Why investing in workforce development is critical to success

| 22 May 2014
e-learning-2

With an ageing population resulting in more demand for aged care services combined with recipients of care presenting with ever increasing complex health care needs, the skills and training of nursing and care staff to deliver consistent, high quality care is critical. The training of nursing and care staff in the use of technology is one of the solutions to this challenge.

Investing in software is based on the knowledge of the significant benefits the solution can provide to help your organisation. To help you realise these benefits, software providers should have an extensive change management program in place designed to support your staff through the implementation process.

Part of this change management program involves end-user training. Many software providers use the proven ‘train the trainer’ model whereby the software trainer trains a percentage of staff members who are typically a little more IT savvy and a champion of the product. These staff members then train the balance of the staff.

However, what is your strategy for continued, comprehensive end-user software training as staff leave and new staff come on board?

Training staff in the best use of software not only provides good outcomes for the social provider through the effective use of technology, it is also a way of engaging and retaining staff by the investment in training provided. Staff turnover comes with a number of costs and one part of that cost, when a staff member leaves your organisation, is the domain knowledge of the software solution you have implemented.

Aged care providers must have a strategy in place for continued, comprehensive end-user software training. Investing in ongoing staff training helps you make the most out of your IT investment.

A common mistake is devaluing the importance of ongoing staff training.

Staff who know how to use the software properly and to its fullest potential will make your organisation more efficient whilst improving staff satisfaction.

Understandably there are some perceived barriers to continued investment in staff training in a sector that is operating in a revenue constrained environment, combined with challenges associated with a workforce shortage and high staff turnover. However, as mentioned above, the cost of not investing in ongoing training increases the risk of more significant financial costs and potentially lowers quality care outcomes.

Training methods are evolving

Aged care providers can use a mix in the style and approach to training. A blended approach consisting of formal courses, peer to peer on the job training and e-learning work best. This approach recognises that people learn in different ways and having different training alternatives ensures you are engaging each individual in the way they learn best.

Webinars and e-learning do provide costs savings, but more importantly they are beneficial when used as a refresher to other training methods or for certain modules of software.

However, webinars and e-learning do not give the practical experience that is needed to use software whilst on the job. Peer based support on the job and formal hands on training courses are also essential for maximising the use of a software solution.

What is your strategy for continued investment in end-user software training? Please share these in the comments below.

(Image credit: Kendba)

Tags: aged care, e-learning, technology, training, workforce development

Lauren Murphy


Lauren Murphy is the Head of Marketing at Telstra Health - Aged, Disability & Community Care. She is interested in how technology can play a critical role in supporting the future of the aged care sector. Lauren’s background is B2B marketing across a diverse range of industries including the health, technology and finance sectors.

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