Onboarding employees into your organization involves training on company technology or enabling them to use technology better. That’s why technical enablement is an essential part of employee onboarding.
A more thorough onboarding process for employees is necessary and expected. Without it, employees won’t have much confidence in your organization. A couple of days of paperwork, a brief tour of the office, and maybe a team lunch doesn’t cut it anymore.
While these traditional onboarding rituals certainly have their place, they’re not enough. They leave new employees feeling underprepared and overwhelmed when navigating the company’s technical landscape.
That’s why integrating technical enablement into onboarding is a must. Imagine a scenario where your employees hit the ground running from day one, armed with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in their new roles. That means knowing which systems to use and how to use them right for their role.
If you need a refresher on technical enablement, check out our post. It’s similar to sales enablement, but it’s focused on technology. That means technical enablement isn’t just ensuring your new employees get their equipment and logins. They need training on using all the essential company technology for their role.
It goes beyond simply plopping a laptop on their desk or shipping it to their house. Do they even know how to set it all up?
That’s all part of technical enablement for onboarding. While that’s all essential, this post will focus on the training aspect of technical enablement and onboarding employees.
By incorporating technical enablement into the onboarding process, companies can transform their training programs into comprehensive experiences that help new hires understand the company culture and equip them with the tools they need to succeed, technology or not.
This post explores the importance of integrating technical enablement into onboarding and how it can significantly boost the success of your onboarding process.
Providing comprehensive hands-on training on company-specific software is a great strategy that can make a real difference in how your employees absorb and apply their training.
There’s only one way to unlock new employees’ potential and ensure they want to stay at their jobs long-term. It’s through a good onboarding process that accounts for technical enablement, too.
Doing these things right isn’t an easy process, though. There are challenges that must be overcome and ways that technology must fit into the onboarding process.
The Challenges of Traditional Onboarding Methods
Onboarding isn’t always a seamless process. Sometimes, the focus of onboarding is on one area, whereas other parts of it are forgotten. You know those times when you start a new job and must fill out paperwork, watch compliance courses, and maybe your computer is ready or maybe it’s not.
All those things are great, and we hope the computer is ready, but things don’t always work out that way. Working towards the ideal onboarding process is necessary, and that means the computer needs to be ready, but training for technology needs to be accounted for.
I don’t know about you, but some of the most challenging aspects of onboarding at a new company involve understanding the software ecosystem. That means knowing what’s available, what to use for what, and the essentials of how to use each application.
The technical part of employee onboarding often falls short when it comes to adequately preparing new employees for the technical aspects of their roles. While paperwork and office tours are important, they do little to equip employees with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the company’s technology landscape.
The biggest challenge of traditional onboarding is the lack of a cohesive training program for company technology. What do new employees need to know to do their jobs and ease into work at your company?
If you don’t have a clear answer to that question, then technical enablement in onboarding is lacking at your company.
That means employees will likely feel frustrated and overwhelmed, hindering them from fully embracing their roles and contributing to the organization. A rough start at a company and any negative feelings nearly guarantee they’ll be looking for a new job within their first year.
Understanding the Concept of Technical Enablement
Since we wrote a thorough post about what technical enablement is and how it can help your organization, I’ll provide a brief overview here.
This is our exact definition of technical enablement, which pulls directly from Garter’s definition of sales enablement:
The foundation of technical enablement strategy is to provide employees with the technology they need to do their jobs successfully.
Providing employees with the technology they need to do their jobs successfully is only part of the equation; they also need training. Yes, training plays a crucial role in technical enablement. Providing the hardware and software is only part of it; knowing how to use it all is the rest.
You might say that technical enablement refers to providing employees with the tools, resources, and training they need to use company technologies effectively. That could be off-the-shelf software, but more likely, it’s custom software that people need training on. However, providing a mix is still needed for professional development but not necessarily onboarding.
By integrating technical enablement into onboarding, organizations ensure new hires have the knowledge and skills to hit the ground running from day one. It also makes them like their job better.
But what sort of impacts might technical enablement have on onboarding?
The Impact of Technical Enablement on Onboarding Success
While we don’t have any hard numbers of the exact impact of technical enablement on onboarding, we can tell you a successful onboarding process contributes to employees staying at your company longer.
