Technology is at the forefront of all credit unions. Training your credit union team – whether during a core processing software conversion or minor processor update – should be one of your top priorities. As credit unions invest in their digital transformation, workplace adoption is a critical factor in the overall success of these investments. If your workforce is accustomed to manual, redundant, or outdated processes, then they must be equipped with technological skills.
Why is training important?
Whenever changes are made in an organization, including technological updates, employees are directly impacted – and there are many consequences of an ineffective training program. A well-developed, strategic training plan is crucial to avoid challenges and issues that may arise.
• Changes, such as implementing a new core system, can be extremely overwhelming, particularly for long-term employees that are reluctant to move on from their old habits and may need more technological skills to perform effectively. This can lower morale and decrease productivity as the entire team adjusts to the change.
• Untrained employees often display lower performance levels, including more errors and needing more time to repeat tasks to get them right. Lower performance levels can directly impact results, profit, and your stakeholders.
• Inadequately trained employees have lower retention rates. Suppose these employees feel they need to be more successful in their roles. In that case, they are more inclined to leave the organization to seek employment elsewhere, where they'll feel satisfied and fulfilled. They are also more likely to be involuntarily terminated due to poor performance.
• If staff is not trained on new technology, how can they properly fulfill the needs and demands of members? They must fully understand the system to take care of customer requests and assist customers with products and services.
How should your credit union plan for training on tech?
Whether you are implementing new technologies to gain efficiencies or create a better digital experience for your members, your team must develop a plan to manage technological changes.
Before executing any training plan, particularly regarding technology, the trainer must be trained and know the ins and outs of the software or system. Once this is successfully completed, you can proceed to plan.
The plan should look beyond rudimentary one-time training. You should evaluate employees' skill sets and roles based on the new technology– job descriptions may need to be updated, and specific job functions may need to be altered to better align your talent based on the new requirements.
Additionally, credit unions need to look at training options that are available to them. The pandemic opened our eyes to many different ways of training, and gone are the days of solely relying on in-person training sessions. There are many online solutions that your credit union can leverage, including:
• Webinars: Webinars are great if your credit union has multiple locations and wants to offer one training session for all team members. Webinars can be highly interactive and feel like a traditional classroom environment.
• Video Training: Video training is ideal if you want to save your training to be viewed at a later time and if you want to do a screen recording. If you’re training your credit union staff on a backend process they’ll access from their work computer, you can record your screen while adding a voiceover.
• On-Demand Training Library: Your credit union can create a digital repository of all training materials so that staff can access it on their time – and revisit it if they need a refresher. Another benefit of on-demand training videos is the ability to pair them with complementary training materials, which can include quizzes, “check your knowledge” questions and follow-along activities where they can mirror on their desktop what is being presented in the video.
There are many ways to create an effective employee training plan, including this ten-step plan devised by Dr. Lisa Evans. Evans’ method includes the planning and content creation stages and discusses the implementation process and the importance of evaluation to determine training success.
Why is communication important when training?
How will your team know about the training – and why you are training – if communication does not occur? Pre-launch communication is vital and should include information on the training objectives, goals, cadence, and plan.
The why of the training is essential to communicate, as it will help get buy-in from your staff. When you are determining the why, Bishop House Consulting said it’s important to ask, “what’s in it for me?” (WIFM) and “what’s in it for the organization?” (WIFO). When complementing WIFM, you should reflect upon why the training is essential for your credit union staff. How will it benefit them to go through this training? Will it make their life easier, and how? And when you are pondering WIFO, think about how completing the training will help fulfill organizational goals or solve problems your credit union is experiencing.
What challenges may arise during technology training?
Even if management has effectively communicated the need and benefit of the new technologies, not all staff members will buy into the latest advancements and updates. A plan needs to be in place to deal with those employees that simply can’t, or won’t, adapt to the change.
Other challenges you should be prepared for include:
• Technology failures, such as videoconferencing software crashing mid-webinar
• Relying on additional resources (post-training) that may need to be updated. Make sure any old materials you use are current, as technology is constantly changing. What was relevant six months ago may be obsolete today
• A trainer being unavailable on training day. It may be beneficial to have a backup trainer on hand, especially if you’re running a large training session
• Questions that your staff may ask. This ties into making sure the trainer is fully trained. Your trainer(s) should be prepared to answer questions. If your trainer is uncomfortable answering impromptu questions, ask anyone attending to send in their questions after the training session. The trainer can then respond to the questions in an email or follow-up video, which can be sent to all attendees
Your credit union staff makeup may be unique, and their learning styles may differ. Issues can arise when you're training a diverse class. It is important to make sure that your training materials address different learning styles and accommodate any individuals who are bilingual or multilingual. Additionally, you may need to adjust training delivery methods if your credit union staff is comprised of different generations. Programs that support multi-modality will ensure that Gen Y, Gen Z, and Millennials are all effectively taught.
How can Sharetec help during technology transitions?
While Reskilling your employees will not be easy, if handled properly, it will ultimately create a more skilled workforce, improve the overall morale of the organization and lead to a better return on investment.
At Sharetec, we develop core processing solutions with two goals in mind: make it smarter and keep it simple — all while providing a user interface that significantly reduces training time and the need for day-to-day support. Sharetec and its partners provide various training options to fit each credit union's needs, including context-sensitive online help, video training, web portals and webinars, and in-person classroom training. We're dedicated to building on our reputation for quality service, and we're here to help you grow, and that's our commitment to you.
To learn more about Sharetec and how we can assist you, whether you're interested in knowing more about our core processing software or are a long-term customer seeking training assistance, you can contact us at 844-802-4441 or by clicking here!
This article, Reskilling Your Workforce for Today’s Technology, was originally published April 28, 2021 and was updated in February 2023.