Onboarding for Magento - Part 2 - 8 Principles to Deliver Onboarding
BASICS - Do start with the basics. It possible that the people you are training have never seen the back end of Magento. Most people are happy to be considered complete novices when faced with a new product - at the beginning of an initial session I often say something like, “I’m going to assume you know nothing about Magento and explain everything”. This normally results in a lot of nodding of heads and agreement. Even people who have used Magento but are still fairly new to it are happiest with this approach.
DELIVERY - Think about who is going to deliver the training: it does not have to be your resident Magento expert - just someone who is comfortable using the areas the training will cover. It is very tempting to put a developer in this role. I would recommend you don’t - firstly because their time is probably the most valuable to your business but more importantly the depth of knowledge they have as a developer often means they can miss out the small details for non-technical users, which in the onboarding scenario is very important.
PRACTICE - Give the delegates an opportunity to practice what you are teaching them. In an ideal world, you will have a staging website to do this on - if not you will just have to be extra careful. Practice is how the knowledge is going to stick as we all learn better by doing. Mistakes will be made when people are using a new system: isn’t it better to make these fundamental mistakes at this stage rather than on a busy Friday afternoon when you have had a spike in orders and all hands are to the pump?
REINFORCE - It does not hurt to make sure that the information has sunk in. Recently I delivered training for a large retailer who was implementing a click and collect service across Europe. The process and what needs to be covered in the training was fairly straightforward and what we did was spend the morning going through the customised order process in-depth and the afternoon practising multiple scenarios over and over. By the end of the session, everyone in the room was well versed in how to process a click and collect order and confidence to start using it.
RULES - Develop a set of simple Dos and Don'ts for the admin team and have these as a printed document that is plainly visible in the office. The rules should be simple and sensible. Their purpose serves two-fold. The first is to obviously give some guidelines to work from, the second is to act as a gentle reminder to individuals that there are rules and processes that should be followed which leads on to...
DOCUMENT - If you can, have everything documented in a clear, easy to read step by step guide (including lots of screenshots). If you don’t already have this then it could be incorporated as part of the onboarding process - get the staff who are being trained to also develop the documentation. It can help to reinforce their knowledge and give you an opportunity to gauge if they understand - if they don't understand then maybe you should review the training.
ASSESS - You could develop a short assessment to make sure that the delegate has taken onboard the training. This could be simply a series of tasks for them to perform on the store that reflects the onboarding they have been given. Whether this is time-dependent, a goal dependent or both will be something you should consider depending on the role. For example, adding a new product may be less time-dependent than a customer services team member having to get order details for a customer who is on the phone.
CULTURE - Now you have the staff on board develop a culture of learning. New staff are given onboarding training when they join the team, and existing staff are encouraged to share knowledge, learn more and always be thinking about how things can be improved, made more efficient and coming up with new ideas. The more you get the staff involved in training the more it becomes a culture of learning - productivity and morale will go through the roof.