Why Systems Training is a Must!

Why Systems Training is a Must!

Episode 14 – JuvoHub Podcast

Our Hosts: Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social and Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts

Our Special Guest: Keisa Moss

Keisa Moss is an application support specialist with over 10 years of experience in the industry. Keisa specializes in application support, training, and implementation. Keisa is skilled in developing quick, simple tutorials from job aides to recorded webinars. She is married with an active son. In Keisa’s spare time she enjoys reading, exercising, and wine tastings.

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Show Highlights

Notes from the host:

Technology can be a scary topic for many. The literal push into the virtual world has made it imperative for systems training within any organization. Keisa gives us some actionable feedback on systems training, how to overcome obstacles, and how to deploy an onboarding plan.

Some questions we discussed:

  • Why is it important for every employee to have a basic understanding of the systems in the organization?
  • What methods of training have you created to make the learner truly understand the process?
  • What are the most common obstacles you find from employees onsite and from a corporate level?
  • What does an onboarding plan look like for systems training?
  • What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator?

What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator?

So any system can be fixed. So for the person that makes a mistake or, “Oh God, I just broke it.” You didn’t break it. Trust me. It can be fixed, you did not break it. The world’s not going to come to the end. It can be fixed!

Keisa Moss, an application support specialist

If you enjoyed this episode be sure to check out:

Jonathan Saar: Hello everyone, and welcome to episode 14 of the JJIE Hub Podcast. You're a helping hand in Property Management and we are excited for numerous reasons today. Number one reason, we have a new co-host, Mark Howell from Howell creative concepts. Mark. Welcome, man. This is so awesome.

Mark Howell: Yeah. Thank you john. I appreciate it. I'm excited to be here.

Jonathan Saar: Yeah. So future episodes, we're going to be tag teaming Mark and I. Mark and I go way back in the industry, back when he was with Property Management, then we worked together and now we get to work together on this project. So both [inaudible 00:01:06] tag teaming and bringing on amazing guests like who we have today. Kiesa Moss. Keisa welcome to the show.

Keisa Moss: Hi. Thank you. Happy to be here.

Jonathan Saar: Now we look forward to hearing all about what you do and why systems training is a must. I mean, that's such a big topic and sometimes it's often an overlooked element within training and the learning plan for employees. So we look forward to hearing your thoughts and how you can give us your insights on why property management companies need to have this as an important component of their curriculum.

Keisa Moss: Great. Exiting.

Mark Howell: All right. Jonathan, thank you for having us both on. I'll tell you the systems training is for me, from a trainer's mindset perspective. It's funny when I've been in this role, the two are so completely different. I can build curriculums and soft skills' training and leadership training, but we always circle back to one common issue, which kind of seems to play a lot of multifamily companies or, I'm sorry, companies inside the multifamily business. And it is that systems can be so overwhelming. And so Keisa, what I am really excited about is you and I just having a really great conversation. I know that we have had this conversation numerous times in the past, in our careers about how we sort of build a great learning plan around systems training or including the systems training piece. But it's interesting to me, a lot of employees still struggle with the understanding of the systems.

Mark Howell: And I don't know if it's that we use so many of them or it's the technology, but I'm hoping you can shed some light on how to make it a little more, easier for us, and more understandable. So if you don't mind, I have got some questions that I would love to ask and get your opinion on about sytem training.

Keisa Moss: All right. Let's hear them.

Mark Howell: All right. So tell me why is it important for every employee to have a basic understanding of systems training in the organization? And I'm talking about every single employee from the top, all the way to say, the bottom, if it's ground all the way up to corporate.

Keisa Moss: [inaudible 00:03:38] it's really important. I'm glad you specified all those different roles because sometimes you have someone that comes in on a higher operational and they feel they may not need the system training because they have a team, they have managers, they have area managers, but it's really important because it sets down that foundation of how to use each platform. When a new hire comes in, they have orientation, and during that orientation process, they go through the history of the company, the owners. You have your vice presidents, you have your assistant vice-president. But what I found through all the orientations that I've been a part of from the side to side and the corporate end is there is no breakdown on the systems, how to use that system. Why do we use this CRM? Why do we use this program? Or even how to navigate through.

