What's the best way to train employees on Office 365? | Green Shoots Learning offering blended learning & development Ipswich
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What's the best way to train employees on Office 365?

October 10, 2018

 

Microsoft Office 365 has a huge number of tools and gadgets to help a business.  Before deciding on what training to give your employees, it’s vital that the business understands what tools it’s going to use and how it wants them to be used.

 

For example the OneDrive is a fantastic “free” storage solution. However, would you want your employees storing confidential client information in it?  What would the risk be to the business if critical information went missing?

 

Having employees, using their own initiative or going off with their team and designing a SharePoint or Team site could be an excellent solution. However, it could lead to confusion, missing documentation, poor quality employee induction, reduced productively etc.   Really all of the things that Office 365 is supposed to help us with.

 

Businesses need to give their employees some guidance on what tools are being used and why. 

 

To get a great response to Office 365, you need employee buy-in.  Your employees know what frustrates them with the internal procedures and processes.  They will have a good idea on how they feel the business communicates and what could be done to improve it.  Why not give them an opportunity to give you feedback, on how Office 365 could help?

 

Once a business understands which of the Office 365 tools are going to be implemented, a roll out plan and training can be considered.

 

We know that people learn in different ways, and businesses have different budgets.  Green Shoots Learning believes that there is a training solution to fit every budget.  It is proven that rolling out a new system, without training, will lead to a poor take-up and could lead to the software failing and employees reverting back to their “old ways”.  After all the planning, why would you want it to fail through a lack of basic training?

 

As people learn in different ways it is worth considering what training you can offer, which will engage those different styles, so that all of your employees move smoothly to the new platform.

 

If your business has many employees who are keen to embrace new ideas, and are not scared of experimenting with software you could;

 

  • Deliver a team presentation on the new tools which are going to be rolled out. Explain what they are and how they are going to be used within your business and for what benefit.  This could be face to face or filmed and loaded into your learning management system. 

 

  • Provide a catalogue of e-learning videos which take the employee on a journey through the new platform.  This learning path would start with business critical tools and lead on to the tools which can be used  as and when needed.

 

  • Ask managers/team leaders to follow up or set goals for their employees to use the new platform and tools.  This will get the new system embedded quickly as employees will have to use it to access the documents/tools for their job and if the rest of their team is working in the platform they will feel more obliged to participate. Pier pressure can be a good thing.

 

For businesses who have a higher percentage of long standing employees, you may find they are less comfortable with change.  Not for any malicious reason, but it could be related to a feeling of loss of control, fear of the unknown or their fear of looking incompetent on the new system.  (How many of us are comfortable with saying we don’t know how to do something, when we may have been the go-to person in the past?)

 

Providing staff training will also help reduce the fear of the unknown as well as lowering the fear of looking incompetent on the new system.  Training also shows that the business is invested in the new system and its employees, which vastly increases buy-in from staff and the overall success of the project.

 

With employees who are less comfortable with change, we would recommend a more traditional learning solution.  This can be either 1 : 1 coaching on the business critical features or small face to face group workshops.

 

The benefit of face to face training, is that it gives an opportunity for the trainer to;

  • sell the benefits of the new platform

  • demonstrate ease of use

  • answer questions to help reduce fear

 

We will work with you to understand the business reasons for the move to the Cloud and will build this into our face to face content and support materials.

 

We would also recommend that face to face workshops are supported by offering employees access to e-learning and follow up with their direct line manager or team leader.  Putting what you have learnt into practice at the earliest opportunity, has a huge impact on how much knowledge is retained and how it is used.

 

Any training should be phased so that the business critical tools are rolled out first and then additional features are introduced across a set timescale.   This not only prevents “information overload” but it shows that the business is keen to continue to move forward.  This approach also provides an excellent in-house forum to receive staff feedback and continue to improve and develop the platform use.

 

Depending on the size of your business, consider having “super users” or “Champions”.  These employees will be given more advanced training and can provide additional help and support once the formal training has taken place.  Having this type of role in a business is also extremely useful when carrying out on-boarding and running user-group meetings or forums.

 

If you are looking to move or have recently started the move to Office 365 and would like any help or advice please contact Green Shoots Learning (0333 344 4031).  To find out more about the tools available in Office 365 why not sign up to attend our next “Learning about …” event which will be taking place on 14 November at Suffolk Food Hall.   Click here to book. Alternatively have a look at the topics we offer e-learning on through GSL-Anytime here.

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