Planning face to face HRMS training: three steps to success
The true test of your new HRMS is not whether it is fully functional, it’s whether it is fully utilized. User adoption is critical to getting the full return on your investment and user adoption depends largely on whether users have the capability to use the system – which brings us to training.
Let’s assume that you have defined exactly what your HRMS training is meant to achieve (i.e. more than just ‘users can use the system’ but a set of specific learning aims that focus on the specific tasks and processes users need to be able to carry out). Let’s also assume that the content of the training – the instructions, the test scenarios, the exercises – has been written and is 100% relevant to the learning aims. Instead, let’s focus on three essential practical steps that require cooperation from people outside of the HRMS project.
1. Accommodation and equipment
This issue is not so much forgotten as delegated so far ‘down the chain’ that the person responsible for finding your training room has little clear idea of the importance of your project. Showing an appreciation for some of the practicalities of arranging a training session help keep you in the loop and ensure the responsible person understands the value of what they’re administering.
Ask yourself: Who is attending the training? Where are they traveling from? What are their special needs, if any? What equipment is required? Does it work? Has it been tested on the day of the training session? When the training session begins it’s a little like the system go-live in miniature: there are many things that could go wrong but the technical side of the project is actually the most straightforward (however difficult) – when your trainer pushes the button, the lights should come on!
2. Prep your trainees
Baden-Powell, for all his faults, had the right idea: Be Prepared. On the day of your training session, none of your users should be arriving ‘cold’; they should be in the right place, at the right time, with the right understanding. In other words, they know what they’re there for. Each user should prepare for their HRMS training by considering exactly how they will use the training in their particular role. They agree personal learning objectives with their manager or supervisor; objectives that are specific and measurable (and reasonable). Not only does this help you measure the impact of the training but it also focuses each user’s mind on the subject to be learned.
3. Post-event evaluation
Without evaluation, training does not work. Or at least, you’ll never know how well it’s worked and that’s almost as bad… Having each user complete a short evaluation questionnaire at the end of your HRMS training session is a common strategy but it’s not enough on its own. Such questionnaires are often called ‘happy sheets’. The trainees are happy that the training is finished and that tends to color their responses. A happy sheet tests how a trainee feels about their training but rarely provides evidence of actual learning. A solid evaluation strategy follows up with trainees in the ensuing weeks and months, seeking to establish what they learned, how they are applying it to their role, what benefit that learning is having for them, their team, and the organization overall. By collecting measurable information and relating it back to the goals of the project, the learning aims of the training, and the personal learning objectives of individual trainees, you will have a much more tangible picture of the success of your HRMS training.
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