Problem to Solve
Time and resources are the two most important assets in business, which is why they must never be squandered.
A regional management services organization (MSO) with ambitious growth plans needed to quickly and efficiently train its operations staff in the use of a new software platform. The MSO’s staff were completely dedicated to serving existing customers and developing new market opportunities and could not be pulled away from their work. As a result, the organization lacked the time and resources to develop a reusable training model that addressed its short- and long-term needs.
The MSO addressed its critical training gap by engaging Freed Associates (Freed) to create a customized, repeatable training model that could easily be used today and for future applications in new markets. This work needed to be completed to a very high standard yet in a short time frame to meet the MSO’s business goals.
Strategy and Tactics
Based on its initial assessment of the project, Freed noted both a need for a comprehensive, repeatable training methodology and a strategy for positively engaging approximately 250 new and existing MSO employees in the training curriculum. This need was based on a review of existing training materials and processes, as well as input from MSO executives and informational technology (IT) and business unit leaders on their organizational training needs.
A detailed work plan, including a high-level timeline, was developed to delineate the recommended training approach within the client’s designated target dates for this project. In partnership with MSO staff from key business units, such as claims, customer service and provider relations, Freed developed an overarching organizational structure, plan and workbook for training.
Freed organized a schedule of training courses and, acting as a close partner, developed all materials needed for training, including:
- All training courses, their method of delivery, trainer, facilities and equipment
- Business unit-specific PowerPoint presentations and corresponding materials
- Business unit-specific new hire training plans
- Testing process and training proficiency scorecards
- Course evaluations and scoring systems
- “Train the trainer” and practice training sessions
Critical to this work was ensuring that trainers and training participants would have immediate, hands-on access to the new software platform being introduced. Freed collaborated with the MSO’s IT leaders to ensure that all involved with training would have system access to the new software, and that technology to support the training was ready.
In conjunction with key designated MSO staff, Freed executed the training program, based on its designated schedule, to some 250 MSO employees. Emphasizing the need for continued maintenance and sustainability of realized results for the training program, Freed documented all processes and created a training toolkit which the MSO can easily apply to meet its future training needs.
Thanks to a high degree of support and engagement from MSO staff members who served as subject matter experts and trainers, the new training program was a complete success, training all designated MSO employees within the organization’s designated timeline. Anecdotal feedback and proficiency scorecards revealed that training participants absorbed and understood the training materials presented and were well-prepared to use the new software system.
The MSO’s leadership was particularly pleased with staff enthusiasm regarding the new training program among both trainers and training participants, as they perceived it to be a direct contributor to employee engagement and satisfaction. Change, even a seemingly positive change such as the introduction of a new software system, can be perceived negatively by employees if it is not presented well. By emphasizing the positives of the new software system and having key business unit leaders engaged in creating and/or delivering the training related to this system, Freed succeeded in gaining organization-wide buy-in around the new software.
With its new training curriculum in place, the MSO now has an established, repeatable training model to quickly and cost-effectively onboard new markets and new employees. Additionally, the model ensures training consistency across the MSO, leading to less downtime and more efficient operations.
By recognizing its lack of internal resources to develop an adequate training curriculum for its new software system, and bringing in Freed to manage this process, the MSO cost-effectively set itself up for rollout success. With staff time now available to focus on other business priorities instead of training development, the MSO continued to successfully develop and grow its core businesses.