The introduction of Microsoft Teams into Office 365 is creating clear business benefits, offering a simplified IT system with centralised management, built in security and compliance features and the potential to maximise productivity. However, Microsoft Teams also has the capacity to enrich employee experience of teamwork and enable groups and individuals to collaborate more effectively.
We know every organisation is unique, but common trends around employee expectations and work culture are becoming evident across the board as workforces seek more collaborative environments, a deeper connection to the work they do and a greater sense of purpose. Implementing any new software also comes with challenges of end-user engagement, and according to recent Microsoft research, 50% of UK business leaders have said that employees express fear of change when digital transformation initiatives are introduced. Creating an effective change management strategy for introducing Microsoft Teams in your workplace is a way to empower individuals and reignite a collaboration culture within your organisation.
Consider these best practices for end-user awareness and adoption for a successful digital transition:
1. Build your team
Before anything else, it is key to bring together your stakeholders, sponsors and technology champions to begin building a trusted team to help at all stages of implementation. Make sure that this team consists of a cross-selection of people from a range of departments to ensure that a range of perspectives and all possible pain points are discussed. IT professionals can provide insights on health, security and of operational manageability while senior business users can focus on practical scenarios and how the technology contributes to wider company goals. Determine the roles and permissions of each team member in advance, and importantly create early enthusiasm. Employees need to understand why this new technology will improve their work life and get excited about the prospect of being at the heart of this deployment.
2. Prioritise accurate business scenarios
It is important to remember that implementing collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams, centres around the user. It’s essential to think through different scenarios and pain points of your employees rather than just discussing functions and IT solutions. Define how each team and department works in your business so you can design the most meaningful deployment strategy for each group. Engage the workforce in the process of defining risks that are company and employee specific to create an accurate picture of concerns and how to approach them. Determining goals in advance and keeping your team in the loop will make employees feel valued which will help towards a more successful rollout.
3. Plan for technical deployment and support
During your technological transformation, having an efficient technical plan can also help to enhance the user experience. Having a clear idea of the practical technical logistics of introducing your new technology into the workplace will minimise the chance of obstacles and dissatisfaction. To ensure a smooth transition, determine the technical readiness of your organisation for the implementation of Microsoft Teams; familiarise yourself with the technology you already have, what processes need to be completed in good time and what expert training will need to be provided to ensure proper usage of technology. Also, be sure to have a plan for ongoing supporting beyond the deployment phase.
4. Complete trials and begin onboarding
Conducting initial pilots across different departments with involvement from colleagues and stakeholders is important for generating valuable insight into how Microsoft Teams is being received by your organisation. Listen closely to feedback and make the necessary changes when planning for the broad deployment process. Align your implementation with business priorities and provide guidance for employees across all platforms to increase usage and satisfaction however employees choose to use the software.
5. Measure and manage to drive adoption
Empowering collaboration and positive culture change are always about more than just technology, and deploying software is not the only thing to drive digital change in your organisation. Be sure to remain focused on user experience; listening to concerns and keeping communication channels open will help you to make changes to your adoption plan as needed. Nurturing the change champions in your business, rewarding those who are embracing new ways of working and celebrating wins with the whole team will keep enthusiasm and engagement levels high.
We know that deploying new technology into the workplace does not need to be a daunting task. A key strength of Microsoft Teams is the unprecedented levels of configurability and control it provides. Following these best practices will ensure you overcome user adoption challenges and enjoy all the collaboration and communication benefits that Teams can deliver.
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