The Importance of Onboarding: Getting Started on the Right Foot

MSP, MSP Tips
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Have you ever come home to a sticky note on the fridge telling you what’s for dinner and where precisely it can be found? Feels good after a long tiring day, doesn’t? Little pointers in the right direction go a long way!

Onboarding, whether with a new client or a new employee, is similar. A small step in the right direction sets the tone for their entire journey. A helping hand to help them settle into their new roles and relationship is critical to success.

Re-think Employee Onboarding and Retention

How does it benefit your organization? For starters — mentees fit in faster and make fewer mistakes. There is a clear line that connects effective onboarding to improved retention rates and job satisfaction.

Onboarding employees is more than paperwork and slide presentations. Remember, the first impression is all that matters. Here are a few best practices for effective onboarding.

Invest in Training

Good employees are hard to find and harder to retain. If you want your employees to do more than just make it through the day, invest in a training framework. To ensure there is no knowledge deficit, make sure they are well acquainted with the company, culture, process, and people.

Training helps employees gain the competency they need to make efficient use of resources. It puts them in a better position to spot anomalies that can be avoided to streamline operations and business in general. Moreover, it enhances the skills of the employee to perform a particular task, negating the need to hire specialists in the long run.

Last but not least, training helps your staff keep up with the regulatory updates of your industry. Employees with up-to-date skills and knowledge are more productive and deliver higher quality of work-output compared to a less informed, untrained peer.

Shift Gears with IT Documentation

Think short time to value — think IT Documentation. You have all the reliable information and guidelines at your fingertips to help you bring new employees up to speed. Think about the time and expenses saved when a new employee immediately picks up where the old one left off. There is zero time wasted in tracking, sorting, understanding and drawing lines between what’s going on — making the road ahead much simpler. Moreover, if the ideas and information lying in documentation can be turned into something tangible, it can create great value for the organization.

Documentation also helps your employees gauge the product better and understand what it can and cannot do. It also gives them a speed boost when it comes to learning how to use, troubleshoot, and maintain the product. Lastly, it is critical to support communications among the stakeholders and convey the context behind the decision made.

Client Onboarding — First Impressions Matter

We’ve spoken about how employee onboarding and retention is critical to stay in the game. Now let’s talk about winning the game.  

For MSPs, the art of successful onboarding starts with discussing the prospects infrastructure early on — during the sales process. Especially the network and device discovery process. We are talking a full inventory of software versions, patch history, and configurations. This gives you a true understanding of the clients’ requirements. Consequently, you can better match your services to their needs, provide a more accurate pricing model, and maybe even identify potential additional required services.

Historically, full discovery and inventory process has been a Herculean task for MSPs. However, the good news is that there are IT systems management solutions that can now transform a full network and device discovery — including devices behind VPNs or firewalls — into a quick, easy, low-cost process.

Then there are the end-users — the MSP’s customers. End-user can be your biggest advocate or your biggest challenge. During onboarding, be open and direct with end users. Have a documented process for reaching out and educating them as to what will change for them on a day-to-day basis.

Want to learn more?

Onboarding — Whether it be of your clients’ or employees, is a critical element to working faster and smarter. Get it right and it might spread good word-of-mouth for the others who might join you later. Sign up for our webinar 5 Ways to Work Smarter and Faster in 2019, to learn more the best practices of onboarding and retention along with the topmost burning topics in the MSP arena. Register here.

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