Back to Blog

Minimize Team Stress With These Software Onboarding Tips

By Tara Porter
Updated February 12, 2024

You know the feeling. You start a new software tool and, the moment you get in there, you feel overwhelmed. Where do you go first? Where do you start? 

This is likely how your team feels when learning a new software tool.  They are expected to learn where to go to complete different tasks, yet the screen is screaming at them with limitless options. 

So how can you make it easier for them? 

In this article, we are sharing our best tips for simplifying this process and helping your team members know what to prioritize when learning a new software. 

Select User-Friendly Software 

This might sound obvious, but it often isn’t. The best way to reduce overwhelm is by selecting a user-friendly platform in the first place.  

Far too often, companies select software based on the benefits they provide to decision-makers (for example, analytics), but fail to consider the users’ experience. 

Here are some points to consider when looking into the user’s experience: 

  • Gain insights into their workflow and specific tasks to ensure the software supports their needs 
  • Identify pain points and challenges they face with the existing software or processes 
  • Evaluate the clarity of labels, buttons, and menus for intuitive navigation 
  • Test the software's responsiveness to user actions and provide feedback on the speed and smoothness of interactions 
  • Conduct user testing sessions to gain feedback on specific features or prototypes 
  • Assess the availability and quality of documentation, tutorials, and support resources (if selecting any Microsoft 365 applications, VisualSP includes regularly updated in-context support materials) 
  • Evaluate the software's integration capabilities with other tools or systems team members use 

We also recommend that you involve chosen team members to help you with the software selection process. Ask about what they value. Invite them to vendor demos. Have them pilot the tool and identify any potential user issues. 

Selecting software based on user experience

Add Guided Walkthroughs 

Another way to reduce the overwhelm is by using a guided walkthrough. A guided walkthrough navigates the user through a few key tasks, helping the users quickly identify the most important features.  

guided-walkthroughs

By focusing on the essential functions first, you help employees feel more confident and in control of their immediate responsibilities. 

Make Help Handy 

It’s also vital to offer in-context help for your users. This lets users get help in the moment, in their moment of need.  

Context-Based search

Companies frequently rely on documentation that is stored in another location. This leads to employees wasting time switching contexts to find the answers they need. Instead, we recommend that you have a support tool that exists within the platform, providing contextual help when needed.  

Encourage Self-Paced Learning 

Provide employees with self-paced learning resources, such as video tutorials, user guides, or knowledge base articles, that they can access when they need assistance.  

By offering a variety of resources, employees can choose the learning method that suits them best and learn at their own pace, reducing overwhelm and frustration. 

Break Down the Learning Process 

Rather than overwhelming employees with all the software's features at once, break down the learning process into manageable segments.  

Start with essential features and gradually introduce more advanced functionalities. This approach helps employees to build confidence and competence over time. 

The most effective method we’ve seen for this is by highlighting certain features after the user has been using a platform for a specified time. We recommend scheduling one of these tips per quarter.

Here are some recommended tips that we provide to VisualSP customers to load into the most-used applications in Microsoft 365: 

  • How to find your recent documents all in one place (SharePoint) 
  • How to snooze an email for attention later (Outlook) 
  • How to quickly manage your document (Word) 
  • Customize the view as you work (SharePoint) 
  • Search your planner board (Planner) 
  • How to chat with yourself (Teams) 
  • Have you tried ‘Sweep’? (Outlook) 
  • How to view and manage version history (SharePoint) 
  • Find your frequently used lists all in one place (SharePoint) 

Conclusion 

When it comes to transitioning employees to a new software platform, a thoughtful and proactive approach can make all the difference. By implementing these strategies, you can help alleviate the initial overwhelm employees may experience when they open the new app and create a more positive and user-friendly onboarding experience. 

VisualSP can help you make your transition seamless. Our easy-to-use software includes guided walkthroughs, in-app help, context-based search, and more.  

Fuel Employee Success

Boost employee productivity with VisualSP's easy-to-use platform for in-app guidance
Get Started Free
Table of Contents