Training, as you probably know already, is a big deal! So big, in fact, we’ve split it into two separate blog posts, catch our last post on “sticky” learning plans here.

Today we want to focus on why you should invest in training, while inspiring your team to actually take the training. Because as the old saying goes, before you can teach a person to fish, they need to know the importance of eating!

Even Olympians Have Coaches

We often find that users are enthusiastic and excited to sign up for training and attend, as long as they are given the opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, if users aren’t given the opportunity to sign up for training, we often see less enthusiasm around training.

All joking aside, the resistance to training in many organizations is not due to the attitudes or behaviors of end users. The big hurdle to offering training is usually getting the right project leaders and convincing those with the keys to the budget that training is worth the up-front investment and ought to be offered in the first place.

Many decision-makers employ the logic that because you have hired a strong team, they should be able to figure it out on their own. Indeed, some users probably would be just fine with this unguided approach.

However, we’d like you to consider the fact that even Olympians have coaches. Similarly, even the best and brightest on your team can and will perform at a higher level if given the appropriate support and motivation to keep growing.

With tight budgets, it’s not uncommon for the decision makers in your organization to have to stretch your dollars – we get it. Since so many of the new tech tools are designed to be intuitive (it’s one of our favorite selling points of G Suite) it can be easy to think that a simple way to hit that budget is to skimp on training.

But by omitting training, many of the most efficient features of new technologies will go unnoticed and underutilized because users aren’t provided with early support.

Chances are that at least once in your professional life you have had to learn a new technology, only to find out weeks or months later about key features that would have been great to know about back at the start! It’s such a bummer to think about the minutes (or hours) you could have saved if only there would have been the right learning opportunities for you at the right time!

Getting Buy-in

So, how do you get training for the team to be seen as a necessary part of your tech launch? It all comes back to winning over your stakeholders.

If they are metrics-minded, consider sharing stats about the value of offering training as part of your change management approach, leveraging articles like this piece from Raconteur (page 6). If the decision maker is swayed more on emotion, try sharing one of your own stories of success relating to training that links closely to the technology you are intending to launch. You may need to go the distance and approach getting buy-in from a variety of angles; just keep reminding yourself that the energy you invest now to get training in place will pay huge dividends!

The other part of getting buy-in is making sure end users take advantage of the training that you have worked so hard to provide! We could write pages on this topic alone, but a couple of our favorite hints are:

  • Tell the team WHY the change is happening in a way that focuses on what’s in it for them
  • Don’t just say it once
  • Don’t just say it one way  

The more you can appeal to the various personalities on the team and focus on the value of leveraging the learning opportunities, the higher your attendance and adoption rates will be.

Will mastering this new technology help the team provide faster service to your clients? Tell them about it!

Will leveraging a certain feature set of the new tool save them headaches in their day-to-day work life? Don’t keep it a secret!

Speaking of secrets, we’d love to hear from you! Got a best practice or hint on how you’ve succeeded in getting your organization’s “Olympians” the right coaching? Comment below!