7 Tips to Boost Microsoft Teams User Adoption

With most of the world’s workforce working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an explosion in the usage of communication tools. No longer can an individual walk down the hallway and have a chat with colleagues. Microsoft Teams delivers an ideal alternative for face-to-face communications with its plethora of features and capabilities. It has facilitated seamless virtual collaboration and communication to help organizations stay highly productive and achieve business growth even during these tough times.

Teams had 44 million users, as of March 18, more than double the 20 million daily active users that the teamworking platform had in November. Teams users increased by 12 million daily users in one week (between March 11 and March 18) alone.

– Microsoft

During the initial phase of the COVID-19 outbreak, many organizations had to implement Microsoft Teams almost overnight to deliver a seamless remote working experience to employees. The platform empowered business units to keep in contact and ensured business continuity through its chat, video calls, and online meetings. However, implementing Microsoft Teams within an organization does not always equate to successful adoption.

Why Organizations should focus on Microsoft Teams User Adoption?

Microsoft Teams saves 1.1 to 8 hours per user per week by enabling all solutions in one place for improved collaboration and information sharing.

– Forrester’s Total Economic Impact Study

In most organizations, users are only scratching the surface as far as Microsoft Teams capabilities are concerned. Challenge is to get end-users to move beyond Microsoft Teams’ basic features and use the platform to reimagine teamwork. Using the Teams’ chat is easy to learn for most new users, while Teams meetings need a little more explaining. However, some other features and capabilities are not so intuitive. Assuming that the end-user can figure out all the advanced features and capabilities in Teams is inevitably a misstep and can lead to poor user adoption.

Organizations need to understand that there is more to deploying Microsoft Teams than simply switching it on. To get end-users using the platform, organizations need to prioritize adoption and change efforts that help encourage meaningful usage of Microsoft Teams and its various transformative features.

7 Tips to Boost Microsoft Teams User Adoption

1: Create Different User Personas

The first step towards championing user adoption is to create an effective Teams Adoption Program. And the creation of different user personas is an integral part of this. Personas should be based on demographics, interests, activities, and pain points of the end-users. Initially, organizations can start with 3-5 personas that represent a set of employees across the organization. Once the personas are ready, it is time to start mapping functionalities that solve specific pain points for a persona.

A specific Microsoft Teams functionality will suit different users. For example, the Marketing team will be interested in third-party app integration with their CRM or Adobe applications. While the project teams will want to create project-specific workspaces and channels so they can communicate, collaborate, store relevant documentation and prioritize tasks. By creating personas based on user research, organizations will have adequate information to tailor training programs that highlights role-specific functionality and adds more value to Microsoft Teams training.

2: Produce Different Teams Collaterals

Efficient Microsoft Teams training programs and the collaterals shared therein are important facilitators for better user adoption. However, modern-day users engage with content in different ways. Some prefer visuals, others like it audible, while some can deal with manuals and text. Microsoft Teams training programs need to account for all such preferences. Organizations may also want to invest in creating persona- and scenario-based short snappy videos, which work better than conventional training materials. Having said that, there is still a lot of value in group training sessions. Organizations should deliver scenario-based sessions which deliver knowledge relevant to the roles of participants. The session might also be used to raise awareness around the Teams adoption program.

3: Build a Community of Microsoft Teams Power Users

This group of Microsoft Teams champions will enable the organization to drive the adoption of Teams. These champions will keep employees informed and excited about the new changes and capability enhancements rolling out in Microsoft Teams. They will provide constant support and consultation to the employees, empowering them to leverage advanced Teams features to simplify their daily work. The group will ensure that end-users see high incentives in adopting Microsoft Teams.

4: Discuss with Users Resisting Microsoft Teams

For many employees, remote working is not the ideal time to learn how to use new tools for their job. Unfamiliarity with Teams might send many employees back to the original ways they did things, especially because it is more comfortable for them. To tackle such instances, the HR or IT team might want to get on a call with employees who are vocal about their troubles with Microsoft Teams and listen to their concerns. Such a conversation will deliver better insights into the common stressors and complaints people have about using Teams. This will help the organizations create new training programs that focus on enhancing relevant skills, rectifying misunderstandings, and clarifying how to use the features of Teams.

5: Promote a Collaborative Team Culture

Microsoft Teams enables organizations to create a digital workspace for high-performing teams. It brings together everything employees need to be more productive and efficient in the remote working world. Teams empower organizations to establish a collaborative culture. However, the users need to understand how the platform empowers them. As a result, the organizations might want to deliver a series of sessions showcasing how Teams can take employees’ collaboration to the next level. Sessions can be planned around how users can upload and organize files in Teams, discuss files, attach a link to a file, or open the conversation window while working on a file. While there might be other sessions focused on how to manage tasks with Planner and how it can be used to facilitate a project meeting while staying on-task. Interactive sessions may be arranged on other collaboration aspects of Teams as well.

6: Measure and Assess Levels of Engagement

User adoption is an ongoing process and it will take time for all the Teams Adoption Program to bear fruit. There should be regular feedback sessions for both the champions community and the general users. During the session, the management will have plenty of scopes to hear from the users and address the existing pain points. Additionally, organizations should use data available in the Microsoft Teams admin center to monitor usage and fetch reports about how users are interacting with the platform. By using these metrics, organizations will be further able to shape and adjust the training or adoption activities.

7: Think about Accessibility

According to National Center for Health Statistics, about 1.2 million adults in the U.S. of working age (between 25-64 years) have an unmet need for assistive technology devices. Organizations should be striving to promote an inclusive company culture, where employees with disabilities use technology to achieve more. Microsoft Teams is packed with features and functionalities that are designed to empower those with disabilities in the workplace. Some such features include – screen readers to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams, high contrast mode for Teams, dictation for Microsoft Teams meetings that automatically upload meeting transcripts to Stream, and integration with other Microsoft 365 accessibility tools. Consequently, while putting together the Teams Adoption Program organizations should be looking to include all the accessibility features available in the platform.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner and Cloud Solutions Provider, AgreeYa has been enabling organizations to unlock more ways to work together. Our Microsoft Teams offerings deliver end-to-end support for an organization’s Microsoft Teams journey. Our Teams adoption & change management service allows businesses to amplify the value of Teams inside the organization using systems, processes, and content from AgreeYa. The AgreeYa’s Chatbot for Microsoft 365 enables organizations to deliver instant support for all Microsoft Teams support queries without burdening the IT helpdesk. Want to learn more? Contact us now.

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