Every month, we see more organizations adopting Microsoft Office 365 and migrating their employees “to the cloud.” One thing we can confidently say from experience: successful Office 365 training focuses on user adoption and helps employees understand the benefits of working in the new ways. (See also my previous post on 4 Steps to Take Directly After Your Office 365 Migration.)
Demystify the cloud
A lot of your users might not understand what “the cloud” is but they are too embarrassed to ask. It’s a term that we throw around pretty loosely, you have to admit! So make sure they have a clear understanding:
The cloud refers to all of the things that can be accessed remotely over the Internet. When something is in the cloud, it means it is stored on servers attached to the Internet instead of on your computer or at your office. This lets you access your calendar, email, files, and more from any computer that has an Internet connection.
Find your focus
Office 365 is a comprehensive suite of tools, some of which will be familiar, while others may feel foreign or intimidating to your team.
Office 365 includes Microsoft Office apps, such as Outlook, Word, and Excel, as well as communication tools, such as SharePoint and Skype for Business. You don’t have to leverage every capability immediately.
Focus your Office 365 training in on using a few of the tools effectively. Use certain tools to improve something specific that will be beneficial for your team in the near term. This empowers your team members without overwhelming them, and allows your organization to see tangible, positive results immediately.
For example, you might find immediate value in the online collaboration capabilities. Or you might find more near term bang-for-your-buck getting everybody on board with shared online file storage.
Once you are clear about your goals, you can help your team come up to speed in only that area, using a subset of easily digestible Office 365 training.
Provide Easy Access to Office 365 Training
Sr. Director, Office 365, Microsoft
Microsoft onboarding analysis reveals that one of the top reasons customers might be dissatisfied with their migration is that “training is lacking and difficult to find.” (Miller & Moussalem, 2015) Be sure to provide plenty of opportunities for your team members to learn how to use Office 365 in ways that align with your expectations.
Respect your team’s various learning styles and schedules by providing a combination of online and live training, of varying length and complexity. Train to your chosen focus areas first, and then provide ongoing training over time as your organization embraces additional capabilities in Office 365.
For example, a video training library with the ability to highlight relevant videos to your team provides them with immediate direction as well as resources for continued knowledge growth in the future. Combine that with some live webinars and online classes, and you really have all you need.