Less mac and cheese, more Mac and ease: A recipe for user training and change management
The Mac invasion is incoming – is your team ready for this change? PC-dominant workspaces can integrate Macs into the workflow with the right prep.
This post contains content for We Got Your Mac podcast, presented by SHI.
Kristen Hubler, Training and Adoption Solutions Architect at SHI, knows what such a transition looks like firsthand and understands the challenges. Like reading a recipe versus freestyling, Kristen has it down to a science.
She holds the key ingredients for successful end-user training and change management.
The value of intentional training and building balanced comprehension (aka avoid assumptions)
Think of a time you rented a car. You had driven before, but this rented vehicle seemed like a spaceship — you had to reacquaint yourself and adjust to a new dashboard, pedal sensitivity, blind spots, etc.
According to Kristen, switching from PC to Mac is much like that.
“You might take a few minutes, and you can figure it out. But at the end of the day, are you actually using all the features of that car? Do you know where the heated seats are? Do you know how to use cruise control? Most of the time, people don’t,” she says. “And so, when we switch devices, it can be very easy to oversimplify.”
Settling for the bare minimum understanding of a device is setting yourself up for an unsatisfactory experience and a hindered workflow. How do you avoid falling into the trap of oversimplification and reap the full benefits of your device?
You don’t want to be stuck taking the stairs because you can’t find the elevator.
That means team members need hands-on, intentional training that accounts for the learning curve of a new system. Even if they could figure out the basics on their own, they could be missing out on key features built to assist their workflows.
Small differences can feel big without the proper prep. Be careful not to assume it will be an easy transition for everyone, no matter their level of familiarity with the devices.
“Not only do we need to talk about those differences between a PC versus a Mac, but also knowing that people still need more training,” Kristen says. “They need more awareness around what is in the tools, even if they’ve been using them for years because there’s likely a lot more that they’re unaware of.”
In today’s modern workplace, technology updates are continuously deployed to devices, which means training and adoption management needs to be an ongoing effort.
Why effective change management starts with discovery
Look at your organization. How many people are there? Out of every department and level of operations, what percentage of people use a PC or a Mac?
“In any type of change management, when you deploy technology, you need to do a certain amount of discovery,” Kristen says. “You need to ask your end users, ‘How are you working?’”
Change management and company initiatives must take information like this into account, not only because PC and Mac have different interfaces, strengths, and capabilities requiring different training, but also because integrating new devices with different operating systems goes beyond understanding where the start button is. The productivity workflows associated with suites like Microsoft and Google may be impacted by the user device which can impact how a team collaborates. This is why a certain amount of awareness is key for a successful integration of Mac devices into a PC world. When we can bring this awareness to end users and equip them with the education they need, they’ll be unstoppable.
“It’s nothing that’s going to mess you up from using it, it’s just you have to think about it, communicate it, and make sure people have training on it,” she continues. “If all of your training that you have around your products is centered around a PC, then those Mac users are going to feel left behind.”
The day-to-day workflow makes or breaks employee experience. Little frictions add up without the proper support.
“As you start to spread that awareness and tell people about the change that’s coming, and start to think about what training you need, you have to think about the individuality of all your employees.”
How to prepare for transformational change and meet employees where they’re at
What type of change are you enacting?
Not everyone changes at the same pace. With most types of change, there are a few critical questions you should be asking to support successful implementation:
- How big is this change?
- Who does it affect?
- How quickly are we changing?
“I love using the example of telling people that we’re going to run a marathon. If I told you next spring you’d be running a marathon, what goes through your head?” Kristen says.
Depending on your experience — maybe you’ve run a marathon before, so you’re not worried, or maybe the last time you ran was PE in high school — you will respond in vastly different ways.
“As you start to spread that awareness and tell people about the change that’s coming and start to think about what training you need, you have to think about the individuality of all your employees,” she continues. “Granted, you’re not going to meet everyone where they are if you’re a huge org, but you can hit those larger groups.”
For the best results, Kristen encourages organizations facing transformational change to:
- Avoid assumptions to best provide adequate training for employees.
- Broaden the scope of training to account for multiple perspectives and workflows.
- Establish easy-access support to align with learning paces through on-demand eLearning, live training, or documentation.
An educated and empowered team is an effective and thriving team, through any level of change.
Interested in learning more? In our conversation with Kristen, we discussed key ingredients for a smooth Mac integration in PC-dominant organizations, the importance of employee training, taking multiple perspectives into account, and more. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.