User onboarding


User onboarding refers to the initial orientation and training provided for individuals who are new to a specific process or digital tool. It is specifically designed for newly hired employees and users of new software. Within a digital adoption platform, user onboarding occurs directly within the tool and utilizes interactive guides to promote user independence. It is essential for user onboarding to be pedagogically oriented, enabling users to develop long-term mastery of their tools.

When to do onboarding? 

Here are three scenarios user onboarding is necessary within a company:

1. Onboarding new employees:

When new employees join the company, user onboarding is essential to familiarize them with company tools and processes and equip them with the necessary skills to perform their roles effectively.

2. Deployment of a new tool:

When a new tool is introduced, users need training on the core software, such as CRM, HRIS, ERP, etc., to effectively carry out their tasks. This training helps boost their confidence and facilitates user autonomy in adopting the new tool.

3. Introduction of additional features within a tool:

Cloud software undergoes frequent transformations, often incorporating new features and modules. User training allows users to continuously leverage these software advancements and make the most of the evolving functionalities.

Why is user onboarding essential?

The absence of user onboarding poses the risk of users mishandling digital tools or even abandoning them, leading to unforeseen costs for the company. A negative user experience can trigger a chain of events that hinder the digital adoption of tools:

  • Users may experience digital-related frustrations.
  • Abandoned tools create skill gaps between users and the rest of the workforce.
  • Skill gaps contribute to employee attrition, as individuals may leave the organization due to low satisfaction, lack of confidence, and frustration.

Onboarding can be a standardized or personalized process that helps increase the time to value of software. It is a vital process that ensures users aren’t left to their own devices, since negative onboarding, can severely impact the long-term use of software. Guiding users towards the right digital practices during onboarding facilitates training and confidence in their ability to use tools. 

What are the different steps of successful user onboarding?

User onboarding can be tailored to meet the specific needs, departments, and roles within a company. Here are a few steps to ensure an effective onboarding process:

  • Consistent communication on new tool:

Clear communication regarding the new tool and user expectations helps users understand how it will integrate into their daily tasks.

  • Software training:

Training conducted using a digital adoption platform enables users to grasp the relevant functionalities of the tool in real-time. It serves as a means to support users in utilizing both everyday and less frequently used features.

  • Integration of onboarding into users’ daily routines:

Providing accessible onboarding resources beyond the initial introduction to the tool helps users in the long run, reducing the need for support requests and accelerating adoption.

  • Personalized onboarding based on user profiles:

Tailoring the onboarding process to align with different user departments, operations, or roles allows for personalized user support. While users may receive standardized training, they also require individual skills specific to their respective roles.

How do you know if your user onboarding is effective? 

User support leads to better user experience and employee satisfaction (effective use of the software, fewer digital frustrations, job satisfaction etc.). 

To gauge the effectiveness of your user onboarding, it is important to select performance indicators that can measure its impact. Consider the following indicators:

  • Training effectiveness (e.g., user autonomy with tools):

Analyze metrics such as the number of support requests since onboarding, time spent on training modules, repetition of training modules, and the number of support questions asked. A successful onboarding process will result in a reduction in support requests.

  • Deployment of software training:

Keep track of the number of annual training sessions conducted and the additional training sessions taken by users. Gather qualitative feedback to assess user satisfaction and performance. As users become proficient with their tools, there should be a decrease in training on the same topics and an increase in satisfaction rates.

  • Optimization of internal processes:

User onboarding trains individuals on the digital tools used by the company, leading to correct usage of tools and standardized processes within the organization.

  • Enhanced user experience:

User support leads to better user experience and employee satisfaction (effective use of the software, fewer digital frustrations, job satisfaction etc.).


Sarah C

Sarah oversees all things inbound marketing, exploring the many business uses and topics surrounding digital adoption. Her previous experiences include B2C and product marketing in the social listening space, uncovering emerging industry trends.