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Stephanie Bates

Stephanie Bates

Training Manager

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Super Users – Learning Network



I am exploring the idea of setting up a learning Community within the business in which I work.

The organisation that I work for has limited learning budget to employ trainers to deliver bespoke software systems and the operational training that sits with it.  We have over 200 products linked to a main back office system, so even if infinite funds were available the time to enable trainers to learn would be an issue as the systems are so vast.

We are fortunate enough to have long term users how are familiar with many aspects of the main systems and related operational processes, however they are not trainers nor are supported to train.  Currently we rely on their good will to assist colleagues.  The issue with this is that much of the learning that goes on is not evaluated, and bad habits are passed on.  Complications also arise when new software releases are made as training is either limited, or inaffective as there is no one person tasked with (or with knowledge) of the appropriate systems.

A lot of natural learning takes place in the organisation (which is great), however when we have new starters, releases, or colleagues who wish to upskill, there is no one to help and we have to rely on 'seasoned users' to help their colleagues and take a 'fingers crossed' attitude.

To remidy this, my thought is to set up a network of super users regionally, each with an area of expertise, and to incentivise them above and beyond their day job, a sort of virtual learning team, with documents / online help being produced in conjunction with the learners (but led from head office). In addition, to create a company wide Wiki to share information. In addition, the learners would receive support from each other and central learning.

Thoughts / advice on doing this?

Ideas on how to get management buy in ( there is very much a culture of 'too busy to learn')?

Thank you!!

3 Responses

  1. Training ‘Champions’

     I think your idea is a good one – its simply about formalising and tighteneing up what happens already. Training a number of champions or super-users works very well in process-led skills, and I’ve been involved in this approach in Manufacturing before.

    I have a freelance colleague who specialises in an updated version to Job Instruction (Training Within Industry) and has had amazing success with it. It would definitely be worth exploring something like this or Instructor Training to ensure a consistent and professional approach, but utlising the knowledge and skills of your experienced workers.

    Sheridan Webb

    Keystone Development – Bespoke Training Design

  2. Great idea

    I very much buy into your idea.  I have been involved in a number of similar such initiatives.  Management buy-in is vital, but much easier said than done.  Management, like other parts of the organisation, is a heterogenous audience, so there will be a variety of commitment and practice.  Also, commitment has to be from all management levels, since it’s fine to get higher levels to sign up, only to find it falls down through the middle layer(s).  So long as there is clear linkage to organisational objectives, there is a chance of success.  However, once is never enough.  To have management buy-in as well as input from the audience, of the kind you’d like, requires constant work, energy and reinforcement to keep it going.  I have found that an initial flurry of enthusiasm and support can fizzle out unless there is a regular and constant reminder of purpose, progress, targets, reward and recognition etc.  Not easy, but a very worthy approach imo.  Good luck 🙂  Would love to hear how it works out.

  3. Leaning Community

    Thanks very much for the response.

    Do you have any ideas of how to get management buy in, as this seems to be an area whereby users which to learn but are prohibited by the management culture (at times).

    To keep you up to date with progress, I am putting together a proposal (in graphical terms) to explain the idea and how it will work.  This hopefully, will be ‘fed’ up the management chain in order to start the buy in process.  In tandem I am in the process of contacting colleagues within the business who have responsibilitiy for learning (e.g. CRM etc…) to start to build up a virtual network of learning colleagues who can support users on both a project (new releases) and Business As Usual / Induction Learning as well as create a central respository of learning guides / info.  Would be great to incorporate a LMS too (we have no central records).





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Stephanie Bates

Training Manager

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