SharePoint offers a wide range of organisational benefits, from document management to internal communications.

However, your internal communications intranet will only be effective if all users engage with it. So how can you encourage SharePoint user adoption, either as part of a project or for an existing deployment?

1. Provide Effective SharePoint Training

Staff are not going to use a system if they don’t know how it works. An initial high-quality training programme, with updates and refresher options (video works well) can really help to increase SharePoint usage throughout your company. It will be even more effective if it clearly identifies how the features link to users’ day-to-day tasks, as they can then see how it will help make their job easier.

2. Transition To SharePoint In Phases

Expecting all users to change behaviour overnight with a brand-new system is unrealistic. Start by choosing individual projects and implementing SharePoint from the start, or by choosing certain locations to focus implementation at first. With each phase, pick users who are 'fans' of the system to promote it to and support other users. They will be your 'super users'.

3. Have A Communication Plan For SharePoint User Adoption

Users won’t start using SharePoint if they don’t know about it. Send communications to everyone in the company, with regular reminders, and across a variety of platforms. Not only will users be aware of the new system and how to use it, but they will have no excuse.

4. Provide Feedback Mechanisms

If it doesn’t fit their needs, users aren’t going to use it. By providing feedback mechanisms for users to voice their concerns and issues with the system, you can quickly address them and improve compliance. You can’t fix any issues that you don’t know about.

5. Ensure SharePoint Is Easy To Use

If the user experience is too complicated, users are less likely to use SharePoint (user experience should ideally be addressed during the initial consultancy phase). By making access quick and easy, including featuring links to accessible locations and removing unnecessary features that don’t help your users, you will improve SharePoint user adoption.

6. Sharepoint User Adoption: Cut Out The Alternatives

By removing alternative options for storing and managing documents, you leave your staff with little option but to use SharePoint. Remove access to solutions such as Google Drive and clearly explain when solutions like OneDrive are the right solution.

With adequate user support and feedback mechanisms as mentioned above, this will allow you to listen to staff concerns and act on them whilst still increasing SharePoint user adoption.

Akita Intelligent Solutions’ SharePoint experts build user adoption strategies into every SharePoint project they undertake. They can also provide training for organisations with existing SharePoint instances.

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