It has become almost obligatory for healthcare companies to set up HR portals for their employees. In this day and age, any healthcare company that fails to set up a HR portal for its employees is at risk of losing competitive advantage. But as many HR managers in the healthcare field have come to learn, setting up the HR portals for employees is just half the equation. The other important half is that of training the employees on the use of the HR portals. Therefore the process of introducing the HR portals for healthcare employees can be best visualized as a two-step process. The first step is that of establishing the actual HR portal, and making it available to the employees. The second step is that of training the staff on the use of the HR portal. It is possible to have a very good HR portal, and still fail to reap the expected results, if you don’t take the trouble to train the staff on the portal’s use.
Why healthcare workers need to be trained on the use of HR portals
If the staff members (in any given healthcare company) are not properly trained on the use of the HR portal, they may start viewing the portal as an inconvenience. This would be a pity: especially when you remember that, in actual fact, the HR portals are meant to make life easier for the employees. Yet, due to lack of training, they come to view it as an inconvenience.
The older staff members, who were born before the computer era, are particularly susceptible to viewing things like the HR portals in question here as ‘inconveniences’. That is why there is need to train them adequately, before getting them to start using the HR portals.
Admittedly, it is very easy for the people who are IT savvy to get the feeling that the HR portals are too ‘simple’ to warrant any training. After all, these portals tend to be ‘intuitive’, and for individuals who have good computer skills, it doesn’t seem too hard to figure out how to access various resources through the portals. But remember, there are individuals who were born before the computer era. Some of them actually suffer from tech-phobia. For such individuals, there will never be a point when anything related to computers feels ‘intuitive’. That is what makes it necessary to organize training courses for them, before getting them to start using the HR portals.
Situations where it is necessary to train staff on the use of HR portals
There are three situations where it is necessary to train healthcare companies’ staff on the use of HR portals.
The first scenario is if the HR portal has just been introduced to a company. So here, we would be looking at a company that has been previously operating without a HR portal. Then, at some point, an HR portal is set up: and the staff members have to be trained on its use before it is commissioned.
The second scenario is if you are dealing with a new employee. So this would be a newly-hired individual, who is expected to be accessing his work-related resources through the portal. It becomes necessary to train him, so as to get him to know what the best way to use the portal is. Without training, the person may end up opting to learn how to use the HR portal through ‘trial and error’. And in the process, the individual may end up making some rather costly blunders.
The third scenario is if you, as the administrator of the HR portal, come to realize that the staff members are not using it in the right manner. So you opt to have the staff trained (or retrained) on the proper use of the HR portal, with the objective of getting them to do it right.
Ways in which you can train healthcare staff on the use of HR portals
There are 3 ways in which you can train healthcare staff on the use of HR portals.
The first approach would be where you organize formal training sessions for the staff members. In the course of the formal training sessions, you get to impart on them the various skills they need, to use the HR portals properly. This approach can work very well if, for instance, the HR portal is being introduced in a company where it wasn’t used before. You therefore find that all members of staff in the company need training on how to use the portal. So you may organize ‘seminars’, during which the staff members are given lessons – complete with practical demonstrations – on how to use the HR portal.
The second approach would be where you organize informal training sessions, with the individual staff members – during which you get to show them how to use the HR portals in the right manner. This approach can very well if there is only one individual who needs the training, or if there are just a few employees who need the training at a given point in time. So this is where you, as the HR portal administrator, can visit the employee at his desk, sit with him for an hour, and demonstrate to him how to use the HR portal in the right manner.
The third approach is where you set up web-based tutorials, through which you get to (remotely) train the employees on the proper use of the HR portals. These tutorials can be based on text. Or they can ideally be audio-visual tutorials. This approach can work very well if yours is a multi-branch healthcare company. Since you can’t keep on going to each and every branch to train the staff on the use of the HR portal, you can opt to set up web-based tutorials for the purpose. Then individuals who need the training – including newly hired staff members – can be referred to the web-based tutorials.
What you need to focus on, while training staff on the use of HR portals
The most important thing is to ensure that the staff members get a practical understanding on how to get various things done through the HR portal. This is why the training on the use of the HR portals should be mainly based on practical demonstrations — whether it is done through formal or informal training sessions.
It is also important to get the staff to understand how to deal with the various challenges they may encounter while using the HR portals. If, for instance, the computer hangs while using the HR portal, if they forget their passwords, if they enter the wrong details – you need to train them on how to deal with all these sorts of situations.