We by now understand how replacing the old system with enterprise resource planning (ERP) will benefit the organisation. It must be also noted that the employees of the firm are the key factor to make the whole process successful. It is the sole responsibility of the management to ensure that the employees are involved in the complete process of ERP implementation. In the long-term the firm’s investment can turn into profits only if the human resources are able to use the ERP efficiently. Here are few things that must be considered while training the employees.
- Create a training plan: The key employees must be aware of the main reasons that have led the firm to switch from traditional systems to the new age ERPs. The management must firstly convince the employees with valid reasons which will build a trustworthy relationship. It will also boost the morale of the employees. By communicating these reasons the employees will easily understand the need for ERP system and will further extend their support which is crucial. The management must then dedicate its time to formulate a proper training plan that will include regular interaction with the employees. This will be a win-win situation where the management can communicate the developments to the workforce and also understand the issues being faced by them.
- Instructor led courses: It is not feasible that the employees will understand the new software. So the management must appoint instructors who will train the key members of the firm who can further train the employees. These courses will also enable the employees to understand the functionality and the features of the new system. They can also suggest several new means of working on the system which can improve the business processes and also might raise concerns which were not looked into before. Overall this process will strengthen the business and align the processes. This can be virtually too. With the advent of mobile friendly applications and support systems, explaining ERP is not restricted to classroom training. The leaders of the firm can do it through video conferences and can share the related content through the web itself. It can also help them to track and understand how well each student is performing.
- Creation of knowledge base: This will save a lot of time in the future. A detailed knowledge template will simplify the process of training new employees. It will also help in clarifying the similar doubts that few employees have and which are common in nature. These documents will prove to be extremely helpful when the firm needs to get solutions for some tricky situations. This will save the time and the cost of an external consultant.
- Tracking the employee progress: It is important that whatever the knowledge is passed to the employees during the training session is well-received by them. They must be able to understand the concepts and the ways they can make the optimal use of the same. The ERP applications must help them to reduce their manual work. It must also be able to provide them with real-time data which can be further utilised for efficient business operations. The understanding of the employees must be regularly tested using various tools such as quiz, objective tests and so on. There must be situations created where the skill and the knowledge of the employee who is being trained is tested. This will boost the confidence of the employees and will also help the firm gauge the depth of the employee’s idea about the firm’s new software.
- Customising the training: Each and every department will have its own set of functions and every team will have a unique set of responsibilities. A feature which is highly used by the finance team will not be applicable in a similar fashion to the production team. Hence, accordingly the training must be tailored. The useful features must be highlighted which will increase the productivity of the users. Too much of irrelevant information can lead to chaos and confusion.
- Set the fixed timeframe and budget for the training.
- Decide the kind of trainers the firm must have based on the target audience.
- What are the best means or tools that will enhance the training and that can make it effective?
- How to track the progress of the training?
- Post-implementation stage: Training even after the ERP is implemented is equally crucial for the business. This stage will help to analyse the various existing methods and applications. The firm will also be able to find out any issues that might arise and can fix the glitch even before it leads to other major problems. An ongoing training will ensure the success of the ERP implementation. Employees will need an equal amount of support once they get on-board as they can encounter new and unexpected situations with the same. For this a good training is required.
- Measure the success of training: Once the training is completed it then becomes vital to determine the success of the program. Other than supervising the employees it is also necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the training program. This will also open up new opportunities that can be explored. By using tools such as open-ended surveys and questionnaire, the firm can trace the problems that the employees are facing while operating and using the latest software. Over time this practice will accentuate a strong ERP which will fetch the expected ROI I the long-term.
- Regular feedback: This will let your employees know what is going right and what is not. By providing feedback at different phases your employees will feel appreciated and motivated. They will also have the right spirit to point out errors and give appropriate suggestions. This will help the firm build a better software.
From these points, it is an evident fact that the success of the new software lies with your employees. Hence, the fact that focusing on them must be the firm’s priority. As stated 80% of the success depends on the workforce. So without further ado get set to prepare the training schedule and ensure that the firm makes the most of the new ERP software.
— Team SoS