3 Ways to Increase User Adoption in SharePoint
Worst case scenario...
Imagine this. So, a few months ago your organisation implemented Microsoft 365 and as part of that project, everyone was told they must now save their files on SharePoint.
The project lead sent out communications about how secure it is, that it’s mobile—you can work from home or even a café, you can collaborate and share files without sending attachments!
This all sounds fantastic, but if you have never used SharePoint before nor understand what it even is, how are you expected to use it?
Let’s hope that you were at least given a link to click on and instructions on how to sign in if you were not using Microsoft 365 products before—at least you could get into the system. But then what?
I know this sounds ridiculous, right? Who would implement a new system and not tell people how to use it, or what it is there for?
Unfortunately, several organisations do just that! Which results in frustrated users who would rather save a file to their desktop (even knowing the risks) than “try and figure out this SharePoint thing!”
How do you fix this scenario?
Even if your situation is not as bad as above, you could still be struggling with how to get users onboard. Here are some tips to help.
1. Talk to your users! Talk to them before, during and after implementation. If SharePoint is already implemented, that’s fine, talk to them now! If they feel they can ‘see themselves’ in the system, they will be more likely to use it.
- Find out what type of information they create/receive – what do they work on and how do they currently organise it.
Do they like the way the information is organised?
Do they want to try something different; metadata instead of folders, a combination, or just stick to the familiar folder hierarchy (please note, this may be a governance decision to use one or the other).
Now build it the way your users want it, at least as best you can in accordance with the larger-picture and vision of SharePoint across your organisation.
- Talk to them once they have started using it. See if they are happy or does it need some tweaks?
- Talk to them after it has been live for a while. See how they are feeling after using it for six months, one year…
Are they happy?
Are there changes required?
Listen and make the changes!
2. Train your users. I can not emphasise this enough. As simple as SharePoint is, everyone needs training on a new system for them to feel comfortable using it. If your users feel comfortable, right away you will have increased user adoption. Click here to read about the importance of SharePoint Training.
Train to varying levels. Include end-user, Champion-level (super users) and admin or management of Sharepoint-level training. This way all users are trained appropriately and you have staff throughout your organisation (Champions) there to help others.
3. Make it mandatory. This one can be quite forceful and maybe not the route your organisation wants to go, but if your users aren’t getting the most out of it and actually utilising the tools, make them!
- This can be done simply by not giving them anywhere else to save documents and do their work. For example, if you shifted from a file server, make sure that is at read-only or turned off completely so staff members can not save files there.
- Have hard drives and desktops synced with their SharePoint site or eliminate ability to save in those locations.
Ultimately, each organisation is different, and the methods to approach end user adoption will vary. However, with these 3 basic tips on how to increase end user adoption, you will be able to get the ball rolling into a transformed, better way of working.
At AMT, we specialise in Microsoft 365 training across all levels, so if you need a hand to see which approach you should take, please don’t hesitate to give us a shout! We are happy to have a chat about it.