clear some of their current work and plan the material and method they will use to train their new colleagues. They will also need support from the existing team during and after the training.

However, if you feel that your current team are great at the job that they do, but may not be in a position to or have quite the right skill set for software training and supporting new staff, don't be afraid to call on suppliers and get 'the experts' in.

Professionals who are experienced in software training will bring the benefits of in-depth product knowledge, as well as experience of how it is used in the workplace, along with the skills and ability to pass that knowledge onto others. Trainers may also be able to provide a training platform/environment to allow the trainees to use all the features and scenarios that may not be possible or available in a live environment. They would focus 100% of their time while they are with your team and would be dedicated to your new team members, they also wouldn't experience day-to-day operational interruptions requiring attention.

While the initial cost of bringing in the experts may have you thinking that money could be saved by using your team for training, the longer term cost could potentially be higher in lost working hours (if sales staff are training, they are not actively selling!) Staff moral could be affected, or worse....errors occurring from lack of system knowledge, resulting in actual costs or lost revenue to your business and your reputation.

Unfortunately, I have seen this happen on more than one occasion. I have been engaged by organisations to re-train new team members and I have also been asked to help put right the results from existing team members, who were not fully aware of key system features and processes. This could have caused higher costs and loss of reputation for the organisations involved.

In my own business I engage with an accountant to manage my finances and an editor for written material as I know it would cost me more both financially and in reputation if I didn't. In my personal life, I rely on the experts because I won't attempt to undertake DIY tasks like plumbing or electrics, because I know it could end up costing me a lot more in the longer term!

So before you ask your team to train new employees, take a pause and consider your options.


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