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On-boarding new Employees to Office 365

Aug 10, 2016 by Emma Robinson

Office 365 uptake is growing rapidly – with over 70 million active users connecting to it each month. While this popularity is undeniable, there are still many people out there who have not yet tried it out, especially in an enterprise setting.
So what if your newest employee has never used Office 365 before? They may have come from an organisation that was completely on-premises, they may have relied on an entirely different set of tools, or even another cloud-based productivity suite. How do you ensure that they get the most out of their Office 365 services?
A key step in driving Office 365 service adoption is to provide focused, dedicated on-boarding. Whether your IT team educates your users, or whether you choose to outsource your Office 365 training to a service provider, it is important to ensure that the right amount of time and planning has been invested into it.
Five tips for on-boarding new users:

  1. Security: If your user has not encountered Office 365 before, they might be surprised at the level of flexibility and mobility it provides – allowing them to access files, emails, calendars and applications on the go. As a member of IT, you will have security configurations set up to monitor and protect your environment, but it is also important that you explain the best practices for staying secure to your end user, such as sharing files, multi-device access, and secure passwords.
  2. Active Training: Rather than just demonstrating and explaining each service, why not make your training more active by setting your user a role-specific task? For example, you could ask them to schedule and host a Skype for Business conference with their team. Or ask their team to share folders with their newest member using OneDrive for Business.
  3. Role-relevant: It’s important to make sure that your training covers all the essentials of Office 365, however it is also worthwhile tailoring training to the end user’s role within your organisation. Each department in an organisation is likely to interact with the platform completely differently, relying on different tools for their day-to-day activities. By taking the time to find out what your user will be doing, you can ensure that they are educated on the services that they will come to rely on.
  4. New tools: Office 365 has a number of new, ‘value-add’ tools and services, such as Delve, Sway, Video and Planner. None of these are available on-premises, so it could be easy for a user to ignore an unfamiliar tile in their new environment. By showing your users these tools, and encouraging them to explore them, you can maximise the productivity and value that your users gain from their Office 365 licence.
  5. Share and sync: Collaboration is a large part of Office 365, so it is important to show your new user how they can use the various tools to sync and share their work with their teams for maximum engagement. This is also a great way to begin to integrate a new team member, as they begin to get involved in group projects and tasks.

Three unfamiliar areas:

  1. Skype for Business: Although it is an extremely popular tool, many organisations are yet to adopt this video conferencing/ instant messaging service. If your new employee has come from a smaller organisation that is located in one place, they may have had no need to use Skype for Business. It is also a service that organisations use very differently, therefore it is important to ensure that your user is familiar with the service, as well as how it is used in their new company.
  2. OneDrive for Business: It can take a while to get used to saving all your files in the Cloud rather than onto a hard drive. If your new employee has never used OneDrive for Business then it is important to make sure that they know your company policies for document sharing, saving and security – for example, does your organisation require staff to save all their documents in OneDrive for Business. Do you have policies on sensitive or confidential documents? One of the best ways to avoid data leaks caused by user error is by raising awareness of best practices.
  3. SharePoint Online: Whether your user has encountered SharePoint in its on-premises form before, or whether they’re completely new to the technology, it can be a difficult one for non-technical users to get their head around. It’s easy to misuse SharePoint as a document repository if you’re not sure about what it is capable of. By thoroughly educating new users, you can avoid future issues with your SharePoint estate.

Measuring the effectiveness of training:
Once training has been conducted, it shouldn’t end there – it’s important to monitor what your users are actually doing with their Office 365 services to see if the training has been taken on board. Usage data of what your users are doing with their Office 365 services can help you to measure the effectiveness of training, as well as helping you understand if your organisation is getting value from the licences you’re paying for.
If your organisation subscribes to Cogmotive Reports, you can use the built-in reports to measure the effects of training, and monitor key adoption metrics. With Cogmotive Reports you can isolate usage data for a sub-set of users and drill down to assess whether – and how – key Office 365 services are being used. For example, you can filter based on the ‘Creation date’ field to find all users who started with your organisation in a particular date range, so you can understand adoption specifically for this group of users. This enables you to monitor the progress of your trainees, and see how they are interacting with the platform.
Alternatively, you can use the Custom Report Builder to create bespoke reports solely for monitoring the adoption progress of new starters. You can use the custom fields to automatically include new users who have joined within a certain timescale, and display their usage on key services. These reports can be scheduled, so that you can run them at regular intervals – perhaps 8-10 weeks after the training, and receive the report directly to your inbox. You can also save the report settings so you can run the report ad hoc, for when you receive an influx of new employees.
Target training and drive adoption based on user behaviour:
Once you understand usage in Office 365 for a specific group of users you can also improve and tailor your training based on the results. For example, if you find that Skype for Business usage has increased over time, but OneDrive for Business adoption appears to be lagging, you can adjust the structure or time allocated to OneDrive in training sessions, or provide additional sessions to place a greater focus on the area that is not being used as widely.
As you can see in the screenshots shown above and below, Cogmotive’s reporting tools allow you to apply filters for multiple fields to identify a specific set of users who started with your organisation at a particular time and haven’t been active on OneDrive for Business during a set time period – or perhaps have never used it. Once you’ve identified the users who aren’t using OneDrive you can arrange a targeted training session on OneDrive for Business, inviting only the specific users who need it.
Custom Report
If you want to measure the effectiveness of your training program, or create a campaign to drive adoption of a service targeted at the users who most need help, why not log in to Cogmotive Reports now, and see how your new starters are using the Office 365 services they’re licensed for?
Not a Cogmotive Reports customer? You can take a free 14 day trial of the full reporting suite, and see what better Office 365 reporting can show you.
Cogmotive is the leading global provider of enterprise level reporting and analytics applications for Office 365. Find out more now.