How to Prevent Users from Ditching SharePoint

Approximately three in every four Fortune 500 company makes use of SharePoint, according to Microsoft statistics. The reason for this is simple – it increases productivity across the organization. Business use SharePoint to centralize administration, improve collaboration and provide teams with the tools that they need to meet their goals. But, unfortunately employees will often “ditch” SharePoint without realizing its full potential.

Below, I’ll discuss how you can reduce the likelihood that employees will give up on SharePoint and fail to take full advantage of its functionality.

Follow Up Implementation Soon After Training

It is estimated that we forget 40% of new information within 24 hours. Within the next 24 hours we will have forgotten 60%. The key to overcoming this problem is to start implementing the SharePoint training as soon as possible.

Management should also expect that much of the information taught in the training will not be fully retained and will need to be reinforced during the weeks following the initial training sessions. Starting implementing SharePoint use soon after training; this will allow gaps in the employees’ knowledge to be identified and addressed.

Failure to provide ongoing training and support is one of the main reasons that employees do not make full advantage of the platform and all of the features available.

Customize Training

SharePoint is an advanced technology that can meet the specific needs of a range of job roles. However, in some cases SharePoint training is too broad and doesn’t prepare them properly for the specific tasks it will enable them to perform.

To help prevent users from dropping out of SharePoint, it is important to provide training which focuses on the individual needs of the employees. Another option is to add in-work performance support walkthroughs, which guide the employee through specific steps of using the SharePoint interface. One good option is WalkMe which uses a sequence of tip-balloons to guide and explain the features of the software.

Give Yourself Enough Time

Managers with a non-technical background underestimate the amount of time that will be required for employees to implement SharePoint. The burden that this additional training can place on employees, who may already have a lot on their plate, can lead to poor adoption of the technology. To help overcome this problem adequate time must be provided for training and employees should be incentivized for using the technology. At the same time employees need to be held accountable to ensure that they are taking advantage of the training that is available and implement it into their work.

Help Employees Embrace Change

People are sometimes resistant to implement SharePoint because it means adopting new practices. For example one of the benefits of SharePoint in the ability to store documents in the SharePoint library and then sending an email with a link to its location. But employees may be more used to sending the entire document and not see the advantage of only sending the link.

While from an organization perspective, the SharePoint solution is superior because it protects data, optimizes storage space and prevents loss of documents if they cannot be retrieved from email. To prevent this problem from occurring, they will often need to be a complete change of culture within the organization in order to improve employee adoption.

Effectively Communicate SharePoint Benefits

While IT staff may understand how to train employees from a technical perspective, they may not completely comprehend the purpose of the system from a technical perspective. They may not be able to convey how the training relates to the employees day to day job.

Lack of context can also lead to poor adoption rates of SharePoint. Managers need to adequately communicate the purpose and impact of using SharePoint to their employees before training and implementation. This will provide them with the tools to take full advantage of everything that has to offer. Communicate how SharePoint is important for achieving the long range goals of the organization and how it is relevant to the needs of the business.

Conclusion

In today’s business environment it is more important than ever before that businesses continue to sharpen their competitive edge. When SharePoint is implemented properly it can help to optimize business processes and increase collaboration between employees. This can lead to improvements in productivity, innovation, in addition to impacting the bottom line. In order to ensure that these advantages are fully realized management needs to properly convey the benefits of SharePoint to both the organization and the employees. They also need to ensure that the proper framework and support is provided so that employees are able to fully take advantage of this technology.

If these steps are taken the number of employees who give up on SharePoint can be greatly reduced.

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Marissa Hart
Marissa Hart is the Lead Author & Editor ShareMe. ShareMe is a blog focused on SharePoint Online. SharePoint Online delivers the powerful features of SharePoint without the associated overhead of managing the infrastructure.
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