Keisa Moss: And so you have that person, they go back to their property and they're excited about starting this great job, at this great company. And they know how to do their tours, they know how to do their customer service, but when it comes to as simple as utilizing that platform to, we'll just say, you enter in a guest card, they might not really know how to do that. And that's not setting them up for success because then that leads them to frustration, which also associates to, "Oh my God, I'm not doing a good job," and it's just important that we set them up for that success.

Mark Howell: And when I think, you and I talked about this before which I love about systems training for all employees. What I have found is that a lot of upper management, they don't sometimes even understand if they don't truly know about the process in a given system and a CRM, how difficult it might be to enter a guest card or to check the queue or how time consuming it may be. What I find interesting about this topic is that we don't really understand from an upper level how long it might take to do some of these tasks or how confusing it might be for someone out on site. So what I love about what you're saying is that every single person should have some type of introduction. If you're an asset manager or regional upper management, why wouldn't you want to know what the teams are going through out in the field? It's a basic understanding and acknowledgement of, hey, look I get it, this system is confusing or it's time-consuming. So yeah, I agree with you a hundred percent on that.

Keisa Moss: Yeah. And it also helps too, if you're asking your manager to send a report and if that regional or director doesn't even understand how much time it takes to do that support and fill in everything. If you know what your employees are working on and how to navigate through that system, then you be able to have some understanding with them during that time.

Mark Howell: So I have a second question for you, which kind of carries right into this first one. What are some of the methods of training that you've created to make a learner? And I'm talking about even a corporate level learner that let's face it in my experience, corporate teams never want to go into an LMS. They never want to take additional training when it comes to sitting down and going through an SOP and truly understanding that process because, let's face it, they don't have to do that every day. But what do you, what have you created? What do you recommend that even someone at that level would go through? What should be the process for them to truly understand that system? Have you created anything? Any methods?

Keisa Moss: Yes. I think one of the best methods are making it quick and to the point. Can't point in exactly whatever that process is that you're teaching and training on. And some methods I have used have been simulations like captivate videos, very interactive videos that don't last more than five minutes or two to five, because a person think attention span is going to be sure that they're still looking at their text message. They're still checking their emails, but you have to keep them involved in what they're looking at. You have to keep it short to the point. Bright colors, of course, because people like bright colors, and then a lot of bold words. Also, if you do have to create a SLP, which some people do like to actually read and just learn on their own, it doesn't need to be no longer than two pages long.

Keisa Moss: It does not need to be five or 10 pages because no one wants to read a booklet. They just don't. They want to have a one or two page, "Oh, this is what I have to do with four steps. That's it? I can do four steps." But if you have [inaudible 00:08:45] steps they're already disgusted. They are already like, Oh my God, [inaudible 00:08:48] they're not going to want to do it. And then on top of that, we have to still kind of put ourselves in their position, in that feet of leasing apartments, answering phones, doing these virtual tours. And they are on a time line, and they have these deadlines, they have goals report. So it has to be quick and to the point. So definitely captivate videos, interactive videos, SLPs, no more than two pages.

Keisa Moss: Then also, if you have that learner who really just wants that, the one-on-one time, then set up a screen share with them and say, "Hey, we're going to get on the phone. And we're all going to get on the call for about 15 minutes." Give them that time point. So they feel comfortable. Because if you say we're going to be on the phone for an hour again, they're already disgusted. So 15 minute time point, we're going to go through the steps and then I'm going to let you go. So you can get back to the rest of your day.

Keisa Moss: Yeah. I love that. I believe -

Jonathan Saar: Can I [inaudible 00:09:45]

Keisa Moss: Oh, go ahead.

Jonathan Saar: Yeah. So just kudos number one Keisa for using technology to teach technology. That's fantastic. The fact that you've got videos and I'm sure frees up your time. So major hat tip to making that available and using something like that. And just in case, it's just in case, those people listening to the show that don't know what an SOP is, because I know we have lots of acronyms in property management. You want to just say what that is real quick, and then we'll go onto our next topic

Keisa Moss: System operating.

Jonathan Saar: Very good. Thank you.

Mark Howell: I think [inaudible 00:10:36] a standard operating procedure or systems operating procedure. So many of us might use that term differently, but yeah, that's the basics of it.

Jonathan Saar: Perfect, because I can't remember what it was honestly.

