The pandemic has underscored the need for technology to be integrated into every aspect of the business to ensure employee safety, streamline processes, and maintain continuity. Over the past year, the workforce across the world underwent tremendous change, with remote working becoming a norm. Amid the uncertainties of the pandemic, employees have been looking to their organizations for support to navigate the resulting challenges. On their part, organizations are re-looking at their business models and re-evaluating how they engage with employees, right from the onboarding experience.
On-boarding practices are designed to acclimatize new employees to their new work environment. But with the pandemic affecting the traditional onsite onboarding experience, organizations are adopting technology to overcome the challenges of catering to an entirely remote workforce. At such a time, a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) can help in making new employees feel comfortable and unlock increased productivity.
Easing onboarding with a Digital Adoption Platform
During onboarding, employees are bombarded with new and complex information within a short period of time, limiting their ability to digest, process and replicate what they have learnt. Knowledge gained by traditional training methods is subject to being lost over time – sometimes even between the time the employee is introduced to a concept to when they actually get to use it for their work. Here, deploying a DAP can make the onboarding process interactive and walk them through the application in real time.Employees will not be far removed from their core applications, but will be able to learn their processes and workflows on the same tools they are supposed to use. Organizations can fine-tune the DAP to ensure that the onboarding experience matches the employee’s skill level and existing knowledge. Employees can be guided to the ‘high value’ features of the application to instantly demonstrate the value of the application to them, thereby improving stickiness and eventual adoption.
Optimizing the onboarding duration for higher productivity
Access to quality onboarding resources and timely answers to employee queries is key to onboarding success and reducing time to productivity. When employees are on-boarded to an application that employs a DAP, they will have faster and more hands-on access to the application, reducing the onboarding time. As learning takes place during the flow of work, knowledge retention is more pronounced and sustained. Employees are provided the most up-to-date support materials and resources on demand. As each employee will have their own pace of learning, longer and detailed onboarding sessions may overburden them. In order to get the best out of the onboarding process and enable employees to be more productive, a healthy mix of on-boarding and on-demand training, which can be implemented by a DAP, is ideal.
Addressing reboarding needs through DAP customization
Organizations can customize the learning experience for each employee by leveraging the segmentation and contextualization capabilities of a DAP to deliver the right content to the right employee at the right time. Employees can be segmented based on where they are in their level of expertise or lifecycle within the application. The content served to each segment can then be tailored to fit the various learning and onboarding needs of the individual employee.
The onboarding needs of a new, remote team member differs from that of an existing worker being brought back into the office but DAP-led onboarding customization can ensure both are adequately on-boarded. Returning employees can run through a pre-designated plan to get back up to speed and refresh their memory. By walking through key tasks, employees can have their own individualized onboarding plans to bridge any gaps in knowledge. Additionally, organizations can access DAP analytics features to track user adoption. In this way, they can intervene where necessary to address issues faced by employees.
Overcoming the challenges of virtual onboarding through DAP
The virtual world limits how you can effectively engage with employees. Here, a DAP can help with supporting employees by –
- Communicating new process changes and updates: Through interactive widgets like pop-ups and beacons, DAPs can quickly bring the attention of employees to new features or announcements within the application.
- Resolving support queries: With new ways of work and new applications being introduced to enable them, support teams may be exhausted resolving queries raised by employees, which is where a DAP can help with centralized support information within the application that is also contextualized to the user’s role and location within the application.
- Content creation and management: In the era of remote working, making repeated changes to static content and then providing them efficiently becomes complicated. But a DAP simplifies content creation and enables the publishing of content in various formats (video, slideshow, PDF, etc.), making learning more engaging and accessible to employees.
The digitalized and border-less organizations of today have employees that are distributed across geographies, making access to traditional methods of onboarding and learning no longer viable. As onboarding continues to remain a critical part of the employee lifecycle, organizations must leverage digital tools to empower the workforce.
The future of onboarding is defined by effectively using technology to enhance the employee experience. DAPs play a vital role in completely transforming a traditionally physical onboarding process into a virtual one, making it critical to the workforce of the future.
(Khadim Batti is CEO and co-founder, Whatfix and the views expressed in this article are his own)