Training a team on Microsoft Teams – for reals.

During the last year, it is unquestionable that we have trained multiple new users from companies who adopted Microsoft Teams for their online collaboration. One of the world’s leaders in digital workplace strategies, Microsoft 365 has changed the way we work, literally. However, we run into questions that seem to come back time and time again. Regardless of whether the employees were in large national corporations or smaller businesses, the biggest hurdle for end-users seems to be understanding the differences between their team, their hundreds of SharePoint team sites, and their new BFF, their Microsoft Teams workspace.

Let’s talk change management, first

A key component of adopting the cloud and migrating to Microsoft 365, including Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, is to understand the key elements of change management. There is a lot of different ways to go about it, and we might cover some in later blogs, but for today, let’s take a quick detour to talk a bit about the human factor of change: the users.

Yup, people have a natural tendency for inertia and avoid change when the current state is stable and comfortable. “But that’s how we’ve always done things!” is a key phrase we heard, and you’ll hear without a doubt during the change process. A ton of different models have been developed to support change. A common example is the ADKAR model, which stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement. This model helps identify the users’ readiness for change and recommend the next steps for them to adopt the new tools and processes more easily.

The ADKAR model was developed in ’96, by Jeff Hiatt, researcher and entrepreneur. In his 1999 white paper titled “The Perfect Change”, Hiatt explained that the process of being ready for change is sequential, much like the more widely known process for grief! This process includes 5 steps, none of which can be skipped, and each individual processes things differently.

As stated above, ADKAR is an acronym that represents the five stages of successful change for an individual:

  • Awareness of the need for change
  • Desire to participate and support in the change
  • Knowledge of what to do during and after the change
  • Ability to realize or implement the change as required
  • Reinforcement to ensure the results of a change continue

Microsoft Teams adoption training

Now, we know that adopting Teams is a change in staff routine, and that can sometimes be a little tedious at first. When we train new users, we generally spend the first few minutes of our Intro to Teams training session relating their new workspace to something familiar to the audience. We usually compare Teams with WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to make it easier to grasp.

The ability for the users to connect with a familiar piece of technology immediately removes the barrier of resisting change. Arms start to unfold, questions start to roll in. According to ADKAR, the emotion of fear is the first category of resistance.

In our Intro to Teams session, we try to paint real-life scenarios about how Teams can alleviate a pain point we have all experienced! Picture this: loads of unread emails in your inbox, hundreds of “Reply All” messages pouring in and Outlook “Not Responding”. I bet your stress levels are through the roof and all you want to do is grab a Tranquility Tea from your local Starbucks. Microsoft Teams is such a better way to deal with collaboration and productivity. That’s why we teach how Teams work!

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Example of an MS Teams use case

We trained a group of employees who are working on a project with external consultants, and employees located across the globe. The purpose of this project is to update Procedural Documentation, with input from 20 global team members.

Here are a couple of basic reasons why Microsoft Teams works for them.

  1. Conversations amongst team members, comments to document changes, and replying to chats are grouped together. No more reply-all. No more infinite email chains. Just everything you need in the same spot.

Oh! And did we mention that the search function works!

Now you don’t have to delete the 100s of reply all emails in your Outlook – follow the thread of replies, open the documents, provide your feedback.

  1. Start a Meeting on the fly – and Record it.

Not only can you start a Video/Voice Call in one click – where you can share your desktop, continue having a chat on the side and record the call for those team members who are unable to attend. Once the call is complete, the recording is automatically uploaded to Microsoft Stream. Stream is included in your Microsoft 365 subscription and hosts your video recordings. You can also share and manage the content directly within the web app.

Looking for more ideas on how to excite your users on Teams? A lot could be said about it, and we love to teach. If you’d like to know more, or learn how Microsoft 365 can change the way you work, check out this high-level best practice document now.

 

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