How digital learning can enhance uptake of business solutions

Complex business solutions are often costly and time-consuming to design, while their deployment is critical. Even when projects run smoothly, there is no certainty that the solutions will be adopted by users within the organisation.  It is therefore a good idea to plan support for employees from the outset in order to secure your business and investment. 

The textbook case of unused business solutions 

Incorrect use of business tools by teams is a common occurrence. For example, a few years ago, a major industrial player invested several million euros in a business solution to manage planning and production on a hundred or so sites around the world. Users had been provided with training and change management was adequate. However, following deployment, users found themselves alone faced with a tool that they did not understand and did not trust.  Over the months, use of the tool dropped and users switched back to Excel to perform their tasks. Over the years, the situation became critical: the solution had been deployed on nearly 50 sites, but usage indicators continued to decline, with the end result being that the initial investment was much less profitable than expected. 

No problem: I have user documentation! 

This is a good start! However, you should not count on documentation to ensure that your solutions are adopted. When did you last take the time to read the documentation for a product? Did you find that it met your needs?  Like you, all employees use digital tools on a daily basis. The best way to get them involved is to design interactive media that reflects their uses. The advantage of digital learning is that it can offer a range of solutions suited to all types of problems, at a reasonable cost given the benefits it brings.

Solutions to secure your investment 

In many cases, digital learning can help you secure the deployment of your business tool and make your investment profitable.

#1 Users don't fully understand the tool

This is certainly the most difficult case to manage, as it is difficult to detect. In this situation, employees may use the tool reasonably well, while not understanding the processes at work in the background. They have lost sight of the objective of the task they are completing, sometimes on a daily basis, which will end up having a negative impact on their motivation and productivity. To help them, an e-learning module that is not directly related to their activities can be a good idea. Re-explain the process at work to them, by taking an example that is easy to understand, based on an everyday activity or a common consumer product. Enhance your module with fun activities that allow them to play with the mechanics of your tool.

#2 Users don't trust the tool

In this case, employees have used the tool, but, for various reasons, do not trust it and no longer use it. In this case, it is essential to help them understand how the tool increases productivity.  For example, in order to increase adoption of its new workstation, a company in the banking sector gathered feedback from users in branches where a pilot version was deployed. During various webinars, employees explained the benefits gained by using the tool and shared various good practices. At the same time, a user community was created to allow users to share good practices and answer questions, based on a social learning model. 

#3 Employees do not see the point of having a new tool

In this case, it may be that the currently used solution suits them perfectly. Or, worse, there is no perceived lack of a solution.  In this case, you can create a software simulation of the solution and organise a fun challenge related to its use. This can be complemented by communication based on motion design in order to gradually attract interest in the tool.  To enhance the overall training experience, you can also think about directly linking your business tool to a dynamic knowledge base, or a chatbot integrated in the tool, which can answer users' questions and provide them with suitable resources.

Design a system suited to your business

In order to design the system, here are five key steps to ensure that the training experience you plan to provide will meet its objectives: 

  1. Explore needs through workshops, in order to define business challenges, establish standard profiles and identify users' pain points. 
  2. Along with your users, imagine the most relevant training experience in terms of content, format and educational approach, so that it is rapidly adopted. 
  3. Produce your training system by creating all of its content. 
  4. Deploy the system and ensure its adoption, by integrating it directly in your business tools, designing effective communication and providing responsive support. 
  5. Monitor performance of the system and adjust it according to feedback from the ground. 

Such an approach does require significant human and financial investment. But do your business solutions not deserve this?

Published in JDN