To ensure the health of your ETO database, you need capable users to enter data, run reports, and manage your database. Formal training in ETO software is therefore essential during initial database implementation and any time users need to build upon or refresh their ETO skills and knowledge in order to build internal capacity in ETO. But training can be a major undertaking, especially if you need to train large groups of users. It can be expensive, time consuming, and sometimes ineffective. Here are four strategies you can use to reduce the costs of ETO training while also delivering an effective training experience for your users to make your investment in training go even further!
1. Train the trainer
Your organization may need to train multiple users at a time in large groups. Getting professional training for each group may not be a cost effective option. This is especially true if you need to provide the same training curriculum to separate groups of users in different training sessions.
Instead of paying for individual training sessions with the same content, you can cut costs by following these three simple steps:
- Step 1 – get an initial training session from an ETO consultant or professional trainer and use that session as a template for future sessions of the same type.
- Step 2– Have your ETO database administrator attend the first session. Gather the slides, worksheets, outlines, scripts, and any other materials used to conduct the training session.
- Step 3– Then have your ETO database administrator complete the training for remaining user groups, independent of the instructor that lead the first training.
This “train the trainer” model allows your organisation to scale training to large groups of users without additional cost.
2. Virtual (remote) ETO training
In-person, classroom-style training is the gold standard of training formats for a number of reasons:
- Most users are comfortable in a classroom-style training
- Training attendees can ask questions and interact in a live format
- An instructor can be more dynamic and adapt to changing attendee needs
However, virtual technologies have advanced to such a point that remote training is a viable alternative to classroom-style training and can be more cost effective.
This is particularly true if you do not have an ETO software consultant or ETO training expert available in your city. Often an instructor must travel to your location if you want in-person training, resulting in additional travel costs. Alternatively, you might choose to save on travel costs with virtual training or reallocate the travel costs for more virtual training time, which ultimately produces more value for every training dollar.
3. Recorded training sessions
The final two items in this blog save on training costs over the long term. Use both strategies to build a training library of resources that are specific to your ETO database.
ETO software is customised to the unique data collection and workflow requirements of your organisation’s programs and services. While customisation is a major benefit of ETO software, it also presents a challenge in that the administrator documentation provided by Social Solutions (the vendor for ETO software) often covers topics at a high level and in a generic way. As a result, these resources may not provide the specificity your users need to troubleshoot, build on, or learn about your unique ETO database.
Recorded trainings that capture the uniqueness of your ETO database and can be watched again and again may be a viable option for you. Although they may take some time to develop, they will take your training dollar even further as users can watch the training videos in their own time without the need for a live instructor. You can then schedule a question and answer (Q&A) session with the training instructor afterwards, which becomes an open environment for questions and feedback. With this model, users cover the redundant content on their own so no time or money is wasted.
4. User documentation and guides
Like recorded training, user guides can decrease long-term training costs because when
users have step-by-step instructions on how to complete an ETO task, they are able to pick up that task much faster than users that don’t have that same documentation.
Guides also reduce the need for follow-up refresher training, which is often needed to reinforce concepts learned during a formal training program.
Step-by-step instructions on various data entry, reporting, and administrative tasks also gives users a reference that they can turn to if they get stuck, minimising the flow of questions to your ETO administrator.