Before you get too excited about the new nonprofit fund accounting system you have chosen, have you made training plans for your employees? Training is often overlooked when it comes to launching new fund accounting software. Everyone that is involved with the selection, implementation, and use of the new software should be involved in the training process.
Here are 5 ways you can involve and engage your employees:
1: The Value of the Software
Even before the training starts, you need to “sell” the value of the new nonprofit fund accounting software to your team. Adults learn differently than children. Children learn out of curiosity and obedience to authority, whereas adults learn best when they see the value in what they are to learn about.
It is important for your team to understand why you have chosen this specific software over all the other software available to nonprofit fund accounting. Some important questions worth addressing would be: How will it solve problems, increase productivity, or work smarter or faster than what they’re used to? And how will it help them with their daily work? These questions are important to your team and by being honest and up-front, they will be more likely to get on board.
2: Focused Training
Your employees don’t need a training session that will be a waste of their time. Take into consideration what they need the training for: to know how to use the software. They don’t need to have a history lesson on the product, nor hear about all the bells and whistles that were used to sell the CEO on it. Focus your training on how the software affects them, and activities that the group can do to practice and use the new software.
3: Hands-On Training
Another fact about adults and learning is that they need to use their newfound knowledge right away or else they will forget it. Adults need to use the new skills they learned repeatedly in order to keep them fresh. Scheduling training sessions for your team members to use the new nonprofit fund accounting system on their personal projects would be a huge help to them. This allows them to focus on how to use the new system with their specific projects and to ask questions during the process.
4: Customizing Vendor Trainings
Vendor trainings can be helpful, but they may need to be customized depending on your nonprofit’s needs. You know your team, whereas they do not. Does your team learn best from written materials, hands-on demonstrations, or simple verbal instructions? Work with your nonprofit fund accounting software vendor to tailor training needs to your team.
5: Follow Up
Following-up after training is extremely important. Many training programs fail because trainers provide all this information, but then fail to follow up with employees. They may leave the training sessions excited and ready to use the new software system, but then have problems implementing it. The best way to keep the momentum going after training is to schedule a follow-up meeting a week or two after the initial training. Invite your team to bring any questions they may have so that you can help them use the system to its fullest.
RBP Methods is a nonprofit software and consulting firm that helps right-brained people navigate a left-brained world. We want to help you understand cloud-based nonprofit fund accounting software. Whether you’re interested in AccuFund Nonprofit Accounting Suite, Abila MIP Fund Accounting, or other accounting software, we offer information, training, and support to help you manage your nonprofit accounting needs. Contact us today or call 503-648-9054 for more information.