Tackle Automation Skepticism by Conquering Stakeholder Misgivings

<5 minute read

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Recruiters, onboarders, trainers...whatever the name of your role, if you work in training you know the daunting task of manually getting new team members onboarded. Often, it's a time-consuming and inefficient process getting each person up to speed. Automation is the obvious solution, but stakeholders or "higher-ups" tend to raise their eyebrows at the word, bringing up questions around effectiveness and loss of personalization. In this post, we are going to quickly break down the ways to get around this pushback.

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The Confidence Issue

A lot of issues that get brought up by management teams when it comes to automation come from a lack of confidence in the idea. This is especially true if your team has not gotten deep into automation before. Maybe they just don't have full confidence that you've thought through every aspect, or accounted for every type of person that will be going through training.

The best way around this pushback is something that we bring up constantly: map the journey. Use a charting software like Whimsical and create a view of what the flow of training would look like. By making it visual, you're demonstrating that you have a holistic understanding of the journey and have accounted for any variances. After all, you do this process manually every day, right?


One of the other biggest sources of pushback from higher-ups around automation has to do with the perceived loss of personalization. After all, you can't get much more personalized than manually training each team member, right? Perhaps they think that some of that will be lost with a move toward automation. All of those concerns are actually TRUE - if you execute automation poorly, there will be a loss of individualization and your new recruits are going to notice.

However, that is why you are not going to execute your automations poorly! In the year 2023 it is easier than ever to incorporate personalization into your automation - for example, a tool like ConveYour allows you to send mass text messages to your team containing information tailored to each person. Automated messages can be sent on birthdays or in accordance with performance milestones. Automations CAN certainly feel impersonal - but if you use them right you can actually create a user experience that is MORE personalized than you could ever have manually!

From Onboarding Bugs to Automation Success

Think about a large tech company like Amazon. In your day-to-day experience as an Amazon shopper, you are dealing with only automations. The regular shopping experience doesn't require you to talk to anybody. It's only when there is a problem that you need to reach out to somebody on their customer support team.

In this way, support is like a "bug" to companies like Amazon. Manual assistance is only really provided when there is a problem within the automated system that Amazon set up. And yet, your automated regular experience with Amazon is individualized through automation as well - think of the recommended products and categories on your home page.

This is a great lesson for companies looking to branch into automation - you don't have to make a choice between "manual" and "automated" - you should have both! You can send everybody through a thoughtful, personalized automated onboarding system along with the ability to easily access support when issues come up.