Two trends have recently skyrocketed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: the transition to a remote workforce and the gradual adoption of SaaS solutions by organizations in nearly every industry. As some regions slowly begin to loosen shelter-in-place orders and many organizations formulate their post-pandemic strategies, we are likely to see SaaS adoption be prioritized in an effort to prepare for future disasters. Likewise, it is expected that many organizations will start incorporating more remote and hybrid positions after the pandemic now that many see the benefits of this approach firsthand. The combination of these two trends leads to an obvious question: how do you train this remote workforce to use a new SaaS solution and increase digital adoption overall?
SaaS Success Depends on Adoption
When asked what obstacle stood in the way of their digital transformation success in a Futurum survey, 28.8% of respondents cited inadequate training and/or skills among employees. Although, that was not the biggest concern that respondents had: inadequate funding was cited as the top concern for 39.3% of those surveyed.
That was, of course, before the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. When the crisis is over, investment in cloud solutions will most likely increase, especially as digitalization will be something that senior leadership will be held accountable for moving forward. Digital adoption among users within an organization is critical to see an ROI from a technology investment. However, training is often cited as a major cause of digital transformation fatigue, even when training on site. This problem can be compounded when training must occur remotely.
According to Andrew Barlow, the VP of Innovation and Advocacy at AppLearn, “I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard, ‘Our adoption is fantastic, 90% of users logged into the system.’ It’s vital that organizations distinguish between logging into the system and adopting a new digital way of working.”
In general, remote workers don’t get as much training as they feel that they need to succeed.
To combat this, organizations need to think about remote workforce training as well as how they are going to keep that workforce up-to-date with the latest changes to their SaaS solutions.
How to Increase Digital Adoption Among Remote Workers
Training Materials Need to be Centralized and Navigable
Keeping various training materials in one place makes it more easily accessible to remote workers. Dedicated training pages are ideal for this, providing a centralized location for training content and providing a clear path through the material. Having a search option is important as well so that users can look up necessary training materials without wasting time or energy. By centralizing training resources and creating a great user experience, remote workers can get the information they need to succeed and don’t grow frustrated with the new SaaS solution.
Create Multiple Communication Channels
Remote workers need to stay in the loop when an organization is transitioning to a new SaaS solution, and while regular email updates are important, having a dedicated webpage where they can catch up on the latest announcements can be more helpful. Moreover, information needs to be shared in-app as well so that the remote worker can get the info they need when it matters the most. In-app messages can trigger the first time the remote worker utilizes a new tool, when certain actions are taken within the SaaS solution, etc. Taking this multi-channel approach ensures virtual workers know the status of the digital transformation and can keep up to date with any changes to the SaaS solution.
Keep Training Flexible
One of the most oft-cited benefits for remote workers is the ability to set their own schedules. Having to stick to a regimented training schedule can be counter to this and difficult to maintain. Providing a training solution that lets virtual workers review the material when it fits best with their schedule and consume the content at their own pace improves retention and makes for a more pleasant training experience.
At the same time, it is important that training materials be as tailored to the virtual worker’s role as possible. A remote worker will most likely not have to know how to use every aspect of a SaaS solution, for example, only requiring training in certain functions. By customizing the employee’s training to just the parts that relate to their job keeps them from viewing superfluous training materials, improving engagement, and saving time.
Analyze and Adapt
To ensure that remote workers are well-versed in a new SaaS solution, it is important to track their engagement with the available training resources. This not only gives an organization a good grasp of how well individuals are utilizing training materials but also gives the organization a better sense of its overall readiness level for the new SaaS solution. Tools that track training data and that can incorporate it with relevant third-party data, such as AppLearn’s Adopt platform, can provide a comprehensive understanding of SaaS adoption within an organization and show the ROI of its technology investment.
Remote Workforce Training Can't Rely on Technology Alone
Taking steps to ensure that remote workers are fully versed in an organization’s new cloud solutions isn’t just about increasing digital adoption; it also shows virtual employees that the organization is just as committed to their success as it is to on-site workers. As more organizations expand their remote workforces, it will be imperative that they not only build out the necessary technology infrastructure, but also the training and culture necessary to keep virtual employees engaged and productive.
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