One of the biggest challenges in enterprise software, all too often, is that the executive stakeholders who invest in the software aren’t always the end users. In fact, there may be a great organizational distance between the two. This is a challenge at every level, from design to sales to training and support. Allowing the training strategy to be driven by your stakeholders, who are not using the software every day, may lead to low user adoption. Square Root is different, as our training is focused on user empathy and adoption. From day one of implementation, we deliver results needed from executive stakeholders by developing training that helps users navigate new software successfully.

Even in the best aligned organizations, executive stakeholders are likely to have certain misunderstandings about their users. This is not a matter of ignorance, but of focus; having been successfully sold on a product, they will see it as a tool to address high-level problems and objectives.

Actual users, on the other hand, are focused on the problems they see at their level—and even if they’re the same problems—they look different on the ground than they do in the executive conference room. Unfortunately, the slick new enterprise software the bosses just invested in may look, to end users, like just another chore to add to their weekly list.

That is, if you don’t train from the users’ perspective.

Know your Audience and Train With Business Context

We’ve all been in dreadful, deadly presentations. If we sat down and made a list of all the reasons those presentations were a waste of time, I suspect (among eye-straining Powerpoint slides and lack of preparation) we’d agree on this: sometimes, it feels like the presenters have barely thought about their audience. They’re pushing their own agendas and trumpeting their own accomplishments without much thought about what it actually means for the people who sitting and listening.

“17 percent of enterprise end users actually suffered from productivity losses. Such reports reveal the trend of inattention to user adoption phases toward the end of the project.”*

Unfortunately, this can also be a problem in enterprise software training. Software partners sometimes only take into account the needed end result of stakeholders and think too little about the needs of their users. This creates training that explains here’s how we expect you to use this tool rather than here’s how this tool can improve your work and make you more efficient. Hopefully there’s a lot of overlap between the two! Even so, training needs to start from the users’ perspective to drive engagement.

Avon shelved a software implementation in excess of $100 million due to user adoption issues*

When software trainers only connect with executive stakeholders, their training can lack user empathy. The obvious solution, then, is to make sure software trainers also have plenty of contact with end users. They need connection with both to deliver results and drive user adoption. At Square Root, we keep our user support and training functions in constant communication. This helps trainers to get continual insight into the day-to-day needs, concerns, and frustrations of end users. Furthermore, both of these functions are tightly integrated into our Customer Success team, which measures its performance (among other things) by how much end users are actually using the software.

This makes user empathy not just an ideal, but an incentivized team priority. It makes a huge difference to have trainers crafting and delivering their material with the direct goal of driving more use of the software, rather than generally fulfilling the expectations of their client stakeholders.

At Square Root, we are focused on user adoption and delivering training that drives results. Interested in learning how CoEFFICIENT® drives solutions across the enterprise? Read more about our enterprise alignment solutions.

In the coming weeks you’ll see the final installment of our training series where we’ll talk about the importance of thinking small. Stay tuned to see how small, engaged trainings can help deliver bigger results when you’re dealing with the complexities of enterprise software.

*“5 Tips for Boosting Enterprise Software Adoption,” Himanshu Sareen