The Internal User Experience At Your Company
Onboarding: The wonderful day when you arrive at a new office to take another step along your career path and start learning how to use all the new systems. Or the day when you have to teach a new employee all the systems and wonder how was this explained to me?
Here’s a question: Was it explained to you? Or did you and most of the other people in the office figure it out by trial and error? How about the other systems you use? Perhaps only a few people know how to use systems that are integral to the company. What happens if they leave?
No matter who your customers are or what you are selling, the focus is heavily on the product or the buyer. This is natural and proper, yet it can make your employees and coworkers feel like second-class citizens at times. Processes and tools that work ‘well enough’ for one person are slowly killing their cubicle mate or the person across the office. The importance of the internal user experience is usually swept under the rug. “That’s just the way we’ve always done it” may sum up the general thought patterns. Internal user experience–what is that?
For smaller business or startups, this mindset and out-of-the-box solutions work for a time. After all, the principles of project management remain the same, no matter if you are using a pre-designed solution or a customized service just for you. However, they don’t tend to scale well, if at all. Sometimes, you need more functionality than that software offers. So you add another software program or application to your lineup, complicating the internal user experience. What happens when you can’t do that anymore?
The complexity of such a system can have negative effects on the team as a whole. Think back to the onboarding example. How much time does it take for new employees to get up to speed? How much training time are people having to spend to become acclimated to your business processes and tools?
Here are four suggestions for improving the internal user experience at your company, ranging from short to long-term solutions.
Talk to Your Employees
Your employees are the most knowledgeable people in your company on the day to day tasks, processes and problems that the company faces. Have you tapped into that? Depending on the culture of the company, this may take some time and effort, especially if people feel threatened by the questions or the data you are trying to gather. Approach the subject with care in order to really discover what is slowing your employees down or holding them back instead of collecting empty praise about your company.
Examine Your Processes
Do you know how many different systems your company uses and how they work? When was the last time someone in the company had a hard look at what people had to do in order to get things done? Are there tips that can be shared between people to improve how they are doing the work? Maybe some additional training could be provided to help employees navigate the software in more efficient ways. Perhaps some programs could be scrapped. This provides a good segue into the third point.
Be Willing To Change
Change is easy to talk about and hard to implement. Many times, it’s more simple to just keep what works well enough. But have you considered the cost to the company? It’s more than just a dollar amount or employee time. It’s how the world works today. With the fast pace of technology and innovation, companies need to stay alert and agile. Change is coming: will you control it, or will it control you?
A growing, thriving company needs scalable and repeatable processes. For successful enterprises, the support and scale needed are very difficult to find in a generic solution without sacrificing time, energy and good tempers. Is it time to explore custom software options? Obviously, for a smaller company or startup, custom solutions can be cost-prohibitive and money will always be a consideration no matter what the size of the company is. Workarounds are good for a while, but the future is coming. How bright does your company’s future look?
Here at Swan Software Solutions, we know the frustrations of dealing with mismatched systems, legacy processes and lagging speed. Our team has over thirteen years of experience creating and supporting custom solutions for custom problems. We’re ready and waiting to help you discover what you need. Contact us today to learn more!