Earlier in my career, I handled implementations for a software vendor and noticed a common occurrence among customers that is still prevalent today. The first few years with the software would be great; the company would send everyone to training classes to get all employees up-to-speed on the new technology. Then, by year three or four, that emphasis on training would lose momentum.
Staffing changes, people take on different roles, employees leave, and new hires come in. Ongoing training is crucial for companies to ensure employees have the proper skills and knowledge to use the systems effectively.
For example, I visited a client and saw that a woman processing a claim had stopped and opened an internet browser to determine whether the member had Medicare. Every time a claim would come in for a member over a certain age, she would do this manual process. I showed her where she could see if the member had other insurance in the system, make notes on the member record, and find it in the future. She had no idea this capability existed, and she developed her own workaround for it. This training took little time and completely streamlined the claims processing. This was just one person. Imagine if a company had 15 or 20 people working like this, and how much time and resources are wasted on these workarounds simply because the team does not have proper training?
Our technology provides so many capabilities; I hate to see organizations make a significant investment in these systems and not use them to their fullest.
Here are some training tips that I have gained over the years:
- Start training early. Spend two full weeks of in-depth training on all the technical systems in the ecosystem before a new hire jumps into their role. Investing the time in training up-front will pay off in the long run.
- Work with vendors. You don’t have to do this alone! Many vendors offer training options and have deep experience in training and education. Reach out to learn about their services or if they will help you build a training program that you can easily update and maintain.
- Leverage exit interviews. If an employee leaves, take the opportunity to ask how the company can improve training. This first-person insight is incredibly valuable.
From my experience, the cost of training is always outweighed by the benefits, knowledge, and skills employees receive. When a workforce has adequate training, they will work more efficiently and help the organization achieve its goals.
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