Why Seamless User Onboarding is Critical to the Success of Your Company

5/5 - (2 votes)
User onboarding is often seen as a practical matter in the employee training process. However, onboarding is so much more important than practical tasks like setting employees up with IDs and giving them parking passes. Seamlessly getting employees signed up for and using a new software platform is an integral part of onboarding a new employee. Here are a few reasons why seamless onboarding is critical to the success of your employee training and to your overall productivity.

User Problems Will Detract from the Training Schedule

Every minute of your training schedule should be spent on teaching your employees their new software and skills, helping them feel comfortable with the new system, and empowering them. But if you are spending time troubleshooting user onboarding problems, you are going to have less time for training. You may not think that technical problems can take that much time away from your schedule, but they can. You can lose days or even weeks, depending on what kind of technical problems you experience. Far more likely are problems with the users themselves. They may have trouble understanding the process, or they may sign up incorrectly and then need help correcting the problems they have created. It is essential that you put as much thought into training employees how to sign up (and into making this process as simple as possible) as you do the rest of the training program. A little foresight will save you time and heartache later, allowing you to focus on what’s truly important: Ensuring that your employees have the skills to take your company forward.

Early Problems Can Snowball and Cut into the Training Timeline

Little problems in the user onboarding process can add up to bigger problems later – often in the amount of time they consume. Not only can these problems take a chunk out of your training schedule, but they can push back your entire change management timeline. Typically, a change process is implemented to achieve a specific goal, not just to generally advanced the growth of the company. Delays in the change process can have specific consequences, such as hurting the brand identity, costing the company sales, or costing the company vital partnerships. You may think of onboarding problems as little more than a personnel or IT nuisance, but these problems can have much bigger consequences. You need to do everything you can to ensure that the onboarding process goes smoothly so you can focus your efforts where they belong and your timeline stays on schedule.

Employees Will Lose Confidence in the Change Process and New Software if Early Problems Arise

Change is unsettling for many, and it is downright unwelcome for some. Ensuring that your employees understand and embrace the reasons for the changes you are implementing is essential to the success of your change process. If you start the process with user onboarding problems, you are going to set the wrong tone right from the beginning. These problems can feed into employees’ existing fears, making them dread and resist the change process even more. Depending on what kind of problems employees experience during the onboarding process, they may also develop doubts about the quality of the software introduced, as well as the wisdom of the other changes that are being made. They can experience a crisis of confidence in management and the choices that have been made on their behalf. You must show your employees that you have put serious thought into every aspect of your change process, from the details of the onboarding process to the software you choose to the end result for employees and customers. Think of every step in the process as an opportunity to win the confidence of your employees and to build toward a successful future together.

Any Setbacks Can Cost You Money, Which Can Add Up Over Time

Time is money. The more time your change process takes, the more you are spending on payroll, on special trainers, on special equipment, on room rentals, and other potential items. Any setbacks that you experience with user onboarding can cost you money. But what does a day or two really matter, you might ask? It could matter a great deal. Because small setbacks are rarely isolated. They tend to have a snowball effect that can influence many other elements of your training plan and cost money in many ways. Depending on how great the setbacks become, you could lose money because your sales suffer, because your brand identity suffers, or because your employees become less productive or less motivated. Your losses could be immeasurable, and you may not even know the reason you are suffering these losses since it can take some time for the effects to set in. Again, take the long view when you are creating your training plan. Make sure that every step is designed to go smoothly so you can inspire employee confidence and build on your successes over time, rather than the opposite.

Setbacks Could Extend their Influence to Your Customers, Costing You Even More

Setbacks during the user onboarding process can shake more than the confidence that your employees feel in  company leadership. Depending on the cumulative effect that the setbacks cause, they can also cause your customers to lose confidence in your brand, which can cost you dearly over time. Customers who see that you drastically underestimate the completion date for a big new project or launch may lose confidence in your ability to deliver on time or to accurately assess your own abilities, and they may no longer hire you to do work for them. Customers who don’t get the new product they were promised on time or who get a product with some defects because it was rushed through a delayed production schedule may lose confidence in your ability to produce quality items and stop ordering for you. We think you see where this can keep going. Minor setbacks won’t always stay minor. They can build on each other until they impact the final outcome and shake confidence in your consumers, which can take a long time to get back and which can have a serious negative impact on your company.
Jason is the Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog. Jason established the Training Station blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to training, learning and development.