What type of HRIS application training works best? In this section, I am not referring to the best HR application implementation process. That’s an entirely different subject for which we have other articles written. The four typical methods of HR application training are self training, online classes, classroom training, and onsite training. In this article, I will cover the advantages and disadvantages of each. There is the possibility that training will include more than just one type; which is better known as blended training.
Self Training might be the best training option
Most, if not all, HRIS application vendors don’t offer detailed enough documentation to make this option completely possible. Manuals are usually, at best, a starter's guide as opposed to an in depth manual covering all the capabilities of the HR system you will use. If the company you are working with offers detailed manuals or offers a training guide and you have worked with other HRIS applications, I would think there is no reason you can’t self train. You might, in this case, only need training on specific more difficult tasks such as report writing or benefit setup. It’s a good idea to try this approach first before trying one of the other training options that might be available, because after doing so, you will have a basic knowledge of the system.
Online Training might be the best option
Many software companies now offer online training, as well. I found online training in my own business to be extremely effective. It works best in shorter time frame classes, when training someone on specific capability, and when the application used for the class allows the end user to have keyboard and mouse control during the training. I don’t think this form of class works well for someone who has little or no experience with HR Management Software. It is simply too difficult to concentrate for long periods of time staring at a computer screen’s glare. If you want to be trained on specific HR application features, however, I think this option is extremely effective. Other than self training it’s also the most cost effective of the three options.
Classroom training might be the best training option
Most HRIS vendors offer some type of classroom training. They may offer this at only their corporate location, at regional training centers, or if you have a large number of employees who will be accessing the system, on-site classroom training. When performing classroom HR application training, as a trainer I found the biggest challenge is to keep the class in depth enough for the advanced users but basic enough for the beginners to grasp the concepts. I spoke with an older brother who used to teach high school math about this challenge and he suggested training to the middle. It works but the class goes at a slower pace than the advanced users would like and many of the beginners may not grasp the concepts. This is why it is extremely important for you to review the system as much as possible before attending one of these classes. If you are an advanced user, you might want to try one of the other training options instead. The largest disadvantage of this training method is that you won’t be training on your data.
Or onsite training might be your best option
This is likely going to be the most expensive training option since you will have to pay the trainer’s travel cost and their daily consulting expense, but I also feel this is the best training offered. You train on your data and usually in small groups or one to one. If you trained yourself on the application, as I referred to in the first paragraph, you will be able to focus the training on only those areas where you need additional training. The important thing with this type of training is to limit the interruptions. I sat in more than one extremely busy HR department where every fifteen minutes the people I was training had to leave the room, pick up a call, or respond to an email. Check into referring your duties to someone else during the training, shutting down the department to employees for the day, or doing the training on the weekend.
I hope you found this article helpful. Regardless of which training option you go with, the more you attempt to self train on the HRIS application before starting a class, the more informed you will be. Rarely does one type of training work best. You may find that a combination of the four works best overall.
About the Author
Clay Scroggin worked in the Human Resource and Payroll Software Industry for more than fifteen years. During that time, Clay and those who worked with him, assisted hundreds of HR professionals with their HR software needs. In 2007, Clay began working on compareHRIS.com, a site dedicated to assisting HR professionals with their search, selection, implementation, and use of HR systems. The site contains several tools to assist HR professionals with their research including an HRIS Selection Tool.
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