Implementing new software at your PT practice can be a challenge at the best of times. New software means a steep learning curve for some employees. And for the entire staff, it means changing the way they’ve been doing things to incorporate the new software.
At HENO, we know how challenging it can be to implement new software. We created HENO to make the job of managing our multi-office practice easier. Many of our potential clients ask us how to get their staff members on board with new software.
The solution: employee training programs. Here’s what you need to know.
Start Training Early
Human beings are creatures of habit – and that means you’re likely to face at least a little resistance from some of your employees when you announce you’ll be buying new software.
Resistance is normal, but it can also cause problems once training starts. We’ve found that one of the best ways to overcome resistance is to listen to your employees’ concerns before you buy new software.
Make notes of what worries them. Are they concerned about having to learn quickly? Are they worried that their jobs will be more difficult with the new software? Understanding what’s driving their resistance does two things at once:
It ensures that your employees know that you care about their concerns and want to know what they think.
It gives you the opportunity to tailor your training to overcome their objections.
Getting early feedback doesn’t mean that all resistance will vanish. What it does do is give you a chance to reassure your employees.
Identify the People Who Are Enthusiastic About the New Software
It’s inevitable that some of your employees are going to be energized and excited about the new software. Whether it’s because they love technology or are eager to streamline their jobs, they’re ready to go.
Enthusiasm is a great thing for employee adoption! Once you know who’s excited about training, you’ve got a chance to get those employees on board. Give them early access to training. Seeing the capabilities and benefits of the new software can turn them into cheerleaders who’ll encourage the rest of your staff to get on board. You may want to designate some of these enthusiasts as “super users” to learn all the functions of your new software and serve as resources for your remaining employees.
Do Training on an “As Needed” Basis
One of the things that can hinder employee adoption of new software is feeling pressure to learn quickly or to learn everything at once.
While we understand the temptation to get the training done as quickly as possible, that may not be the best option if you want your staff to be comfortable using your new software.
Instead, identify the “must know” functions for each staff member and focus on getting them trained on those things first. Once they’ve mastered them, you can ease them into additional training, so they can cover for other employees when they’re out.
Let Employees Know About Training Resources
When we sign a new client at HENO, we provide training materials to help employees learn about HENO’s features and functionalities. After you buy new software and start employee training, make sure to provide employees with written training materials and access to any additional necessary materials.
Some materials that may be available include:
Printed user manuals from your software company.
Electronic manuals that employees can access on their computers or online.
In-software tutorials and assistance.
When employees know they have training materials and resources available, they’re less likely to feel lost or overwhelmed – and that’s a huge part of getting them on board with your new software.
Individualize Training When Necessary
Even if you provide basic computer training and minimize the amount of training each employee needs to do, you may find that some employees struggle with your new software.
Make sure that your super users and team leaders are keeping an eye on other employees and identifying those who need additional help. Providing some one-on-one training and encouragement can help your slow adopters to get on board.
Celebrate Wins for Your Practice
Finally, look for quick wins to celebrate as you begin to use your new software. When employees see immediate improvements in efficiency, or recognize that certain aspects of their jobs are easier than they were before, it makes it natural to be positive about using the software.
You may also include to offer some kind of reward or incentive for your employees in the training process. Even a small reward like a lunch that you order in or a small gift card can be enough to help your employees see the benefit of embracing the new software you’ve bought.
Buying and implementing new software is a challenge for every PT practice owner. By adopting the suggestions we’ve outlined here, you’ll increase the chances that your entire staff will get on board with your new software.
Ready to see what HENO can do for your medical practice? Click here for a free demo!
Katie co-founded HENO based on her career as a physical therapist and practice owner of over 10 years. Her understanding of the pain points many practice owners face has equipped her to create practice management solutions that optimize the efficiency and profitability of physical, speech and occupational therapy clinics.