With the recent COVID-19 pandemic causing a widespread shift to working remotely, a massive increase in Microsoft Teams usage was only to be expected. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sums up the extraordinary growth as "two years' worth of digital transformation in two months".
In April, at the height of the lockdown, there were 75 million Teams users every day. Everyone who can, it seems, is now working remotely from either their home desk, kitchen table or even their garden. Many of these people may never have used a collaboration tool like Teams before, at least not for work.
In an ideal world, getting the best from Teams means starting off from the best place; planning, and rolling out accordingly with a structured change management methodology. Today, few have this luxury. Teams has been enabled - it’s out there and being used.
This urgent uptake doesn’t mean that we should forget best practice. There are a number of areas to consider before you can judge whether Teams is realising its full potential for you. One of the first areas to look at is whether the people in your organisation have the right skills to get the most from Teams.
The easiest way of discovering the answer to this question is with a simple survey – use Microsoft’s Forms or Survey Monkey – whichever works best for you. Key questions to ask are how often people use Teams and what they are using it for. The aim here is to find out if Teams is part of a daily work routine and what exactly it’s being used for. It’s also worth determining whether people are using other tools as well, such as Zoom, Box or Slack.
As Teams is a communications and collaboration tool, you need to find out who your people are interacting with – is it just other colleagues, or do they use Teams to connect with partner organisations or even to support customers?
It’s also worth asking what people think about Teams: what do they find most useful, what do they like and dislike about it? And don’t forget the obvious question of what areas support and training would be most useful for them.
By conducting this simple research, a picture will quickly be created of what Teams is being used for. If the findings show that some just use it for instant messaging, some just for voice and video calls, and others just for uploading files, then there are gaps where training could help employees use Teams more effectively.
Microsoft provides a lot of training material online, which relies on users identifying their own knowledge gaps and then trying to fill them. For this reason, it can be useful to create a training and help hub in Teams, Yammer or even a SharePoint site, and fill it with training materials and links. Your challenge then is directing users to the resources.
Despite all the best intentions, though, with busy schedules and other priorities this might not be enough.
Resonate can help here by providing tailored online training sessions that are specifically targeted and focused on filling the knowledge gaps. Once lockdown is lifted, this can also be conducted on-site and face-to-face.
Please get in touch to learn more.
The initial survey will not only identify who is using Teams the least and who might need extra training and support, it will also reveal who is using it most. These early adopters and super-users can be your most valuable asset.
Teams adoption best practice is to reach out to super-users and create a Team or Yammer group, with the aim of creating a Champions and Advocates community. This community is likely to be in a range of different roles in the organisation - they tend not to be just IT folks. They can also often be people who like helping others.
Work in tandem with this team of enthusiasts. Hold regular monthly meetings to learn about challenges and successes and point them in the direction of any new support materials available. ‘Training the trainers’ can be a great way of scaling support and training when resources are tight.
To learn more about implementing Teams Champions programme, read our Champions blog.
Regularly asking Teams users what they think about Teams, how they’re using it, and the obstacles they encounter is a great habit to cultivate. This should be ongoing and embedded into the way Teams is managed. Having a Champions network can really help here – they are the ones engaging with their colleagues on a daily basis – so, ensure there is always a section in their monthly call to share what they are seeing and hearing on the ground.
To reach the wider audience on a regular basis, you don’t always have to run surveys. Teams itself can be used as a channel for feedback and ideas (Yammer too).
A Teams ‘Live Event’ can be another superb way of hearing what users think. This is a Teams-based ‘Town Hall’ event where the whole company can attend a video broadcast. The senior managers can reach out to all employees and ask them to submit questions on the topics being discussed.
Using the quantitative data from analytics and the qualitative information from user feedback will give you a holistic picture of how effectively Teams is being used. If the Teams and Channels are focused on what the organisation needs to work on, then they will be helping you meet your strategic needs.
If any of this seems daunting, please get in touch. At Resonate, we have dedicated Teams experts who can help with everything we’ve covered here and much more, such as Enterprise Voice and Direct Routing.
To support Teams adoption and change, download our fact sheet.