Integrating technical enablement into onboarding is essential because technology is essential at most companies today. There are severe repercussions if you don’t have an onboarding program or one lacking essential pieces (technology).
Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. Companies with weak onboarding programs lose the confidence of their candidates and are more likely to lose these individuals in the first year.Brandon Hall Group
Integrating technical enablement into onboarding can significantly impact the success of the overall onboarding process. When new employees are adequately trained to use company technologies, they feel more confident and empowered. This leads to increased productivity, faster ramp-up times, and better job satisfaction.
But good technical enablement training isn’t about PowerPoints with the applications you use or steps to accomplish tasks. There are ways to incorporate hands-on training and provide the right resources for employees.
Incorporating Hands-On Training In the Onboarding Process
It is essential to give employees the right training for company technology. But just as important is not to overwhelm them with too much information. Too much information is as good as no information at all.
But hands-on training and in the right amount is ideal. There’s no better way to learn company technology than by doing it. But doing it in a safe environment is ideal. That’s why we think technical enablement for onboarding should always provide some software simulations where it makes sense.
Quality software simulations provide near real practice in a safe environment where employees can fail without repercussion. That means new hires can actively engage with company technology at their own pace.
Technical training is essential for onboarding, but just as important is making sure employees know where to get additional resources to continue their journey. This is every bit as much a part of onboarding as training itself.
Providing Resources for Continuous Learning
Technical enablement shouldn’t stop after the initial onboarding period. To truly empower employees in their roles, organizations should provide ongoing resources for continuous learning and ensure employees are aware of them during onboarding.
Onboarding is where a culture of continuous learning begins. Technical enablement is essential to ensure employees continuously learn company technology and how to help themselves.
During the onboarding process, it is essential to introduce employees to where they can get more help. That means providing one place to find performance support and a healthy library of essential performance support so employees can find the right help.
There’s nothing worse than searching for help and not finding what you need. If employees can find what they’re looking for, they can help themselves and reduce calls to the help desk.
For complex company systems, contextual help is also a great option. With strategic guides and walkthroughs, employees can be onboarded into new software with interactive guides that walk them through the application.
But how do you measure how well the technical enablement part of onboarding works?
Measuring the Effectiveness of Technical Enablement in Onboarding
This is a topic that doesn’t have an easy answer. Because employees are new, it isn’t easy to understand precisely how much onboarding moved the needle.
One good measurement for onboarding is the research that shows companies that onboard employees have significantly better results than those that don’t. But there are a few basic ways to get an idea if technical enablement in your onboarding process is doing its job.
Employees can express how well prepared they feel after onboarding with a carefully worded survey that includes questions focused directly on technical enablement.
Sometimes, it may also be necessary to assess new employees on their new skills in company technology. For sensitive applications that can have negative repercussions, you may want to test employees’ ability to use them after onboarding.
Take a test, pass, and then get access to the software. It could be as simple as that.
Your needs will be unique, so working with an instructional design consultant may be best for assessing the effectiveness of technical enablement in onboarding at your organization.
Overcoming Resistance and Promoting Adoption of Technical Enablement
While the benefits of integrating technical enablement into onboarding are clear, some leaders may resist. Some may think employees are already technically savvy or don’t consider technical enablement important enough to be formally part of the onboarding process.
To overcome this resistance, it’s helpful to communicate the value and benefits of technical enablement. Nothing should be left to chance, and training should be provided for all employees at all skill levels.
Highlighting success stories from other organizations or conducting pilot programs to demonstrate its effectiveness firsthand may be helpful.
Integrating technical enablement into the onboarding process is crucial for ensuring the success of new employees. Onboarding for technology empowers employees with the skills they need to be successful with company technology.
By providing hands-on training, continuous learning resources, and measuring effectiveness, organizations ensure these programs are successful, and employees can thrive long-term at their company.
Don’t settle for a one-dimensional onboarding process. Ensure your company also implements technical enablement into onboarding. Embrace this powerful strategy to unlock the full potential of your employees from day one and ensure their long-term retention.
Work with us to plan an onboarding process that takes into account technical enablement. Schedule a free consultation to discuss how a comprehensive onboarding process that covers technology will help your employees and company thrive in the modern technical era.