New Hire / Employee Training Best Practice

There have only been a few users in 4 years as a Wrike admin that have been excited to learn the tool.  Therefor, I have trained a couple dozen people on a tool they were hesitant to grasp.  I have tried all sorts of approaches.  Small 15 minute sessions followed by "at your desk" hands on training.  Group hour sessions.  My own work instructions.  Suggested Wrike videos.  None of them feel as effective as they should be.  

I am in a low-tech environment (industrial distributor) and we still have people using a Franklin Planner and thinking that Outlook tasks are effective work management.  

Has anyone created a Wrike on-boarding tool that has been effective?

Has Wrike considered creating an interactive learning tool? 

I would love it if Wrike could create a deployment tool that I could use to train my team - and gauge their progress.  

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I agree. I find that the collaborators we ask to use Wrike are particularly tough to convert. I love Wrike but struggle to get full buy-in. I too would appreciate any tips.

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Hi Patrick, thanks for your feedback on this. We're currently working on improving our onboarding experience. For example, we've recently added an introductory task for new members that join a Wrike account with a path of various resources to help them quickly familiarise with Wrike. 
If possible, can you share any experiences you have had in terms of the reluctance or hesitation so we can discuss the ways to overcome them? I'll also be happy to set up a call with your account's Customer Success Manager to go through some options with you?
I'm looking forward to any feedback other members want to put forward here or some ideas that may have worked for them and their team!
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I would be happy to dive deeper with the team at Wrike and tell a few stories - but maybe the forum isn't the best place to do it.   

Fishing: Here is a midwest analogy that might apply to the problem I have:  If your friend doesn't like to fish - and only owns a Mickey Mouse pole from when they were 7 years old - they aren't going to appreciate a Shimano 200I Curado.  Your going to take them fishing, hand them the rod & reel, and it's not going to mean anything to them.  In fact, they have never used a bait-casting reel - which requires a certain level of skill - so they are going to tangle up the line and get frustrated.  They aren't simply going to cast aside the Shimano - they are going to not like fishing altogether even more. 

Wrike: If your friend doesn't think they have a productivity problem - they aren't going to appreciate Wrike. They are going to open it up, look around, and its not going to mean anything to them.  In fact, they have never used anything but their desk calendar and their outlook inbox to stay organized.  So they create tasks, loose them, and things get overdue and tangled up.  They aren't only going to cast aside Wrike - but they are going to treat the concepts like productivity and work management like voodoo.  

Fishing: Someday they are going to get stuck on a boat for a long period of time with their buddies.  They left the Mickey rod at home - for their own pride.  They are bored out of their mind and finally put themselves out there and ask for someone to show them how to cast without tangles.  30 minutes later they are catching fish. 

Wrike:  Constraint happens.  They can't get done what they need to get done.  They can't communicate with their team.  Here is where the analogy falls apart.  Their human nature finds someone or something else to blame other then their own personal productivity or management methods.  The team changes their process rather than changing their productivity methods.  Process become less effective and less customer-centric because the team/individual unperformed.  

Implementing Wrike with these people becomes a forced adoption.  These people, in my world, are the rule - not the exception.  


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Hi Patrick,
This is a great analogy and it's exactly the reason why initial onboarding is so important to get right when creating a successful team.
Lots of people find the Getting Started section a good reference for users who are new to Wrike. Our member, Ansel also shared this decision tree best practice which we think is very helpful too.
If you're happy to share some of your techniques I think it would be greatly beneficial to other members who may be experiencing the same obstacles you've mentioned above. It would also help us understand how people communicate onboarding to other users within their organisation.
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Great shares! 

Here are two techniques that seem to be helpful:

The complete hand-hold:  If you have a team member that is a Franklin-Planner user, Wrike is a big transition.  These people will require a complete hand-hold. For one of my peers, who I needed to get on Wrike but doesn't report to me, I used this process with some success.  Essentially,  I created a username (tied to an alias Gmail account of mine) and password for him.  I setup his entire Wrike layout, dashboards and all.  I pretended to be him for a day.  When I was satisfied with handing it off, I walked him through it and adjusted as needed.  I then changed the email to his work and "passed the torch." 

Over the next few weeks he repeatedly forgot to login and reverted back to his old ways.  Then things got messy.  He was overwhelmed and asked for me to show him the setup again. 

Upside: He is on it, creating tasks, and checking things off.  Not using any advanced features - but at least he has tasks, with dates, on a dashboard. 

Downside:  Extremely time consuming on my part and required a failure in order to succeed.  A failure for a customer facing associate is a failure against a customer - which is not acceptable in the name of implementing a "new todo list" 

Process Integration - no bells/whistles: Not to much to explain here.  Build the associates process inside Wrike and hold them accountable to the on-time completion.  Give them a dashboard that makes visibility simple.  I used this for our quoting team.  The buy in was simple - explain to them there is no way of possibly keeping up without it. 

Upside: Simple and Works

Downside: Only works because all they do is execute against a formed process (over-and-over again)

What has failed?  

  • "Here is an invitation to Wrike.  Watch these videos and start using it for your workplace organization." 
  • The complete hand-hold without support of the associates supervisor
  • Process Integration - as "the other tool."  Our inside sales team lives inside of CRM without the option of integration.  Tasks in two places can be frustrating.  They prefer tasks in CRM because they have no choice but to use it. 
  • Hour long presentation on how Wrike can help you be more productive.  They get it, they like it, but the learning curve makes short-term wins difficult. 

