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Personnel training as part of an ERP solution deployment process is something many businesses skip as a secondary factor for the success of the final result. Nevertheless, it must be noted that skipping proper training leads to a “low-speed” system and a drop in the personnel’s moral.
If you want to avoid these consequences, you need to pay proper attention to training from the very early stages of the process, starting from the selection of the ERP solution. The purpose of training people on the use of an ERP system is to ensure that they will not only understand the way this system works as a whole, but also be familiar with its functionalities. The process is relatively time-consuming and requires intensive work, so be prepared to spend more than one day! Obviously, this means that you’ll have to carefully plan the training schedule in advance, choosing the persons that will educate your employees and coming up with the topics that need to be covered.
The training material must combine theory and hands-on experience. Similarly, it is important to provide your personnel with the background of the new solution and information on how it works. This will help them understand the logic of the tasks they will have to perform in the future, and at the same time it will make them feel more comfortable with the new system. There are many training techniques you can use and, optimally, your schedule should include several of them. For example, apart from the traditional training in a classroom, there is also e-learning, tutorials, virtual workshops and online seminars. It has been established that people learn better when multiple methods are used, since variety increases the chances for a more comprehensive and effective learning experience.
Therefore, it might prove best to organize one-on-one training sessions. In some especially demanding cases, having the instructor work with trainees on an individual basis will help reveal weak spots and thus actually accelerate the learning process. Providing a lot of material, such as manuals, tables, etc. -either printed or online- is yet another measure that will help people comprehend and absorb all this knowledge through repetition. Of course, it would be unrealistic to expect that your employees will become experts just by reading manuals, but they will at least have some reference material to use when needed and it will also be easier for them to “stay tuned” throughout the training period.
A crucial factor for the success of a training program is the personnel’s moral. In other words, if you experience resistance or negative reactions regarding the new way things will be done, then it is almost certain that your personnel has not understood what the new system is all about. In this case, it is advisable to have some form of corrective training, so that everyone can appreciate the advantages of the new solution. This does not mean that you’ll necessarily be able to fully resolve all issues and reactions, since whenever someone attempts to introduce drastic changes to the way people have been used to work, it is more than certain that there will be resistance.
If you think this sounds complicated… it is! Training people on an ERP solution requires time and money, if you want to do it right. Try to see the big picture though, as the final result will be rewarding on all levels!