Mark Howell: And, I think you and I have talked about this in the past where learners learn very differently, especially with the new generations. Not everyone wants to read an SOP, I don't, or a guide, let's call it a written guide. I will tell you, I am not one of those that when I order something and the directions come, that I sit down and read the directions, I admit it, I'm not. That's why I have to step in my home and put together wrong. But I don't like leading material. I would ... if you could send me a YouTube video on how to put stuff together, I would love you for that. So I think it's also pretty important that we do dive in a little deeper on that question. And the methods that you just talked about because every learner is going to learn very, very differently.

Mark Howell: Some people are going to want a YouTube video or maybe 15 minutes of your time, but we're going to talk in a minute about an onboarding structure, because I feel like the structure for the corporate team would be a little different from someone out on site because of the methods or the engagement that they might have with that particular system. So in a second, I'm going to ask you about an onboarding plan for each of these teams corporate versus onsite. But I do have one question for you or another question, sorry for you. What are some of the most common obstacles that you find in your position as a systems' trainer? I know that you're watching help desk tickets. What do you find to be the most problematic for ... first tell me about onsite employees and then tell me about corporate level employees.

Keisa Moss: So both employee that with, they're kind of similar, with some of the obstacles and the first obstacle is, not enough information. A person can ... associate can enter a ticket in and say, "Hey I need assistance with this ledger. I have [inaudible 00:13:08] and I don't understand why it's not balancing out. The first problem in that is that they don't understand. Because they don't even really understand why they're putting it in. They're just putting it in, entering the ticket in because they know they need to, but they really don't understand what they're asking. So that puts more work on the support team to actually go inside, figure out what this problem is. First, identify the problem. Let's identify what's wrong and then let's show you the process of it, of how to fix it.

Keisa Moss: So I would say that's the number one obstacle with that. And then secondly, from a higher up operational regional director, most times my experience is they're a little bit more intimidated to put a ticket based on something that under the assumption they should know, because at that role, they'd been through every position. So I'm not going to expect them to remember how to fix the deposit accounting. I'm not going to expect you to do that, but they might be honest. They might have a situation where they're helping out their team, or there might be a manager role that's not field. So they have to go in there to fill those shoes. But they may not know how to remember how to find this report and all that. So that's the obstacle for them, for just having that fear based of it. That also just [inaudible 00:14:37] not understanding how to identify the problem and then not enough details in there. So it's more time for us spent to figure out how to help you to resolve the issue.

Mark Howell: I love that. I think you hit on something so important. I think a lot of us in this industry, especially anyone that's been in it for a while, we are a little ... what's the right word? We don't want to show our weaknesses. So we tend to pretend that we either know about the system, or don't want you to know that we don't know about the system. And so we try to skirt around it, which is dangerous because like you said, it just creates more work for you guys on a help desk perspective. I thought about something, when you said that about neatness, when we get frustrated with our sales team about putting in a work order in it's like the lights out, what light? What room? Where? Give me details. Would they need specifics because they can walk into an apartment and be completely blind about what it is they're trying to focus on.

Mark Howell: So I think people ... what I would love, or what I love about your advice is, if you have these methods of education, these little tidbit videos, the captivates, the SLPs that anyone has access to, then they can sort of self-teach maybe, or refresh how to navigate around some of these systems it's brilliant. It would save so much more time and embarrassment because there's nothing worse. I'm an educator. I always feel if I don't know something, I'm going to ell you I don't know it. I want to know if I'm asking you the question it means that I want to know. People always say, Mark, you ask so many questions and you're so dagum, nosy, but I look at them and I say, how will I ever learn anything about you or the subject if I don't ask questions.

Keisa Moss: Nosy you are.

Mark Howell: I do, I will ask you anything. But I have just kind of taught myself as a young person, even that Mark if you want to know something, ask more questions and who cares if someone thinks you seem stupid. When I walk away from that conversation, I'll know. So I do love that. I love that advice. So tell me, what do you recommend for someone that could be listening to this that is struggling with systems and educating all levels? What would an onboarding plan and onboarding agenda look like? How would you define what a regional or upper management should be exposed to? And is it a shorter kind of, you were talking about a five minute video that you have specifically created for that is the onboarding agenda different? Can you tell me about what you would recommend for creating that?

Keisa Moss: Yes. So with onboarding, I would say there's definitely going to be a little bit more time involved in it. So if you have a person that's just now starting, I suggest that they're on at least a third day plan where their [inaudible 00:17:52] is partnered up with someone equivalent to their position. Like a body system. And then there's a good learning path put in place. And that will compile of the interactive videos where they're interactively working through each system. And there's a little quiz at the end, not like a pass or fail, but just the quiz to see their knowledge based on what they've learned. So far, five questions, not a whole lot, you don't want to intimidate anybody, and not everybody likes questions.

