A business may choose to lease telephone equipment, including the receptionist console, conference equipment, and varying styles of phones for employees and upper management. Business telephones are typically more complicated to use than telephones for home use. The business phones may have buttons to place a call on hold, transfer a call, multiple line buttons, establish a conference call, mute, recall the last call made, and lots of speed dial buttons.
When a new employee joins the company, a coworker may explain how to use the telephone. But what happens if the company changes from one business phone system to another, requiring replacement of all employee telephones on the same day?
Communicate the Pending Switchover
To begin the process of informing employees, communicate the date of the switchover two to four weeks in advance. Use the preferred company method for mass communication, which may be email, hardcopy, meeting, intranet, or a combination of methods to ensure everyone is aware of the pending change.
The communication should include the date the telephones will be changed, why the phones are being switched, and dates for training on how to use the new telephones.
Training Prior to Telephone Installation
One to two weeks before the phones will be switched, conduct training sessions where employees are brought together to see a model of the type of telephone they will have. If the vendor from whom the equipment is being leased does not offer onsite training, then ensure several employees are thoroughly trained by the vendor on the use of the phone so those few trained employees can then explain the phone features to their co-workers.
The receptionist and designated backup personnel should be trained by the vendor on how to use the switchboard console.
Telephone Installation Day
Optimally, to avoid disrupting employees while they are working, the telephones should be switched out after business hours. The instructions on how to use the phone should be left with each phone at the time of installation if instructions were not previously provided.
The first business morning after the new telephones are installed, those employees who provided training to co-workers (or representatives from the vendor) should be available to help employees who might not understand how to use some features of the phone. The helpers may be split into groups to roam the floor to offer assistance as needed.
Resources: http://www.telcom-data.com/business-phone-systems.aspx; http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/article-29714.html