How to Transition your RIA Staff to New Technology
If you’re in the process of implementing new technology for your RIA, one of the most important challenges to consider is how to best train everyone in your firm to use it.
A challenge when dealing with adult learners is that they are typically very busy. They often have a limited amount of time to devote to training, a limited attention span and a limited ability to retain a lot of new information for a long time.
For those reasons, we suggest that the first training session is no longer than one hour. We also recommend that you create a quick-start guide, a handy one-page checklist that highlights key information.
While this guide will vary based upon your software, here’s an example to give you an idea.
It also is helpful to group people by their departments, as they will often have the same questions and concerns regarding the new implementation. If you can further divide groups up by their approaches to learning (the big picture people vs. the detail-oriented people), that can also make training more efficient.
No More Business as Usual
You need to remember that, the week after training, everything can’t just go back to business as usual. If your employees’ schedules are packed with client meetings and other work, it’s going to be a challenge to learn and use the new system at the same time.
For that reason, we recommend that the entire firm makes an effort to lighten the workload that second week, and blocks off some time for working with the new system. This will also give management time to walk around and meet with people individually, ask questions and offer support. This one-on-one time is vital, especially for those people on your team who are most resistant to change.
Timing is also key. Make sure that everyone starts using the new system immediately after training. Your employees won’t remember what they learned if a week or two goes by before they start using it. Don’t be afraid to jump right in.
The Carrot and the Stick: Rewards & Accountability
To make sure your staff is motivated to start using your new technology right away, a combination of rewards and accountability work best.
For rewards, you can give prizes or special recognition to the top three people who have used the software the most or are performing best. These people can also serve as models to others and will become the go-to people when other employees have issues or questions.
To make sure people are accountable, some companies have, for example, locked down the folders where employees previously saved files, so that they are compelled to use the new system.
Following Up with Real World Issues
While your first training needs to be short and sweet, let your staff know that the first training is not going to cover everything at once. Instead, plan for a more in-depth training a few weeks later, after everyone has been using the system for a while and have real world questions they can ask based on experience.
This will make them more motivated for the second training, since they’ll want to know how to solve any issues they may have encountered.
We hope that this is helpful for getting your employees to embrace your new technology. For more insights, be sure to watch the recording of our recent webinar titled “Implement New Software at Your RIA Without a Hitch.”