Are you really getting your money’s worth with trainers?

End user training is important, no doubt. It can keep users compliant, safe and, with any luck, cut down on the number and frequency of help desk requests. Unfortunately, IT just doesn’t always have the time and resources to devote to it. 

Vendors, service providers and training organizations can all help with this. But they’re fairly hit-or-miss.

To sort out the best from the rest requires doing your homework. The time you put in could save you a lot of time, money and frustration down the line.

Here are things you can do before, during and after training sessions to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Before

  • Ask users. Surveying users to find out what kinds of information they’re looking for can be helpful. Find out if they’d get more out of a session that explains the ins and outs of everything or if they’re looking for quick-hit information or helpful shortcuts. Then pass this information along to trainers.
  • Request a preview. Ask trainers to share some of the slides or other materials they’ll be using. This can help you see if the training is appropriate, too advanced or not detailed enough. A review also gives you a chance to gear the sessions more toward your needs.

During

  • Be sure to audit. Even if you don’t have time to do training yourself, you should still have IT involved. Have a tech sit in on the session or audit it yourself to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
  • Consider joint sessions. See if your trainers would be amenable to having a representative of the IT department help in training or at the very least handle part of the Q&A. While these trainers may be experts on the systems they’re training on, it could be beneficial to have someone who explains how these programs will specifically be used by your users.

After

  • Poll users. Find out from users how they felt about the session. Ask for their honest, anonymous assessment of how the session went.
  • Test immediately. Have a few users demonstrate the concepts they learned in training. If they can explain what they learned, you’ll know the message sunk in.

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