Technology / Contributed

Short Staffed? Digital Adoption Platforms Can Speed Onboarding

10 Jun 2022 10:00am, by
Rafael Sweary
Rafael Sweary is the co-founder and president of WalkMe. He envisioned the Digital Adoption Platform, a strategic component of digital transformation in a world where technology adapts to people, creating positive digital relationships. Before WalkMe, Rafael was the co-founder, president and CEO of Jetro Platforms, and he is a serial entrepreneur and investor. In the past few years, he has been involved in funding and building a number of early-stage tech companies, both in his role as entrepreneur-in-residence at Ocean Assets and in a personal capacity. Above all, he is passionate about the future of the human-technology relationship.

In the midst of the ongoing pandemic and the Great Resignation, recent headlines rang the alarm that a record number of workers were calling in sick. Organizations across the board continue to scramble to find workers in order to keep the doors open. And some organizations are getting creative; for example, New Mexico called in the National Guard to substitute teach and prevent school closures. Although we live in a time when companies can rent a robot worker for less than paying a human, there are still countless jobs that require human interaction.

Even with businesses working at reduced capacity, the uptick in workers not coming in to work highlights the growing need to hire new or temporary workers and get them up to speed expeditiously. With experienced staff possibly out sick or no longer with the organization, how can companies get new hires up and running with the necessary software systems needed to do their jobs in a pinch?

One answer is digital adoption platforms (DAP), which provide customized user guidance on both proprietary and popular enterprise software and applications, like GPS for how to use a particular technology.

DAPs Are the Missing Piece to Speedy and Efficient Onboarding

DAPs can be used to onboard new and temporary workers with ease and much quicker time to competency. DAPs can be deployed on all kinds of software and applications and can be customized for the users of each particular technology. Every organization can choose a variety of in-app tools to guide their employees on how best to use the technology to do their job.

Since DAPs are applied as a layer over existing technology, it can be applied to an order-taking system at a fast-food restaurant to get new workers up to speed on the job while providing the same level of customized value to a new SDR using a CRM while working remotely from their home.

The beauty of using a DAP for employee onboarding lies in the fact that it effectively reduces the amount you need to teach an individual rather than teaching them the same information better or faster. In other words, instead of providing training classes on how to use a particular CRM or ordering system, employees are simply shown how to do their jobs directly in the application at hand.

Employees won’t know the entirety of the system, and that’s precisely why it’s a much more efficient use of their time. Does a customer service representative at a customer care center need to know every feature in a hotel’s booking system? Would it be preferable to spend five business days training each new hire, costing the productivity of both the new hire and trainer, or have the new hire learn independently while on the job? The answer is true across all industries with employees of all different backgrounds interacting with digital products.

DAPs also provide data insights into how employees are actually using the technologies provided. With this guesswork removed, companies can pinpoint exactly where workers might be struggling and deploy an appropriate in-app solution before frustration manifests. The result is increased productivity. Since software and applications are always changing, DAPs can continue to guide employees on how to best use these tools to do their jobs in the best possible way long after the onboarding process.

The Long-Term Benefits of DAPs — an Investment in Business Continuity

Onboarding new employees should be strategically planned, like any other aspect of running a business. Its effects last much longer than an employee’s first few weeks on the job. Learning how to use new technology is a very common pain point, not only when experienced employees are either out sick or no longer with the company.

In fact, Gartner reports that 60% of employees experience frustration with new software. This frustration forever impacts how employees use the software. Onboarding is the chance to set employees up for the successful use of these technologies or, conversely, set them on a path to inefficient workarounds and a less productive daily routine. Even temporary workers can have a lasting impact on how teams use the technology resources provided to them. We are all creatures of habit, and we learn from those around us, picking up habits both bad and good.

An employee’s use of technology can impact the customer experience as well. Going back to our previous example of a customer care center for a hotel, a team member who can operate the reservation system with great agility is more likely to deliver a superior experience to the customer. Juxtapose that with the experience of waiting on the phone while a frustrated individual struggles to figure out how to enter the reservation into the system, resulting in a potential mistake. In the example of booking or changing your hotel reservation on the phone or chat, a mistake in your reservation could put a significant damper on your vacation or business travel simply because an employee wasn’t able to navigate the booking system. Team members who know how to use the technology resources available to them are able to go above and beyond and truly delight customers. The benefits of smooth technology adoption are clear for employees and customers alike.

If employees and their work technology don’t make peace, employer’s woes are doomed to get even worse. Adobe’s The 2021 State of Work: How COVID-19 Changed Digital Work report found that nearly half (49%) of U.S. workers say they are likely to leave their current job if they’re unhappy or frustrated with the technology they use at work.

In today’s environment of understaffed businesses with fierce competition for workers from software developers to warehouse workers, businesses cannot afford to miss the opportunity to properly introduce employees and their technology tools.

The New Stack is a wholly owned subsidiary of Insight Partners, an investor in the following companies mentioned in this article: WalkMe.

Feature image via Pixabay.