Training a New Hire for life in a new industry can be easier, however, than training existing employees on new products or policies. Confronting pay hits, challenging old habits, and changing the workplace atmosphere can hijack curriculum before it ever hits the floor. Here are four ways to ease new Training into experienced agents.

First, trust your Trainers. If you have different Trainers for New Hires than the call floor, you’re doing it wrong. You need a Training staff equipped to facilitate employees new and old. This means developing Trainers integrated to the floor and respected by agents. One of the seven tenets of adult education is collaboration. Trainers must work closely with the floor every chance they get.

Second, control the story. Rumors spread like wildfire across call center floors. If hints of your updates sneak into agents’ ears, they are likely to spread accidental disinformation. Prepare administration—and Trainers, specifically—to calm nerves. You want information delivered on your terms, so highlight a few positive changes, explain that the Training Team will let everyone know what’s happening in a timely manner, and reassure people not to worry.

Third, use your class as a tool.
New Hires bring tons of value to a classroom, but from a client knowledge standpoint, they are essentially blank slates. Tenured agents, on the other hand, are treasure troves of information. You’re looking to collaborate? Ask high performers how they would approach these changes. Get best practices from those who face these developments on the front lines. And ask what pitfalls these adjustments might bring while collaborating on possible solutions.

Finally, prepare for pushback. Change is never easy, but when you install disruptive revisions into the patterns and processes of high-performing, incentivized reps, you again risk losing their buy-in. If agents feel threatened by these adjustments, they’re far more likely to resist.

Don’t hide these potential outcomes to your people, and don’t spin these changes as opportunities unless they actually are. Agents can sniff deceit, and masquerades can send your best representatives shopping for a new job. Instead, crunch the numbers and demonstrate—for better or worse—how these changes will impact agents. Tenured reps might continue to resist, but they’ll appreciate your honesty.

Adjusting to change is a struggle, but it doesn’t require re-inventing the wheel. With a flexible Training team, open arms for collaboration, and an honest approach, you can help educate your entire staff, building their knowledge base until they’re ready for Game Day.