Keisa Moss: And then of course sitting down with that mentor or that coach to kind of review what they went through each week. And then you're able to ... then that person is able to feel a little bit more confidently when they're out working on their system. Because when someone comes in as a new hire, they should not be in the system that first week at all. Should even have credentials. You don't even know. I get it. You came from another management company. Every company runs their system differently. Everybody. As seen it is amazing how differently it's ran and the employee has to understand that we're setting you up for success again. So we want to make sure that we have equipped you with everything you need. All your tools, your resources, so that you know exactly how to go in there and do it. That's what I would recommend.

Mark Howell: I like that. When I was creating learning plans, what we call building the LMS, it was funny. I would get to the section that had a regional or above corporate employee. And people would always say, "Oh, don't sign me up for any of that stuff. Don't sign me up for that," And then I would say, "we need for you to be compliant. Please take the compliant courses." But I think it would be very interesting to take your advice and create a very quick tutorial on all the systems. So regionals and maybe even asset managers or corporate employees with understand, have a better understanding. So they have a little bit more of a robust onboarding process as well. That gives them an introduction at least to the system. So I love it. I think its great advice.

Keisa Moss: Yes.

Jonathan Saar: I like the fact too Keisa that it's required. From your perspective, this is not like, if you have a little bit of time, and you give me a call and we'll chat about this property management software and whatever those items are it's just fantastic, your approach to ... and I'm sure it feels I can't tell you how many people I've talked to that are just absolutely terrified of technology and especially how we're working so much more virtually and it's been forced. So, letting your people just do their jobs, but doing it in a way that they're comfortable, making it so that it's just less stress. That stress dealing with residents and work orders and you name it, that goes on onsite and then the corporate. Take that out of the equation. That's awesome. What a beautiful conversation. So awesome. Having you as a guest today.

Keisa Moss: I am so exited to be here.

Jonathan Saar: I love it. You make systems training fun and exciting. I love it.

Keisa Moss: It can be Jonathan. It can be very much fun, exciting.

Jonathan Saar: We will meet in person one day when this COVID stuff's over and done with, but Mark knows I'm a nerd. And so, it's just, you talk systems training that is music to my ears.

Mark Howell: I'm going to let you two meet on your own because I will [inaudible 00:22:08] technical jargon and YouTube will do

Jonathan Saar: You'll ask questions. You're going to ask questions. That's what's so great. [inaudible 00:22:18]

Keisa Moss: Oh yeah. You do ask questions.

Jonathan Saar: Bring it on. So it's been great having you on the show today. We look forward to having you on future episodes. We always ask this of our guests, you're an educator, you have a huge passion for a systems training, and that's so evident in this show today. So can you share with us a tip, any actionable tip that has served you well as an educator?

Keisa Moss: Yes. So any system can be fixed. So for the person that makes a mistake or, "Oh God, I just broke it." You didn't break it. Trust me. It can be fixed, you did not break it. The world's not going to come to the end. It can be fixed that's okay.

Jonathan Saar: It's not like a nuclear red button or something like that, [inaudible 00:23:17] that's awesome. That's brilliant. Thank you for that. So thank you to our sponsors two today, Higginbotham HR services. You can learn more about them in the show notes. We appreciate them as our, as our sponsor. Thank you to Keisa for being on our show today. To kind of wrap things up. Can people stay in touch with you? How would you want people to connect you who want to learn more about systems training?

Keisa Moss: You can find me on LinkedIn. Just look me up. Keisa [inaudible 00:24:00].

Mark Howell: They can also find her through me, howlcreativeconcepts.com. Keisa has a lot of great offerings and the techniques and methods that we talked about during the show. She's great at helping organizations find their way through that path as well. Reach out to her there or even through my own organization.

Jonathan Saar: Yeah. Perfect. Definitely check out Mark's website howlcreativeconcepts.com. Industry trainer so grateful to have him as a fellow host on this show now. And my name is Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social, and we are bringing to you today, episode 14 and the benefits of system training and why it is so important, and why is it a must. And Keesa thank you for being here. Mark, awesome. Looking forward to the future episodes. Boom, boom. Beautiful show.

Keisa Moss: Alight. Bye.

Mark Howell: Bye.

Jonathan Saar: See you next.