How to Get Employees to Learn SharePoint Quickly and Actually Use It

We have all been tasked with teaching stubborn employees about new products or software.

Even though the software will improve their efficiency and the business at large it is still a difficult sell.

Gartner Analysts write about taking your SharePoint usage to the next level: “A SharePoint-savvy business analyst or internal strategic consultant can find value from the top down, starting with published organizational objectives for the year.  Then talking to the business about what is most important to them (cash flow, largest processes, largest projects, etc.) and taking the time to determine which depend on unstructured content and collaboration can show where solutions are needed.”

For this reason, we have come up with 5 key ways to get employees to learn SharePoint quickly, and actually use it.

1. Make the Training Immediately Useful

Many employees are reluctant to take up new software because there have been no immediate “wins” for the employee. This is an easy way to improve SharePoint training. This will result in an immediate increase in productivity. You can make your employees feel at ease with the software, especially if they can see immediate successes and achievements. Immediate achievements mean that your employees will increase adoption and use of SharePoint.

2. Use Gamification to Onboard New Users

Gamification can be a great way to engage with new users via a click-through tutorials, or walk-throughs. Not only do gamification techniques increase an employee’s successful adoption of the software during the discovery phase, but it also encourages a more complex exploration of the software. You want your employees to master SharePoint and then become product advocates who are able to train others. In order to do that properly, use gamification to provide an opportunity to increase software adoption while building confidence and expertise.

3. Understand Your Employees’ Specific Learning Styles

Whether you are using classroom training, virtual learning spaces, or even social media pay attention to the specific needs of your employees. Some benefit from real-time guidance on the job, others need a classroom with more formal instruction. If your employees are balking at SharePoint training, be sure that you have identified and removed any particular obstacles to uptake in the learning process.

4. Use SharePoint’s Vendor Resources and Community Sites to Help Implementation

SharePoint’s vendor resources are significant. So be sure you have explored all of them. One of these involves the benefit of Community Sites to help assist employees with uptake. These sites provide a place where employees can find solutions through discussion and knowledge sharing. These sites also offer “reputation points” to users, who can be recognized for their contributions and interactions in the community. Since the community sites are easy to set up, you stand to benefit from turning your employees into their own community advocates and assistants.

5. Repeat Training Opportunities and Provide Follow Up

Be certain to continue training with your staff long after they leave the classroom (virtual or physical). Follow up is critical and continued training should be an expectation. If there is still hesitation after a training session, or follow up training session, you can get to the bottom of this by asking your employees how they would better be served in a learning environment. Remember, much of the hesitation we see in this area is because of fear, and or lack of expertise. You can fix both of these issues.

In order to keep store managers informed without having to send lengthy emails GameStop turned to SharePoint to overcome this problem and maintain a standard consistency throughout all locations. The web service activates a retail portal that corporate officials can utilize to share daily updates with more than 6,000 stores.

There are many ways that you can help your employees discover the importance of SharePoint. Since you have made a strong investment in the software, you must now to strategic about its implementation and uptake amongst your employees. If you pay attention to your employees learning styles, and implementation of community sites and gamification, you’ll improve SharePoint onboarding and allow for immediate uptake and success.

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.