Maybe you recently rolled out Office 365. Or maybe you rolled it out a little while ago. Either way, if you feel like your team is not really using it to its full potential, then you are not alone.
I took a call last week from a company that deployed Office 365 about 9 months ago, and now they are looking for Office 365 end user training. The good news is that it’s never too late!
It takes time and effort to change employees’ behaviors when it comes to their daily software tasks. Having a solid training plan is a key piece of that puzzle.
Carefully focus your initial training
We recommend targeting your Office 365 end user training on specific behaviors that will enhance productivity and improve workflows.
Ask yourself, “What actions and behaviors do we want users to start doing, and what do we want them to stop doing?” Training is not just about teaching which buttons to push. It’s also important to clarify expectations about new ways of working, establishing new norms for how you want things to get done.
For example, do you want people to stop emailing file attachments around? (This is a biggie! We hear it all the time.) Then focus your initial training on how you want people to store and share files using SharePoint or OneDrive for Business.
There are so many features and applications in Office 365, you can’t possibly expect employees to understand or implement them all at once. It’s your job, along with your leadership team, to prioritize where your team is likely to get the most value right out of the gate. Then tailor your training to your organization’s top priorities.
The iterative training approach
In our experience, organizations who approach implementing Office 365 as an iterative process seem to have more success with it in the long run.
Here's how you do it. Once you’ve identified those top priorities and executed your initial training strategy, you’ll eventually get to a point where you feel confident that the desired behaviors have taken root. Now it’s time to cycle back and figure out the next few things that will bring value to your organization and do the whole behavior change training cycle again.
Just tackle a little at a time, and you'll be surprised at how much change you can bring about over a few iterations.
Ongoing training is a must for Office 365
Once you’ve done a few iterations of Office 365 end user training, you’ll eventually get to a point where you feel as if your organization is making good use of the majority of features.
Now it’s time to switch over to an ongoing training strategy. This is important for a number of reasons. New employees come on board and need to learn your new ways of working. Long-time employees get rusty and need review, or they might change positions and need new skills. And most importantly: updates happen.
Now that your team is working in the cloud, updates are released more frequently, typically several times a year, often with little introduction or instruction.
How will your people keep up and learn about new features? It doesn’t take long to learn a few useful gems with each software update. We recommend finding a good Training-as-a-Service solution to help you keep current with Office 365. The new features are often huge time savers or collaboration boons, and worth taking advantage of.
Planner is a great example of how cloud technology just keeps moving steadily forward, often without much fanfare. It’s a completely new (and very useful!) application, freely available to most Office 365 users.
An affordable online training solution such as KnowledgeWave can deliver all of the Office 365 end user training activities discussed above, through webinar technology, virtual classrooms and video libraries. Sign up for a free demo today and we can help you out!