How We Onboarded Employees in 6 Different Countries to a New HCM
The annual performance review isn’t usually a thrilling subject, but when HR is able to show a 98%, on-time, completion rate — we knew this was a story worth sharing. We had hit an employee training gold mine.
WalkMe’s evolution from small startup to robust, global organization required us to adopt an HR management system that could scale with our growth. We chose ADP’s Workforce Now. For the first step in the implementation process, employees were asked to log into the system and update emergency contact information. Less than half completed the task on time. This small but flawed process taught us a big lesson about software onboarding.
Anticipating our second company-wide initiative — the annual performance review — we knew we could improve. Our belief at WalkMe is that all digital processes should be simple and efficient. So instead of just talking the talk, we walked the walk — turning to our very own technology to guide our employee onboarding efforts. What happened next exceeded even our own, biased expectations.
The following is an account of how we achieved effortless onboarding success. More important, it is a testament to how small changes can make a big difference for company-wide digital adoption.
The annual performance review is an important checkpoint in any company. WalkMe’s hyper growth has made it doubly critical for employees and management to touch bases and align goals. Additionally, self-evaluations help highlight star performers, serve as a benchmark for career development and uphold the open-door policy we have carefully cultivated.
As any HR representative will tell you, executing ADP training for employees in 6 different countries is no small undertaking. It typically begins with multiple announcements, follow-up emails, and reminders. When all else fails, there is the dreaded round of desk-to-desk nagging. In a world where AI and machine learning are becoming the norm, this feels like a step back towards the dark ages.
The challenge is taking a process which is important for company goals, yet seemingly disconnected from the daily workflow, and making it a top priority for all employees.
Company-wide initiatives like ours face two main hurdles:
- Motivation: It is difficult motivating employees to take action when they don’t see a personal or immediate benefit.
- Onboarding: ADP is an HR application that our employees do not use with any kind of regularity and was still new to the company. We understood that technical instruction would be required to perform the task.
And then there was ‘Yet another platform syndrome’. ‘Yet another platform syndrome’ is a common side effect of the modern workplace. It attributes employees’ push-back to the sheer number of digital tools and applications they touch on a daily basis. Each of these applications looks and behaves differently, and as a result learning an unfamiliar platform feels exhausting.
Our method, in a nutshell, was to make it easier for employees to fill out self-evaluations than to ignore them.
Once we realized that the answer was right under our noses, deciding to use WalkMe’s own technology was a no-brainer. The next step was to sit down with our Professional Services team to convey our needs and goals for this project. The plan of action we devised was two-fold:
1. Targeted Engagement
The first objective was to capture employees’ attention. We did this using a WalkMe ShoutOut. When employees opened their email, they received a pop up asking them to fill out their Performance Review. By clicking on the pop-up, the performance review opened automatically and they could use the Walk-Thru to quickly complete the process.
Why it worked: First, we targeted employees at the right time in the right place. When they got the memo, they were already seated at their computers and ready to go. Second, unlike an email which can easily get “lost” in a sea of digital noise, the pop-up was nearly impossible to ignore.
2. Guidance to Task Completion
Two Walk-Thrus were created for the purpose of this project: one to guide managers through the process, and another to guide employees. The Walk-Thrus took care of our ADP onboarding concerns by showing users how to use ADP with real-time, step-by-step instruction within the application.
Why it worked: Once we had employees’ attention, the Walk-Thrus made completing self-evaluations absolutely effortless.
98% of the employees completed their performance reviews by the deadline and a week later 100% of the employees had completed the process. Comparing this outcome to the industry standard, we realized we had hit a productivity gold mine.
What we found even more impressive was how little technical maintenance this process required from our team. The questions we received during the process were overwhelmingly related to the actual performance review. Due to the Walk-Thrus helping hand, very few employees had questions about how to use the platform.
What We Learned
Too often processes of this scale are approached from the wrong angle: Employees are expected to adapt themselves to technology rather than having the technology adapt to the employee. Staying focused on the human factor allowed us to solve why resistance occurs instead of fight it.
WalkMe’s technology was able to reach out and engage employees, recognizing the difference between managers and employees and segment on-screen guidance accordingly. The Walk-Thrus removed the cognitive overload associated with ‘yet another platform syndrome,’ making it possible to focus on the substance of the self-evaluations rather than the process.
The results we received shed light on effective adoption of any system, specifically the growing category of tools that benefit productivity but are not required for everyday responsibilities. Sharepoint®, ADP®, and SuccessFactors® are great examples of this group. Our 98% completion rate indicates a future where employees do not have to be experts on each tool in order to reap the long lasting benefits.