How many times have you conducted a SharePoint training session and were met with groans and eye rolls? Many users don’t like SharePoint and the Office 365 suite when they first use it because the services are so extremely complex. They can be hard to navigate unless a users knows exactly what they’re looking to accomplish.
In this Collab365 Live Show, hosts Nick Brattoli and Andy Talbot were joined by fellow SharePoint experts Dux Raymond, Kate Forgione, and Asif Rehmani to share some best practices when it comes to getting your users to fall in love with SharePoint.
Here are some of the main takeaways from the webinar:
- Constantly ask “why.” Understand what benefits individual employees will receive from adopting SharePoint. Don’t just employ SharePoint because it’s the next big thing; you need to have a real reason for it. This is especially important when considering if you should add micro-services such as Teams or Yammer. You don’t want to make things more complicated for employees.
- Consider your audience and any geographical/cultural/political factors. Dux shared a story about doing a SharePoint training for the military. Afterwards, someone approached him with qualms about SharePoint’s content-rating system. “No one would ever give a one-star rating to a four-star general,” they said, and it was a perfectly rational argument Dux had never considered. Take time to get to know your audience and figure out what functionality is or isn’t relevant to them.
- Context is king. Put context in your content by providing relatable, real-world business scenarios. Rather than just list off features, ask your users what problems they face in their day-to-day duties, and then show them what specific SharePoint features can provide solutions.
- Be prepared to answer the question “Why fix what isn’t broken?”. If your users have been doing something a certain way for years, they’ll be hesitant to change. Have an explanation ready for how SharePoint can make their job easier. On the other hand, be willing to be flexible if their processes require human interaction that can’t be streamlined with technology. Have a conversation with your users to determine from where their problems truly stem.
- Your users don’t care about SharePoint. They just want to get their job done in the most efficient way possible. They don’t care about SharePoint as a software, they care about it as a way to streamline their workload and make their lives easier.
The Collab365 team and their guests also had some great suggestions to take into consideration the next time you conduct SharePoint user training:
- Create an implementation/training roadmap. Stay organized and focus on your priorities.
- Consider iterative training. Oftentimes, SharePoint trainings are one long drawn-out session, but Asif recommended using iterative training to help users master the most critical parts of SharePoint before showing them less important (but still relevant) functionality. People won’t use something until they need it, so meet them where they are.
- Equip users with resources and support. There are a myriad of (free!) tools out there your users can utilize as they become more and more familiar with SharePoint. Take advantage of these resources and allow your users to continue to grow, using the technology in whatever way is meaningful to them.
- Train the site managers, not the end users. With technology, many times you learn best just by experimenting. By allowing your users to play around with SharePoint freely, they’ll be able to figure out how to do what they need to do, rather than learning about aspects of the service they may never use. This is still training, in a sense, but without the rigid guidelines of a formal session.
- Be transparent. Explain to your employees what goals you want SharePoint to help them meet and demonstrate how you’ll track success.
As mentioned in the webinar, intranet is no longer a business value: it’s a given. Intranets are essential to any business, no matter its size or industry, and SharePoint is a great tool to utilize for this purpose; however, users often become overwhelmed with its complexity and revert to their old ways, ultimately using SharePoint as an unorganized dumping ground. Sustainable adoption is crucial if you want SharePoint to truly transform your business processes.
To view the entire Collab365 live show, click here.
As a certified Microsoft SharePoint Partner, Interactive Business Systems has years of experience implementing all types of SharePoint solutions, including libraries, intranets, and mobile and web applications. To learn more about our expertise, visit our website.