Properly delivered technology transformation training can remove anxiety around change and learning. And it doesn’t just make the technology change effective, it can affect people’s response to innovation generally.
What’s important to consider is why people resist change. Perhaps understandably, when we’re smart adults, we can be resistant to change because we don’t want to look stupid. A recent Wall Street Journal article, explored why people resist IT change and shared useful examples.
People aren’t wilful for the sake of it, they just don’t want to be the person who doesn’t understand.
Badly run change is a talent turn off
Speaking to a contact recently about why she’d struggled in a job. Surrounded by graduates, she felt like the only one who couldn’t manage the new technology. At heart, she felt, with many years’ experience, she should have known more than she did. And her anxiety led to a sense of isolation and feeling her professional contribution wasn’t worthwhile.
Was it partly her mindset? Maybe. Although it’s useful to consider that the graduates were starting fresh, whereas she had to ‘unlearn’ previous practices. Also, there was little training on the new software and how she should use it in her work. And no one checking to see how she was getting on.
The impact of unsupported change is significant (in my friend’s case, she ended up leaving, so deep was her sense of disconnect from the company).
Training is more than showing what button to press
It’s easy to focus on teaching the nuts and bolts rather than the benefits of the change. Yet trainers can help people understand the benefits – which can encourage end users to keep putting effort into learning.
And you cannot simply introduce new systems through an all-staff email and a few online videos. You must work alongside people, giving them tools to feel more confident and being on hand for support and checking they keep up with good practice.
We looked recently at the importance of change agents in any change programme. In the training element of a programme there are distinctive element for success.
Six must-haves for effective technology change training
There are see six delivery must-haves. They cost, but it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a failed project:
- Sell benefits and make sure they reflect users’ business need
- Blend face-to-face training (by supportive, patient trainers please), with online resources to refresh and consolidate learning
- Tailor your programme to different constituencies – such as satellite offices or assistive technology users
- Create enough touchpoints and feedback processes to respond to individual challenges and need
- Organisational processes and requirements must support the change and run through the training. Good governance is undervalued
- Deliver refresher training and temperature checks to stop bad habits creeping back in – embedding change takes sustained effort.
A project that has supportive user training at its heart, has the greatest chance of succeeding, overcoming resistance and paving the way for future change programmes.
And if you’d like to see a recent example of a well-led training, do look at how we delivered a varied, supportive programme for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
This article is based on Samantha Kinstrey’s LinkedIn article of August 2019. You’re welcome to comment on her article and share your own experience and insight.