The Office 365 package is made up of unique applications that can operate seamlessly together to make workforces highly productive. Whilst most employees recognise the standard Office Suite tools and are au fait with Exchange and Skype for Business, there are some features and applications that individuals and teams are not utilising.
One of the most common reasons for the limited Office 365 adoption is a lack of awareness and training . How can employees be expected to capitalise on the value of the Office 365 without being software-efficient across applications?
Stereotypical training sessions are becoming outdated. The issue with cramming a team into a board room and running through Office 365 applications on a giant screen is that, frankly, it’s boring. Typically, staff will return to their desks after a training session and absolutely nothing will change in the way they use Office 365. Therefore, the suite of applications is offering little value and a limited increase in productivity.
Inciting behaviour and work flow changes in employees is a slow process, particularly with team members who aren’t overly IT proficient to begin with. The important aspects of any training includes:
- Showing the full potential of Office 365
- Highlighting the process staff can use to help their work flow
- Mapping useful processes specific to application
- Shining a light on less familiar applications
How to get the most from Office 365
Even if you have delivered engaging staff training and Office 365 is having a positive effect on the workforce post-deployment, having a continuous adoption approach is key. With Microsoft updating Office 365 regularly it is imperative that staff are kept abreast of any changes as this can sometimes provoke a dwindle in use. Within Office 365, Microsoft has created activity reports, ideal for leaders to track potential drop-off so that it can be addressed with staff and any knowledge gaps filled.
Assign an Office 365 Champion
It is no myth that co-workers can significantly influence each other. Whilst it is all well and good having senior staff members involved with Office 365 continuous adoption, employees are likely to respond better to somebody in their team.
An Office 365 Champion should be somebody who is well-versed in IT generally and has grasped Office 365 well and is utilising it to its potential. If they are highly productive they can help co-workers get to grips with new tools and learn new processes to help their work flow. Champions can help their peers with Office 365 without the pressure of a senior member of staff evaluating their progress.
The best fit for an Office 365 Champion is someone who is:
- well liked and respected by colleagues
- well networked into the business
- confident and engaging
- perceived as a ‘go to’ person
- Be clear about the way the business works
- passionate about the change to Office 365
- able to pick up on knowledge and communication gaps
- willing and able to commit time to extra training
What must be remembered about Office 365 is that it’s a productivity suite. It will change frequently to provide the best for users and this can be overwhelming but, with the correct ongoing training, staff can utilise it for superior workplace efficiency.