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I get phone calls all the time from managers, consultants and company owners who want to immediately “take the reins” and pilot our software before they have been properly introduced to the system. What is worse is when these same individuals decide they want to minimize software training for their staff as well. The problems with this approach are almost too numerous to mention but I’m going to take a stab at it.

Every Piece of Software is Different

Many people assume that if they are even remotely technically-inclined, that they will be able to pick up any piece of software and immediately be productive with it. This is obviously not possible as everything in life has a learning curve of some degree. As a result of this mindset, we as software providers must spend time convincing buyers that education needs to come first before productive product trials can take place. This goes for some of the most simple and intuitive software out there as well – if you’ve never seen it before in your life, you’ll need time to adjust.

Vendors should offer to take you through the system so that you can use your time wisely if you decide to perform a hands-on evaluation.

Difference in Productivity Levels

An intuitive software package may allow for quick familiarity, but a system’s true power lies in the shortcuts and more complex tasks that may not be quite as obvious. For example, consider a sales order review screen. At the basic level, you open it up and review open orders by sifting through them. More advanced functions would allow you to sort, segment and quickly identify actionable orders. And finally, you can set up automated email reports alerting you to important actionable orders. Without proper training, your staff may never get past working with the basics.

Short Term Pain for Long Term Gain

Yes, paying for things can be painful but investing in your business should never seem painful. Think of training as an investment in long term productivity for your employees. Will they be able to get by without adequate training? Maybe. However, they may spend twice as long working with the software as they need to. The long-run cost savings of properly trained staff cannot be overstated.

Hopefully this post has made it clear how important it is for proper software training. All forms of employee training are important, but ensuring proper training for the system that runs your business and that they work on every day should be at the top of the list.