I am a firm believer in the benefits of training. A few of my reasons are as follows:
- Training leads to more consistent results
- Training leads to a shorter learning curve
- Training reduces the incidence of bad hires
These are all positives for any company and for all employees. So why is training neglected or avoided? I can think of a few negatives to training also, such as:
- Training takes time and time is money
- Training is boring and nobody pays attention
- Training is difficult in a fast changing business world
These may have some merit but they do not outweigh the benefits noted above. So what does this have to do with document workflow or imaging? As it turns out, document workflow and imaging can be somewhat complex and the output or outcomes can contain mission critical information. Therefore, training should be an important component.
Technology has provided us with some great tools to make training easier and make it appealing to more employees. For instance, training videos can be very useful and are on-demand and available anywhere. Those characteristics make videos appealing to many employees. There are also hands on training applications to give users the feel and experience of using the actual application, but the application is not live. This lets users get over the fear that they may “break” something in the application. Training sometimes is about trying things. “I wonder what would happen if I did this” or “What if I click on this button here”. These applications can be interactive and provide instant feedback.
This is not to say that you don’t need to create a training manual. Some employees will feel more comfortable with a manual that they can flip through to find answers. Pretty soon that need may go away and all users will “flip” through the online help. In-person training is of course still a popular and effective method. And in-person may mean remote using GoToMeeting or WebEx or Link.
The bottom line is that training can be done and should be offered in a variety of formats to effectively reach the greatest percentage of employees. Training is also continuous. Applications and hardware are changing all the time. New releases of software or changes in workflow should always be accompanied by follow up training, even if it is only 15 minutes.
Selfishly from an application providers perspective, I know that the value of an application increases as the level and quality of training increases. The good news is that it is a win win situation because the value to the client also increases with greater productivity.
So talk to your vendors about training.