With education you can create a real change in behavior
Education is the third step in the Futurecom Organisational Implementation Model as illustrated above.
Education is a very important element of the change management model, because education has the potential to create real change in behavior.
Without the training, the employees often understand the vision through the communication, and get motivated through roadshows, street team and other activities, but do not take the actual steps to change behavior.
I experienced this myself, when we implemented a new project management system.
I knew the vision and objectives of the project. I mean - I had paid for the system and I had started the project in the first place. I had see the system demonstrated by my colleagues, after the system was selected and implemented.
But since initially I did not need to use the system myself, I simply did not use it, even though I could get some great value from it.
After a while I had to accept the fact that I needed some education to get started. That was a difficult decision - as an engineer and technical user I have the misunderstanding that I normally do not need education - I know how to learn on my own.
But without the education I did not change my behavior.
Real change most often builds on the principles of SEE-FEEL-CHANGE, as described in "The Heart of Change", by John P. Kotter, Dan S. Cohen, 2002.
Both the communication activities and the motivation activities make the employees SEE the reasons and objecties of the change that we would like them to make. It is much more dificult to make them FEEL the value of the change through communication and motivation. This is very important in relation to the implementation of Unified Communications & Collaboration solutions like webbased file and knowledge sharing, video conference, web conferences, instant messaging and ip calls. You can show, talk and inform the employees about the possibilities with the new technologies, but most employees today have too many other things to do, to learn the new technologies on their own if they do not need to.
This quickly results in the following problems:
Instead of using the new IP call functionalities the employees pick up the mobile phone with results in increased costs instead of reduced costs
Instead of using the chat they turn it off or set it to 'do not disturb'
Instead of using video or web conferences the employees keep traveling to meetings
We have seen so many examples of this.
I talked to a person the other day, that had started using web conferencing and instant messaging recently in her new job, after she had received education in these technologies. She was so pleased with the posibilities and usefulness of these technologies, but the funny thing was, when she with surprise explained that she now knew that she had already been using web conferencing as a participant several times in her former job.
So even as a participant that has seen the benefit of the solution, she did not start actually using the solution herself until she had received the training.
Education can create change
Education has the power to get people to both understand the potential of the change, but also to FEEL the benefits of the change, and therefore change their behavior.
When the employees attend the training they get hands on experience on the new technologies, and they feel how these technologies can actually help them in their daily work, while at the same time remove the barrier of getting started.
But very often education is underprioritized because it is slow, costly and difficult.
Online education is efficient and cost effective
This is where live online education comes into play.
Live online education means that you have an instructor performing a live education session, but instead of doing it in a class room it is performed online through a web conference. This makes it very cost effective and you are able to reach employees globally.
But online education also allows each participant to sit at their own computer, which means that the system looks exactly as they know it, and all changes they make, e.g. in settings and configurations is done directly on their own systems.
So with online education the employees really get a chance to FEEL the potential of the new technologies and FEEL confident in using them themselves.
Designing the online education
When designing and delivering the online education it is important do it right to get the best possible results.
So when designing the education keep these elements in focus.
The training should allow the participants to:
- Use the technologies in practice
- Try real life scenarios, e.g. initiate a call, start a meeting, etc.
- Discuss the possibilities with the other participants
The training should also include the following elements:
- Humor to create a good experience
- Information about the vision behind the new solutions