Gartner describes SharePoint as, “a server offering that provides content management, team collaboration and social software, portals, business intelligence and search capabilities”. SharePoint is one of the most versatile platforms that Microsoft has created, but you may encounter some resistance when you first introduce it to users. People don’t like change, and rightly so- its difficult. employees are more comfortable using something that is more difficult if they have a better understanding of it, meaning that any form of change can lower their level of productivity and make them feel less-than-competent.
Thankfully, there are a few different tips and strategies that you can implement to, not only encourage the adoption of SharePoint, but also to get employees genuinely excited about the platform. The following lists the three best (and easiest!) ways that you can encourage SharePoint adoption.
1. Provide Plenty of Time
Mark R. Gilbert, an analyst for Gartner, explains that Microsoft SharePoint is not easily adopted- many organizations report struggling with training, migration, cost management and migration. As such, SharePoint must be implemented with great care. Before you start anything, make sure that you are giving users plenty of time to get used to the new platform. The worst thing that you can do is put employees on a very strict time limit. Not only does this induce panic and worry about the deadline instead of learning, but it can also lead to a higher rate of resistance. Employees want to be in control of their learning, and you can help ease the burden by giving them plenty of time to do so.
Another reason that you want plenty of time is so that the launch goes smoothly. If you rush too much, you’ll end up encountering many challenges that should have been caught or prevented. You only get one chance to impress your employees, and having hiccups is one surefire way to deter them from SharePoint. Take the time to make sure that everything is working well on your end before you start rolling out with the changes. That way, users know that they are working with the best possible system for their needs.
2. Teach in the Right Ways
People learn in a variety of ways, and you can’t just cater to one learning style. Some people like to learn in a ‘classroom’ setting while others like to see the platform in action. Others still are more eager to get their hands on the software themselves and start fiddling around with it. No matter how your users learn, you need to provide them with as many different options as possible. The more learning styles you cater to, the easier it will be for your users to master SharePoint.
Some of the most common techniques include instructional videos, help guides, and FAQs. The only downside to these methods is that it requires the user to flip back and forth between tabs or windows, taking away precious time. Instead, many companies use digital guidance tools for learning. These tools can be placed on the active screen and will provide real-time prompts and highlight buttons that need to be pressed. Text bubbles can appear on the screen with helpful tips or explanations so that the user is never lost on what to do or why they are doing it.
3. Give Feedback
Finally, be sure to provide your users with feedback, if possible. Let users know what they are doing well and how they can improve even further. If you have tracking software, you may want to point out trouble areas that the user isn’t even aware of. Be sure to use this opportunity as a learning experience and not one that’s negative. With the right approach, you’ll be able to encourage your users to do more and be confident about their capabilities.
There are just 3 of the ways that you can help your users learn about and utilize SharePoint. Be sure to follow these steps if you plan on succeeding, but add your own personal touch as well. With a little bit of encouragement, your users fall in love with SharePoint and never look back!