New employee onboarding

Why Most New Employee Onboarding Efforts Fail at Digital – And What to Do About It

Most new employee onboarding efforts fail when it comes to digital training and onboarding.

This is not really HR’s fault, however – or the fault of any other business unit.


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It is really a result of the rapid pace of change in today’s digital economy.

Since digital disruption is driving transformation at such a rapid pace, many organizations are having difficulty keeping pace with these changes.

One of the biggest problems that organizations face today is the digital skills gap.

Since digital technology is advancing so rapidly, employees must continually learn new skills and software.

Training employees often falls on the shoulder of employers … but in many cases, their onboarding and training efforts prove to be inadequate.

Why Most Digital Onboarding Efforts Fail

New employee onboarding is an essential stage in the employee life cycle.

Done right, a digital employee onboarding program can improve engagement, productivity, and even employee retention. 

However, there are a number of difficulties that must be overcome, such as:

  • The inherent complexity of SaaS platforms. Today, there are countless enterprise software tools, many of which carry hefty learning curves. This complexity is a problem for new hires, who must learn those tools in order to become productive.
  • Workflows that span multiple tools. In many work environments, workflows require that employees use several tools. This only adds to the complexity of the digital workplace, increasing the chances that employees will become confused and frustrated during the onboarding process.
  • An ever-changing work environment. Compounding the issue, today’s work environments are in continuous motion – new software is adopted regularly, workflows change, and tools are updated. This means that employees must learn continuously and organizations must provide them with reliable, adequate training.
  • Traditional onboarding and training approaches that can’t keep up with the changing digital work environment. Given the factors just mentioned, it is no surprise that traditional onboarding and training techniques have become obsolete. In a world where digital tools change by the day, organizations must find new methods that can help integrate employees into their new work environments.

A good digital onboarding strategy – when used with the right tools – can deliver a number of benefits, such as those covered below.

The Importance of Proper Digital Onboarding

Good digital onboarding is not an option, it is a necessity.

An ineffective new onboarding process can increase confusion, frustration, burnout, and turnover.

But a well-structured digital onboarding effort can result in…

  • Improved worker proficiency, productivity, and performance
  • Reduced confusion and frustration
  • Increased satisfaction and engagement
  • A better overall workplace experience

However, as mentioned, most traditional training approaches simply cannot keep up. 

Classroom training – or even its online counterpart, including video courses – aren’t sufficient for the evolving needs of the modern workforce.

The solution lies in exploiting the latest innovations in digital onboarding and training – digital adoption solutions.

Why a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) Is a Must-Have for New Employee Onboarding

A digital adoption solution – otherwise known as a digital adoption platform (DAP) – is a must have for any organization that wants to streamline onboarding and improve employee productivity.

Digital adoption platforms are digital training solutions that offer:

  • Interactive product tours. Product tours introduce a product’s features to users, automatically familiarizing users with that application. These tours can help employees begin using a software tool right away, while also lowering confusion and frustration.
  • In-app walkthroughs. An in-product walkthrough takes users through a series of steps in a workflow, without the need for human intervention. These walkthroughs dramatically improve knowledge retention and productivity, since employees learn experientially.
  • Software analytics. Analytics track how users interact with their software tools. This information, in turn, can be used to assess the health of digital onboarding efforts, identify weak points, and improve them over time.

Using these platforms to fuel the digital side of new employee onboarding programs can help deliver a wide range of benefits, including:

  • A simplified onboarding experience. As mentioned earlier, the complexity of the modern workplace is one of the biggest hurdles to new employee onboarding. Digital adoption platforms simplify that complexity by providing personalized, automated guidance during the onboarding process.
  • Accelerated training time. Digital adoption platforms provide pertinent information in the moment of need. Employees no longer waste time learning irrelevant information, which dramatically increases their time-to-productivity.
  • Scalability. Scalability is another enormous benefit offered by these programs. Since these platforms are automated, they can operate with the same cost-efficiency at any scale.
  • Greater engagement and performance. When employees have all the information they need right at their fingertips, there will be fewer productivity lags – and new hires will be more satisfied, more confident, and more engaged. 

With the right tools and the right onboarding strategy, HR professionals can significantly improve the results of their digital onboarding efforts.

Interested readers can learn more about digital onboarding, training, and adoption by visiting our digital adoption blog.

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