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Effective Launch of CBT Programmes


I'm about to launch some CBT materials (on CD-ROM) to a selection of our employees on the subject of Stress Management. The employees are typically middle to senior management, who often work remotely. Putting this product onto an internet/intranet is not feasible at this time.

I want to be able to launch it to them effectively, make them aware of the importance of the programme (i.e. how it can help in the prevention or reduction of stress) and for them to have completed the work within a given time frame.

Can anyone provide me with some hints and tips to undertake a successful launch? What's worked well for other businesses? What's not worked?

Your responses would be appreciated.

Jo House

2 Responses

  1. Getting the Messages Right
    Reading your question brought some memories flooding back, when I offered a similar CD-ROM a few years ago to an entire company staff.

    In particular, three points have stuck in my mind:

    Firstly, some of the senior management were uncomfortable with the very existance of training in this topic area. This was after the course had been available for many months. They had been initially launched within a bundle of other soft skills training courses. They required evidence that there had been demand for this course and that it had been found to be useful, which we managed to do….eventually (see my third point below),

    This only served to reinforce the essential requirement that you should only launch a product that has been selected to meet a need identified by key players in the business. It is always difficult to truly successfully launch a course where there is no specific demand that can be used as part of a targeted campaign.

    Secondly, when we experimented with a second, more comprehensive CD-ROM course on Stress Management, it caused more stress than it reduced! It proved frustratingly difficult for staff to use and we never proceeded with it post-pilot, so make sure that the course has been user tested by some potential users before it’s launched.

    Thirdly, many staff felt uncomfortable with registering for and taking the course. It was not unknown for them to have “a quiet word” with their training officers to ask that their use of the course not be recorded or recorded under a different title. This meant it was often difficult to obtain qualitative feedback on the material.

    The key to a successful launch is to first work with some of the intended audience to establish the language and context of the launch communications. If prior demand was not a factor in the selection of the title, this is the chance to obtain it, but it’s important to ensure that any buy-in at this stage is wholehearted and not a token gesture to please the training department.

    From the people you speak to, it should be possible to create some suitable positioning marketing material with messages tailored to the target audience. Hopefully, you will also be able to carry the endorsement from a (senior) champion who can stress (no pun intended!) the importance of taking and completing the programme. Ultimately, the prevention line is more likely to encourage uptake.

    This is such a difficult topic to deliver training in. Make sure that the emphasis is on prevention and that there is no implicit reference to any negativity being attributed to any stress in the organisation, nor that the user has been “targetted” to receive the training.

    Judging by the user statistics on this course, when it was correctly logged, it was a well-used title. At the time, there was no other training available on this subject, such were the sensitivities with the subject matter, so I always felt it played a positive role in the organisation.

  2. Stress at Work
    We developed a CD ROM for this purpose for a client. We also did a ‘roll out’ awareness programme to introduce the topic in context with the businesses aims in this area.

    Several staff had been off sick with stress and we were brought in by the company lawyers to raise management awareness and tackle what was looming as a litigation problem.

    Some managers could not attend the face to face session which was supported by multimedia, for those we contacted then via email and sent discussed in a chat room the concerns of the organisation and brought them upto speed.Copies of the presentation on video were sent to them.

    Once the CD ROms were despatched all had an email 7 days after inviting them to comment and to share their intial views. Those who hadn’t looked at it were then encouraged by calls or emails to start the study.

    Once work commenced the facilitator then encouraged every 10 days or so to ensure everyone was getting something out of the process. Chat rooms were set up for queries and a forum posting board was also developed to explore other areas were similar studies could be used.

    It just takes a bit of a change of mindset to get people talking together on line.

    We were also asked to develop on line coaching and mentoring as well as Employment law topics so that organisation felt the benefit. It provided time in lieu of the time spent on line and interacting in own time with the product also an that was fully supported by senior management. We found as usual that makes a big difference.

    best of luck

    TBDGlobal Ltd


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