Nearly every organization deals with the challenge of employee training, especially getting all their employees to reach proficiency in the critical enterprise software they utilize. And this challenge is threefold:
- Employees come to the table with varying technological skill sets and learning styles.
- Different employees will need to use the same enterprise software for different purposes and processes.
- Employees have different digital literacy levels that influence how they adopt new technologies.
How to Overcome End-User Training Challenges
Overcoming these challenges is central to an organization’s success in digital adoption. Digital adoption is the process of reaching a level of proficiency on a given technology, that enables end users to understand and effectively utilize it in their role so organizations realize its full capabilities and value. Successful digital adoption has both immediate and long-term benefits: it speeds the ROI of enterprise software implementation, reduces the time to productivity for new end users, and lays the foundation for organizational agility.
If these employee training challenges sound familiar – or if these benefits sound appealing – read on to learn the ins and outs of these three issues and the digital adoption solution that can remedy them.
When you pull together any team, you will encounter a range of skill sets with varying degrees of proficiency or mastery in each. This is the crux of every training montage in every movie – whether it’s about football or planning the perfect heist. The objective is to get the team to reach the same level of performance excellence, while also fostering cohesion. This is also true in the case of the technological skill of your workforce.
In the context of end-user training, it is sometimes assumed that the biggest push is to upskill “non-technical” workers. But that is an oversimplification of the goal of employee training and its obstacles. In reality, the challenge is accommodating a breadth of technological skill. There will be those who have existing skills in your specific enterprise applications, those skilled in similar applications but not in yours, those with no previous experience at all – and everything in between.
How to shift your training to suit all users
Furthermore, not only do employees come to the table with different skill frameworks, but they also bring their different ways of learning new skills. And when it comes to their adoption of new technologies, hands-on learning opportunities that present both visual and tactile approaches are needed for end users to engage the new information practically. This shifts training from “how to do” to “what to do”, which accelerates the path to end-user proficiency.
Any one-size-fits-all, end-user training approach will leave some employees behind while also failing to engage others. And this can result in unnecessary strain and conflict in your teams. Just think of the frustration that grows when there are disparities in productivity and more skilled coworkers are forced to fill the gaps.
Business Process Needs
A simple, but significant logistical complication in achieving organization-wide proficiency in your enterprise applications is that different roles will need to use it differently. And regardless of each employee’s digital capacity and abilities, the business processes they will need to competently complete can vary widely. For example, an end user of a component manufacturer that creates computer components for other manufacturers may have thousands of variations of the same software workflow, depending on the customer or product specifications.
This makes creating a training program with the necessary level of comprehensiveness challenging. It requires the coordination of multiple stakeholders: business unit managers, HR, subject matter experts, and Center or Excellence and Learning and Development teams. And typically, it calls for the development of volumes of user manuals and hours of workflow-specific training. Many enterprises can’t or don’t invest the time or resources to run that type of program successfully.
Understanding Digital Literacy for End-Users
Different than specific skills in a given technology, the capacity to learn and successfully adopt any new technology is called digital literacy. This is the intended outcome of successful digital adoption.
In the context of our work environments, digital work researcher and consultant Elizabeth Marsh defines digital literacy as “the awareness, mindset, and ability of individuals to confidently use digital workplace tools responsibly and effectively in order to solve problems, be productive, support well-being and thrive at work.”
To understand the concept of digital literacy better, consider the traditional notion of literacy: it’s not about being able to just read the words, but about understanding the words and the ideas they represent. Those who have moved beyond simply “reading” technology are better able to make connections and generate ideas.
To illustrate the challenge presented by differing digital literacy levels in the workforce, we can compare two groups: the more digitally literate “digital natives” and those who are reluctant to try, explore, and adopt new technologies.
How Digital Literacy Affects End-User Adoption
Digital natives are often early adopters and/or grew up with technology embedded in every aspect of their life. They tend to expect adaptive, collaborative learning and enterprise software that provides a user experience that is on par with the software they use as consumers. When these needs are not met, they can become disengaged employees.
In contrast, the latter group often prefers non-digital processes, choosing their Rolodex over a CRM any day. Or else they opt for technology with which they are already familiar. In any case, they typically utilize the minimum functionality required in a new enterprise application. This group needs support in fostering their digital literacy and understanding its value. They need to see how it benefits their – and their team’s – performance.
The goal of any enterprise should be to boost the digital literacy of its workforce – not just to reach competency in their current enterprise software. A digitally literate workforce is the foundation of an enterprise’s overall agility. Because when an organization’s workforce can confidently and seamlessly adopt any new technology, they ensure their organization can keep up with the pace of change and thrive in the digital economy.
A Digital Adoption Solution Designed with End Users in Mind
Clearly, training and support staff have their work cut out for them. Getting their workforce on the same page and keeping them there is the key to successful digital adoption. To do this, they need to be able to meet end users at their skill level, address each role’s enterprise software training needs, and promote organization-wide digital literacy.
This hyper-individualized, specific end-user training experience is impossible with a unilateral or one-size-fits-all training program. As a result, enterprises that want to reap the benefits of digital adoption are leveraging solutions designed for digital adoption – digital adoption platforms (DAPs).
How Onscreen Will Help You With End-User Training
DAPs like OnScreen confront these end-user training and support challenges in several ways:
- Walkthrough guides present enterprise software training that is digestible, hands-on, and at the time of need – all the conditions that are optimal for knowledge retention and learning, and therefore, end user proficiency.
- The role-based, step by step instruction assists end users with every enterprise software workflow they use, and none that they don’t.
- Easy, in-application availability of guides means end users know there is ready support for every business process, no matter how complex, so they can feel confident in their efficient and accurate completion of the workflow.
- The self-service instruction and support allows end users to select the “what” and “when” of their enterprise software training, creating an individualized training experience for every end user, regardless of their skill or literacy level.
- The employees who are most knowledgeable about the business processes – the subject matter experts – can easily create guides, allowing training and support staff to share the load and benefit from the insight of skilled end users.
OnScreen is the agile digital adoption platform for SAP and web-based enterprise applications that boosts process efficiency and employee productivity by empowering any user to become a super user. Schedule a demo to learn how OnScreen can help you overcome your end-user training challenges and achieve organization-wide digital adoption.