How Staff Can Be Successfully Trained With GUARDIAN RFID Technology

How can I get my team to accept the use of new technology? Who can train my team on how to install and handle devices? How can my team become successful and efficient with new technology?
Kenzie Koch
Kenzie Koch
Contibutors:
Greg Piper | Director of Training

Doesn't it always seem like once you’ve gotten the hang of a particular method, something new and improved comes along? You just bought an iPhone 11 and have recently learned how to maneuver the different apps and widgets, then the iPhone 13 launches with brand new features. Welp, that's how the cookie crumbles sometimes, right? Because we all know one thing for certain: technology is ever-changing. But is it important to stay up to date with the latest trends? It depends on how you look at it. You probably don’t need to buy the new iPhone 13 if your iPhone 11 is working just fine. However, if you look at it from a business perspective, you will need to stay up with the latest changes. That is if you want to be ahead of your competitors. This blog highlights tips on how you can get your team onboarded and excited about utilizing modern technology *cough cough* (GUARDIAN RFID) in their daily tasks. 

Before Implementation 

Of course, there is a flipside to inviting a new and exciting tool to your facility. Although new software can help your operations, it can be nerve-racking to employees (especially some of our old-school folk).

Traditionally, there are only two things in corrections we hate: Change. And the way things are.
Steve Maynard
Strategic Account Executive

Processing the change can be a perplexing task for some employees. The truth behind those who push back is that they are most afraid of change. However, it doesn’t need to be. How the new technology is introduced to your team sets the stage for how they adapt to it. If you’ve had colleagues in the industry talk about how beneficial “the new technology” (or GUARDIAN RFID) is and how much easier and faster work can be completed, it’s a no-brainer that your team needs to adapt to it too, right? It isn’t that easy. Officers who may already feel burnt out from feeling underpaid, underappreciated, and struggling with mental health, will not care as the last thing they want to worry about is how to learn new technology. These are all valid excuses to not be thrilled to learn a new practice, but you will also hear not-so-valid excuses such as “Well, I’m not tech-savvy.” Luckily, you don’t need to be, anyone who knows how to work a cell phone can easily adjust to using a SPARTAN. 

One of the biggest mistakes companies make when implementing new programs, procedures, or technologies is asking already overloaded employees to magically find time in their day to add training. The result of this is predictable: employees will put off learning the new software for as long as they can in favor of doing the work they already have in front of them. Make training a priority by allocating the time and resources to make sure your training is comprehensive and well-received.
Cory Bleich | How to Train Employees on a New System or Technology

Training employees with new GUARDIAN RFID software can be started with one simple step: working with your Project Manager to make realistic deadlines, rollout methods, and schedule calendar dates for training purposes. Professional experienced trainers (note that ALL of the GUARDIAN RFID trainers have several years of correctional experience) know that before the training sessions even begin, they are receiving some pushback from staff. That’s why GUARDIAN RFID staff are strategic about how they organize the training experience. Scheduling both classroom and shadowing is critical to the project’s success. Even though their overarching goal is to get staff to understand how the technology is beneficial to them and their work operations, they also make sure every employee feels seen, heard, and supported during the transition. Think about it: if employees feel better about what they can expect, they’ll be more receptive. Thus, laying a solid foundation through scheduling and conversations between the administration and the implementation team is the critical opening step.

When You Implement

If you decide to implement GUARDIAN RFID in your facility, there are six stages of training that are covered over the span of roughly 90 days, including the Implementation Kickoff, Software + Network, Hardware Delivery, Setup & Test Equipment, Training & Go Live, and Post-Implementation. “Why are there so many pieces?” you may be thinking. Well, it’s because our goal is to maximize your facility’s success every step of the way. 

During the Implementation Kickoff, a GUARDIAN RFID Project Manager will connect with you and your team either over the phone or in person. You will discuss your software vendor, Wi-Fi needs, and any other information that the Project Manager needs to figure out where they can provide guidance. Of course, there will be onboarding resources provided so all staff can understand the scope of use. Your vendor’s team will work with our team to go through quality assurance testing and confirm that the interface is running properly to the GUARDIAN RFID Cloud. You’ll have your username and login credentials to your Cloud provided (you and your Project Manager will review everything together in great detail so all questions and concerns can be addressed in real-time).

Next is Pre-Training. This is a 1.5-hour meeting where any potential end-users are invited to discuss policies, procedures, and other information that needs to be manually created or custom-modified to fit the needs of your team and facility. After Pre-Training is On-Site Training. This is a series of 4-hour classes that provides detailed hands-on instructions on how to properly create and apply inmate wristbands or ID cards, use reports, and more. The classroom will likely be split up into smaller groups who can evaluate the system firsthand. Having employees use the devices in real time opens up an opportunity of showing them all the interactive tools they can use to lighten their workload. The trainer will walk through examples of specific use cases and scenarios to challenge the class on how they would react to their device. Hence, this training is an engaging and collaborative experience for attendees. 

We know that a “training session” sounds boring AF. More often than not, the trainer knows that too. Fortunately, our exceptional instructors know how to make the sessions interactive and engaging. Sitting through long hours of monotone lecturing and death by PowerPoint isn’t beneficial to anyone, except those who want to catch another extra hour of sleep. Trainers want to hold their sessions in a positive and uplifting environment that helps improve staff attitude as they walk into the training. If your facility uses a conference room, it allows them to work in a space they are already familiar and comfortable with. Staff should come prepared with questions or concerns as this is truly your system and we want staff to take ownership.

Finalizing the Implementation

Last but not least is the Go-Live. This is scheduled within hours of the last training class. The advantage of never pausing between training and Go-Live is that there’s little to no loss of information sharing. In fact, many staff members are going to apply their newfound knowledge within hours of receiving it, and having the trainers on hand during this transition helps smooth out the inevitable rough edges. During this phase, our training team will be on-site to shadow your Go-Live efforts. We’ll walk with you during the first few days of use. If you have a question, we’re right next to you or just a few pods away. Go-Live Shadowing is also a great way to further optimize your use of GUARDIAN RFID, and our team will provide recommendations that they may see. Following implementation and Go-Live, your Customer Success leader will introduce themselves to you and ask how training and Go-Live were executed. Your Customer Success leader will follow up every few weeks in the first 90 days. After six months, they’ll check in quarterly.

GUARDIAN RFID’s goal is to meet your utmost satisfaction. Our mission is to get every Warrior who is protecting America’s Thin Gray Line home safely after every shift. And to care about officers’ lives, we need to care about the operations in their facilities. GUARDIAN RFID is here to continuously provide the technology that supports the care, custody, and control of correctional officers. Consider collaborating with us in our mission of getting your team home safe.

Resources

Bleich, Cory (2019). How to Train Employees on a New System or Technology: 5 Tips
Retrieved from: https://www.edgepointlearning.com/blog/how-to-train-employees-on-new-system/