Is your software onboarding process costing your business?

You’re welcoming a new hire to the business. The contract is signed. The email address is set up. The hardware is ready on their desk, and the software they need installed.

These might be some of the first things that come to mind when ‘onboarding’ is mentioned, but it underplays the complexity of the task. It’s a process that becomes even more complex when you consider the various digital tools and platforms team members will often need to complete their work, day in, day out – especially if your business offers hybrid or remote working.

Whether you’re training people up on a new software platform or welcoming a new hire to the business, the digital aspect of onboarding – which we’ll refer to as ‘software onboarding’ in this article – is a critical stage of the wider process.

And when the software onboarding journey is not considered as part of the bigger picture, it can have consequences – financially, for your employee’s motivation, and for your organization’s operational efficiency.

What are the hidden costs of software onboarding?

Of course, you would probably expect software onboarding to have some associated costs to it – namely training on how to use the platform itself. But there are some common challenges software onboarding, or a lack of, can surface. In fact, these challenges might be costing your business. Knowing how to identify and tackle these head on could unlock significant savings in the long run.

We’ve all had times when we’ve found a particular application or digital tool frustrating, in and outside of work. In fact, we conducted digital employee experience in 2021 that found that 20% of employees within large organizations were more frustrated with business applications than in previous years. This clearly risks demotivation and an unhappy sentiment at work, which could go on to have serious consequences for that person’s productivity.

Where does this frustration come from? Often ‘unintuitive’ software, exacerbated by a lack of proper training on how to use and navigate certain applications – which proper software onboarding should account for.

And as a result of unintuitive tech and a lack of thorough training, people may end up spending significant time looking for IT support. For large businesses in the US, this could tot up to a staggering 172,091 hours lost every year, as highlighted in our Hidden Costs of the Digital Employee Experience report.

Even when this support might be more readily accessible in a central hub, it often requires a platform user to context switch and remove themselves from the application to access it. It disrupts people’s flow of work, costing them more time and energy to get to grips with what should be straightforward tasks. We’ve found that when support isn’t provided within this ‘flow of work’, employees are spending up to 2.7 hours per week searching for support materials. And even after accessing it, they’re spending 1.5 hours per week digesting said materials.

Software training and support is often treated as one-off, discrete events, delivered as onboarding when people first use a new platform or help when it’s needed as a problem emerges. This approach to onboarding – a quick run-through of how to use a platform and where to find further information – isn’t the most productive. When software onboarding is treated as a one-off process with users expected to figure it out themselves, issues emerge. People feel frustrated, time is lost and costs start to stack up…

Software onboarding isn’t a one-off process

In fact, software onboarding and training needs to be much more involved and personalized. And as well as that first touchpoint for new users being important, it goes beyond the initial login. The way we use software frequently evolves – whether as a result of software updates, or the tasks we use it for changing. These can be considered part of the software onboarding journey, an opportunity to make sure your process is spot on, so that your people are set up for ongoing software success.

This is complicated even further if training needs to be delivered across different territories or shaped by the roles and responsibilities individual users might hold. Yet, these are critical training considerations that will go a long way in making sure people are fully up-to-speed with the tools at their disposal.

Instead of relying on one-off training sessions, a proper software onboarding process can put your people in the driver’s seat. With better onboarding comes fewer preventable mistakes and improved employee engagement – you can help to reduce those hidden costs piling up. In fact, 69% of employees who have effective digital tools for onboarding are more likely to stay with an employer for at least three years[1] and new hires who go through a structured onboarding process are 58% more likely to be with that organization in three years’ time[2].

How a DAP supports your onboarding

So, there are clear advantages to ensuring your software onboarding process is as comprehensive as possible. If it’s not implemented with the right ongoing training and support, it can risk wasting your people’s time and effort in searching for the right answers.

So how do you create a more intuitive experience, and ensure software onboarding best practice is followed? One solution to consider is a digital adoption platform (DAP). This software overlays a variety of applications, observing how people interact with it and providing in-app prompts and guidance when and where needed.

How can it help software onboarding come to life? It gives you the opportunity to completely tailor and personalize your digital onboarding tools. Imagine one of your team accesses a new platform and is greeted by a video that is specific to their role and how they’ll be expected to use the software day-to-day. It gives them deeper, better insight into their workplace tech, in a format that is perhaps more likely to be engaged with than a one-off email talking them through login passwords and usernames.

This video, or other resources possible through DAPs such as step-by-step instructions and tutorials, mean your people can get up-to-speed with the platform in question more efficiently. It can intervene in those moments when help is needed. For example, a DAP might detect a problem completing a certain task or field. Relevant in-app guidance or tips can then help people to complete processes more effectively and avoid people feeling frustrated or unproductive with their digital tools.

Simply put, a DAP helps you to improve your onboarding processes and enhance the user experience. There’s a wealth of ways that it can support your onboarding efforts, which we’re happy to share if you’re…on board.

Take a look at how we can help you accelerate your onboarding, and if you have any questions on DAPs or Adopt, you can get in touch with our team today.



[2] The Wynhurst Group

Insight by

Daniel Gripton

Insight by

Daniel Gripton