Maximizing Your Training Value

May 23, 2016

Written by: Erica Niesse

Success! By now your organization has completed the Requirements gathering and Configuration stages of your Human Capital Management Systems (HCM) Implementation.  Now is the time to start thinking about User Adoption and how you can get your employees to love this product as much as you do.

Often times in an implementation, the end user is not brought in until configuration is complete, and it is time to begin training.  You will need to make sure that the end user understands and supports the new product in this crucial stage.   With sufficient training, your employees will appreciate the software and understand the value behind the product.  If you do not provide a good training program, this can cause barriers during user acceptance.

Here are a few items that will assist with user adoption during the training phase of your implementation:


  1. Gathering Training Documentation. This usually includes an Employee, Manager, and Administration training guide; but most often does not include the various other users you might have setup in the system such as an HR Admin, Timekeeper, or System Admin (SuperUser).  You will need to reach out to your vendor and determine which training materials are provided, and plan to create user guides for those users not included, utilizing the guides provided by your vendor.  For example, your manager processes will often be very similar to your timekeeper processes.  Copy and paste these processes to your timekeeper manual and remove any items that do not apply.


  1. Customize Training Material. It is now time to customize the materials received from the software vendor to make them specific to your organization.  Usually, your software vendor will add in customized screenshots and configurations specific to your organization, but will not go into detail about your specific policies and requirements. There are a few things you can do to your training documentation to make it more useful to your employees:
  • Use customized screenshots. The more screenshots in your training material the better.
  • Adding bullet points on policies is very helpful. For example, listing out Premiums and Shift differentials in your training documentation for your Managers and Administrators. Here is a sample scenario:

Employees in Group A receive OT for hours worked over 40; Group B receives OT for hours worked over 42, and Group C receives a shift differential of 10% for hours worked between 6pm-10pm.

Make these scenarios easy to understand for any employee that needs to address them.

  • Provide links to organizational policies and procedures. Limiting the amount of information you put in the training material and making it easy to understand, will make these efforts more effective and efficient.
  • For those processes that will be difficult for some to adopt, you should create a cheat sheet or one page user guide outside of the training material provided, to be sure these are communicated effectively.

For example, create an End of Period processing cheat sheet for Payroll Admins to use when processing payroll. What reports should they run?  What steps should they make before finalizing payroll (approve timesheets, review exceptions)? What steps need to occur in the system to process payroll (lock timesheets, export payroll)?

  • Make sure that all users have easy access to the training documentation.
  1. Conduct Training sessions. Now it is time to begin your training sessions. Here are some tips for successful training sessions:
    • Most HCM software companies provide Train the Trainer sessions to their clients, and you should use these for your Admin/Training teams. There may be a limit on how many attendees are allotted to each training session.  Make sure that you are sending the most relevant people to these sessions; however, this should include your HR Admin, Payroll Admin, System Admins, and Trainers.
    • Spend about a week updating your documentation and setting up your training environment for end user training sessions after you have completed Train the Trainer. Decide if you will be doing a presentation style training (PowerPoint slide and demo) or having users access the system in the training.  Having users access the system is the preferred method, but this is not always the simplest. You will need to create training data as well as have an additional trainer walk around the room assisting with access issues and questions.
    • Tailor your courses towards the end user. When training your staff, act as though you are spending a day in the life of doing their job.  Enter time for an employee, submit a time off request and have a manager approve the time as well as the time off request.
    • Set up End User training sessions for each user. Have one session for Employees, Managers, Timekeepers, and Payroll Admins respectively, and any other system users you have set up. Less is more when it comes to training sessions, and suggest to schedule the least amount of people possible in each session.
    • Training led by the vendor can be costly, but there are alternatives. These options include online training, Webinar style training, Help/Quick User guides (Cheat sheets), and How to Videos.
    • Request feedback from the users of their likes/dislikes, and what changes they think would be beneficial.  Keep a spreadsheet of these enhancements or changes.  Let the employees know that you will consider these changes for a future release. Taking these items into consideration is extremely important for positive User adoption.
  1. Reinforcing the Lessons Learned. It is important for employees not to forget what they have learned in the classroom.   Keep the content fresh, fun and up to date.  Employees always enjoy incentives when it comes to doing something over and above their job.  A suggestion is to provide a quarterly quiz and offer prizes for the best score.   Perhaps provide a certificate of completion of a training course.  Make sure your employees are notified as updates arise.  Try starting a monthly email on new and exciting system features.


If you start utilizing the above suggestions, then you will get more value out of the system and accuracy out of everyone using the software.


HRchitect is a full service HCM Technology company.  We can assist with all your HCM system needs around Workforce Management, Talent Management, Talent Acquisition, Learning Management, Benefits, and HR/payroll systems. This includes creating an HCM Technology Strategy, assisting in vendor evaluation and selection, implementation services, and ongoing support.  We also provide outstanding assistance with optimization of current systems, as well as training and change management/user adoption.

Erica Niesse

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