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“My staff don’t need training; they know what they’re doing.”

A real quote, from a real manager, ignoring some very real problems.

“They’ve been using the system for a while, it’s quite straightforward I imagine, I hear no complaints.”

Crikey, it’s getting worse!

“I don’t need to ask them; they’d soon come to me if they had problems.”

Good grief.

This was an interaction I had a long time ago with a client, who assumed that the piece of software his company had invested in was being used to its full potential – and used well.

The users had undertaken some software training after the initial setup but had no immediate need to use it and so a gradual knowledge drain began. When the opportunity finally came to use the software, usage was very basic if not non-existent.

Baby steps before cool steps

This is not uncommon, initial training should always be used as an entrée (or starter if you’re not posh). It should introduce the application concepts to the users – providing them with a tantalising plate, crammed full with basic understanding and served with a hot side of benefits.

It is not intended to give full operational knowledge in one burst, it is merely the start of a learning journey, making the user feel all warm and gooey about the software’s functions. Plato once said that the most important part of education is proper training in the nursery. Now, he was a clever man, therefore I firmly believed he had software training on his mind when he made that statement.

Don’t waste your investment

If the user feels comfortable to adapt and adopt, every single interaction with the software becomes a fully-fledged training opportunity. This independent discovery of new features brings satisfaction to the users and also benefits to the organisation – if the users start to understand every facet of the software then the return on investment is maximised. What is the point of investing in a tool when only 5% of its capabilities are ever going to be utilised?

Death by PowerPoint no more!

This can be continually reinforced by ongoing training. People often think of training as classrooms, projectors, PowerPoint, unbearable heat and tired eyes but training can take many forms: interactive webinars, desk side coaching or on the job training.

Probably one of the most convenient options – interactive webinars – offer learning from the comfort of users’ own desks and at a suitable time. But sometimes practice and guidance can go further. For example, you could have a personal training session at your own desk, interacting with a platform using your own real-life email campaigns and goals. Whatever method you choose, there is a payoff for every item learned – individually and for your organisation.

At Adestra, we’re flexible to your needs. Our Adestra Expert Certification and other training programmes are designed to accompany users on that learning journey and hold their hand firmly throughout.

This can be summed up perfectly by another great philosopher, Winter Games gold-medal-magnet Shaun White, who once said:

“Skateboarding is training, but I don’t think of it as training. It’s fun!”

MessageFocus is like Skateboarding folks.