How we got people using Microsoft Teams

As outlined in my previous blog, ‘What is Microsoft Teams?’, Microsoft Teams is a great new collaboration tool and addition to Office 365.

Since its launch, many organisations have asked me how they can encourage their users to adopt Microsoft Teams. Since we have successfully achieved this at Core, I thought it may be useful to blog about how we managed to do this…

Microsoft Teams adoption

In the above diagram, you can see our company usage of Teams from summer 2017 to today. When Microsoft first released Teams, you can see from the small spike in July that some users at Core had a look at the shiny new app, clicked around, and then never used it again. This goes to show how vital it is for communication and training to be provided for users, if they are to enjoy the benefits of using Microsoft Teams.

With this in mind, myself and some of the communications team at Core devised a plan to show Core employees the true value of Teams, which we kick-started by creating a brand new ‘Team’ on the platform. The actions from that plan and the spikes in usage are directly related.

Beginning the first week of October, we sat down and planned the announcement of Teams, training and reinforcement. It was decided that myself and my colleague, Rodica, were suitable champions to push the use of Teams. We recognised that, in order to get employees to adopt, they needed to see buy-in from stakeholders in the business. For this, we liaised with the HR Manager and CEO, and gained their full support for the plan.

We decided to announce Teams in our company quarterly meeting; this was the perfect opportunity, as the entire business was present. The quarterly took place in the last week of October, and Rodica and I presented a short 10-minute demo on ‘What is Teams and Why Should Core Use It?’ This sparked interest amongst staff, which is evident in the small spike of usage at the end of October. However, just announcing Teams was not enough; we needed to follow this up with training.

We posted articles on Yammer about using Microsoft Teams and scheduled a date for a ‘Learn at Lunch’, session, covering Teams training. ‘Learn at Lunch’ was held at the beginning of November, which again resulted in an increase in usage, as seen on the graph. We made sure the date was posted all over Yammer, sent email reminders and included pizza to incite attendance. After the Learn at Lunch session, our Project Team asked me to do a specific demo for them and explain how they could use it to help productivity. This was done a couple of days later.

Since then, Microsoft has announced more capability in Teams -working with Skype for Business- so keeping Yammer up-to-date with information is key.

Working as part of the Sales Team, I created a ‘Team’ just for us and shared even more ways in which Teams can be used to improve our way of working. Soon, I was being invited to Teams that others had created for different projects. When someone suggests emailing a large group of people, sharing a link on SharePoint or sharing a document with people over email, I give a gentle nudge for this to be posted on Teams instead. Rodica has done the same, as have our stakeholders, and this has created a culture of others doing the same in the business. This has taught us that having champions when introducing a new application is key. We also found there were lots of doubts, questions and users needing extra training along the way.

It is now December, and we are planning our next reinforcement session on Teams. This may be another ‘Learn at Lunch’ or a competition for who has the most ‘Teams’. The point is to keep on training and keep reinforcing the message to continue this increase in usage.

Of course, the adoption plan will differ from business to business. Your approach may depend on your current ways of working or your company culture, but widespread user adoption can be achieved. If you would like some free advice on how to increase your Teams usage, get in touch with me on kathleen.greenan@core.co.uk, and I will be more than happy to help.

Michael McDaid
Kathleen Greenan

Customer Success Manager

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