The last two years have brought up unique considerations regarding work environments—especially the ability to work in various locations. The significant shift toward remote or hybrid options has created a unique set of challenges to consider as you plan for your Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) implementation project user training delivery.
As you begin to prepare your user training strategy, you’ll need to assess the pros and cons of remote vs. in-person training.
Here’s what to consider.
Remote Training Delivery
When it comes to remote working environments, there are many positives.
Flexibility: Remote training is more flexible, especially regarding scheduling. Hopping on a video collaboration tool like Zoom or Teams from your home or office is much easier from a personal scheduling perspective—users don’t have to travel or block off travel time. The same is true for organizational scheduling—there’s no need to allow for trainer travel nor worry about finding a time that fits everyone’s schedule. It’s also easy to support multiple locations and time zones.
Resourceful: Remote training sessions can be quickly recorded and used as an ongoing resource or reference tool. Those who participated in training can re-watch the video as a refresher. And those who couldn’t participate live can watch and receive a similar value from the training.
But of course, like anything, remote user training delivery has a few cons.
Distractions: There is no control over distractions if everyone is in their environment. This means that whatever happens at home—whether it’s the dog barking or family interruptions—there is more of a chance for team members to get distracted.
Interaction: When you’re not in an in-person environment, there tends to be less opportunity to interact. Many people may sit back and passively take in information during a video training session. Active listening and response are not necessarily triggered as effectively in a remote training environment.
Accessibility: Not everyone has a home office setup that supports learning, or if they do, their technology may not be the most suited for the training. For example, suppose you work on a laptop. In that case, the screen area is minimal, making it more challenging to watch the instructor, practice the product, and gain knowledge effectively. Flipping back and forth between screens increases the likeliness of losing information.
In-Person Training Delivery
Before remote working options, in-person CRM user training was the only option. And this traditional training method still has some benefits.
Assistance: There is more opportunity for formal training assistance during the in-person session. Co-workers can lean over to a neighboring colleague to catch up on information they may have missed. Additionally, everyone in the training room becomes a resource—peers may say something in a way that makes more sense.
Dedicated learning: In-person training invites users to step into a learning environment that is designed for focused learning. The training room is most likely equipped with adequate access to technology, including seating conducive to learning. People will arrive with the intent of gaining information.
Participation: Learning in-person increases participation. Active listening is immediately triggered, and users are more likely to be engaged in the in-person learning environment.
Of course, there are a few negative aspects of in-person training delivery for your CRM project.
Flexibility: Flexibility is challenging for both the participant and trainer in this situation. If you’re training onsite at a different location or bringing the trainer to you, you’ll want to maximize the trainers’ time. This means there likely won’t be as many breaks, decreasing the opportunity for users to participate in training. And you don’t have the luxury of offering your users the same information multiple times.
Quality: The quality of classes gets reduced with repetition when learning in-person.
Accessibility: While the in-person learning experience is structured for training and education, it’s also a singular learning environment with the assumption it works for everyone. For those who require different learning environments or experiences, the in-person environment comes with nuances and doesn’t support unique situations or accommodations.
Understanding the pros and cons of each method for your CRM user training delivery helps you decide what works best for your organization and supplement for drawbacks. If one method doesn’t work in its entirety, consider having a hybrid approach to create a comprehensive CRM training plan.