If you think that by adopting a new collaboration platform in your organization, your job is done, you are in for a surprise. Improved collaboration does not happen at once. It takes patience, hard work, and persistence to get your employees to like the organization’s collaboration tool, use it, and leverage it for better performance.
So before rushing to declare your existing tool is a failure and onboarding a new platform in your organization – wait. There are ways to improve the adoption, usage, and satisfaction rates of your existing collaboration platform. Experience shows that often the factors causing poor adoption rates are not the performance of the actual tool, but rather inadequate adoption process by management and IT.
That’s why we gathered here a few best practices to improve the adoption of your existing collaboration tool, and help you drive better performance with what you already have.
So here it is –
7 Best Practices to Improve Your Existing Collaboration tool’s Adoption
1. Stick to the Manufacturer’s Workflow
Too often products are not used in accordance with the original products’ purpose. This seemingly insignificant fact is the root cause of many adoption problems. If a collaboration tool is mainly designed for internal chats with light video features, it will not provide a good experience as a video meeting with remote participants. Similarly, if a collaboration platform is designed for desktop use and offers a minimized version on mobile, then it will not be optimal as a conferencing tool on mobile.
2. Choose the Right Place for the Job
The same tool can be deployed differently in different locations, on difference hardware. When used in a large conference room, a board room, a small room (huddle), or from a cubicle (desktop), the meeting experience can be entirely different. And so, when optimizing the adoption of a current collaboration tool, it’s critical to understand the company’s unique workflow, and deploy the tool in accordance with where meetings usually take place to allow the best experience the tool can provide.
3. Provide Interactive Training
Don’t settle for user manuals from the manufacturer; even if they happen not to be long and tedious, the odds for all of the employees in the organization to read them are slim. When trying to improve user adoption across the organization, a key success factor is dedicated training to everyone. The training should be delivered not only through support teams and large training sessions, but also through friendly video tutorials or chats to reach the maximum amount of people across the organization.
4. Talk Less, Show More
Combine your training with real-business use cases to show your employees how your existing tool can help them in their daily tasks. Show the tool’s specific benefits for each department’s goals, and illustrate how it was done in other places. No better proof than that.
5. Certified Local Vendor Support
When users encounter a problem, most of them would rather download another app that they’re familiar with (i.e., “shadow IT”), than looking up for the solution themselves. This is one of the main causes users give up on collaboration tools quickly, which results in a fast track to adoption failure. To avoid that, a constant support team by a certified local vendor can provide employees with constant access to problem shooting, either by chat, phone or in-person. This kind of quick problem solving in real-time is what keeps employees from giving up on technology so easily. In addition, since online collaboration is a highly dynamic industry, new upgrades and updates are constantly released with new features that might solve previous issues and increase adoption, but these are often not automatic. Using the services of a certified local vendor allows you to keep your tool updated at all times.
6. Get Management to Set a Role
Harnessing management to boost engagement with the existing collaboration tool will not only set an example for the junior executives, but by extension, to all employees in the organization. Plus, it has a viable potential to decrease “shadow IT” rates significantly. For example, when executives finish their every email with a link to the collaboration platform, clarifying that from now on this would be the only way to communicate with them, you can rest assured employees will reply only through the platform.
7. Don’t Rely on IT Alone – Assign a Project Manager
The only way to incorporate the above best practices across the entire organization is by assigning someone to oversee it. Adoption does not happen unless someone drives it actively, and many cases end with failure just because there was no one there to make sure actions were indeed taking place.
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