I have been on Wrike since 2013.  The slow conversion staff-by-staff makes change management nearly impossible.  If our company was not growing or our customers were experiencing poor service - we would work full scale Wrike deployment into our Strategic Plan as an operational excellence strategy.  But that isn't the case. 




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Successful Onboarding - definitely has been the biggest hurdle to getting people to use the Wrike long term. If initial introduction is negative it is very difficult to change their opinion. Alternatively if people can see the benefit for them right away, and its easy for them to use, they have been more willing to keep with it. I have found there are two aspects of "initial Wrike introduction" that has impacted how well this is done. 

#1 - New Admin support - Important to have a knowledgeable Wrike Champion/Admin

I was the 3rd person in the company who was given access admin access to Wrike, to try to get this software implemented in our company. It also meant that most of the initial company introductions to the program and attention given to that person for on-boarding our company was not passed on. In my experience, I was told I was going to be a Wrike admin by someone and they changed the settings... and that was it (no more info, and I was a new user). A lot of the success to the team primarily has to do with the support that our admins (or designated Wrike champions) are able to give. As well as our ability to troubleshoot and make suggestions to the team. The more knowledgeable we are they better we've been to be proactive or quickly resolve issues before they turn into a problem to make team members not want to use the program. As well as make sure we have someone to keep people accountable.

Suggestion to Wrike - don't assume that people that are assigned admin rights are given any information about the program. I was diligent to learn the program, but I had to search! It's there somewhere on the website, but in my experience what facts that are helpful for a collaborator, or regular, or admin are all different; it also takes a long time to search through. I have to go through a bunch of information for a regular user for the one piece of information that might be helpful for an admin. Wrike automatically sends a welcome email when someone signs up, so it would be great to get an automatic email with a specific place for admins to find out information when profile settings are changed to this. 

#2- New Users support - involve the new team member as soon as they sign up

Speaking of that automatic email, all Admins get an email from Wrike every time a new user registers by invitation. (Thank you Wrike!) Because there are so many things I need to do to "welcome" the person to wrike right away to ensure their success, I have made sure I have made a project template- 

Example - setting up a Wrike Project Template which includes all task reminders I need to do when a new employee starts, 1 for each type of user (e.g. regular user, collaborator). Especially important for us as we have more than 1 admin, and it was not always clear who is able to get to it first once the email was sent. The tasks include things like - send another introduction email with explanation about how our company is using the software, ensure them a training date will be scheduled, and resources to connect to until that time; confirming that the profile is assigned to all necessary team groups, time zone is updated, profile settings updated, all request forms, folders, and projects have been shared with them; scheduling initial training date; etc. 

Suggestion for Wrike - it would be great if a confirmation of a new user could automatically set up an on-boarding project for that user. 

Wrike Features that have been successful for on-boarding 'buy-in', and getting user to use the program right away:

  • Request forms:Finding out from employees what information they routinely require from people, get these set up right away. It gets the people using the software in a very realistic way right away, especially for people who may have a tough time grasping what Wrike does. 
  • After Training/meeting always follow up with Wrike Task - Any time I go through a training about a topic I always follow it up with an assignment to complete something, and it always combines a couple of Wrike skills. I.e. Training a department on how a department folder if set up. I would create a task either during the training or right after, in a folder I made called "Wrike Training". I will assign myself a task called "Accounting Department - Create a new Project", which would have in the description all the criteria of what I want them to do. I then create a subtask for each team member to be assigned that hyperlinks to the original task. They then need to follow a series of steps to, and update a description with a hyperlink to that project (to verify they know all the steps) before they can update the status as complete.
  • Find out what supervisors need to track - and get them to set it up a report or dashboard right away. If they don't do it someone needs to (either go on their computer or share it with them), and then make sure they keep people accountable that information is accurate. 
  • Having someone (with some level of authority and knowledge of Wrike) designated to check groups or departments for accuracy of the information being inputted, and if someone makes a mistake they need to fix it themselves. 

Things which can quickly impact a successful Wrike implementation

  • Not having a clear company procedure or established line of communication, or having one but its outdated. What Wrike indirectly does REALLY WELL is identifying places companies can improve with on their procedures. Team members love to blame Wrike when really there is a gap in a company procedure/policy/etc. because Wrike isn't doing what they want it to do. Sometimes this is true (Wrike can't do everything... yet 😉), however, most of the times we have found that we need to implement a request form, policy, or template and it alleviates the issue right away. Unfortunately people don't always let you know, they just stop using Wrike, or use it in a way that makes it ineffective. 

It's been a learning process in our company, and as new employees are on-boarded we are needing to constantly re-evalaute if what we are doing is effective, so this has been helpful to get feedback and updates from other users. Thank you! 

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As a fun addition to our training - we also got stickers made for peoples computer screens or laptops that actually say "Is this a Wrike task?" which is there for a reminder for staff to question if what they are sending as an email is something that goes in Wrike. 

Response - mixed feedback, users either love or hate it. Although the people who love it specifically ask for these stickers, and have found it increases their input and buy-in into Wrike.

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Stephanie Westbrook

@Bailey this is such an incredible post, full of great suggestions! We use stickers here too and got the same reaction - some people were incredibly enthusiastic. We did it slightly differently though, we offered stickers in exchange for going through an additional 15 minute training on a tool we rolled out. 

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