Today’s post is the 2nd in our series on Google Apps Change Management. You can read the first post here. And if you want a complete step by step guide to making your own transition to Google Apps a smooth one, please download our Google Apps Change Management eBook.
In our previous post we talked about the importance of over communicating to your team about the impending switch to Google Apps. While this seems obvious it’s often overlooked as excited implementation teams forge ahead without understanding the implications of changing the way employees work. To help make your own transition more successful, today’s blog post will cover tactics you can employ to empower your users from the very start of the process.
Get Your Hands Dirty
Training is important, but hands-on learning can be just as effective as classroom instruction. Letting people experiment with the software will often quell any fears of the unknown once they see the benefits of Google Apps themselves.
Beyond encouraging your team members to get their hands dirty with Google Apps early in the process, there are a handful of other training strategies you should think about implementing to make the transition go smoothly.
Google Hangouts are a great way to do one to many training sessions, particularly if your staff is located in multiple locations. These video conferences can be recorded to YouTube so you can share them later with your team and use them for new hire training in the future. Google does a good job of providing a variety of courses targeted to specific groups - admins, help desk, executives.
Enable Self Training
Beyond communicating the upcoming changes and running one to many training sessions via Google Hangouts, another effective way to train your team is to create a training website. One of the main benefits of a site dedicated to Google Apps change management is that it becomes the shared knowledge base for all your training materials, recorded videos, links to related resources and much more.
This is also a good place to include a training calendar where users can click on a particular training course, get information about it, and sign up. The beauty of this approach is that you are putting the power in the hands of your staff. They will feel empowered to learn on their own, rather than being forced to attend a certain training at a pre-determined time.
Email blasts, once only thought of as a way to communicate externally can be a great tool for dispersing updated training information to your team quickly and efficiently. “I do monthly tips and tricks and many of them don’t come from Google,” says Doug Perry, an IT Manager at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens who led a Google Apps migration with his organization. “I’ll pick something that’s very practical. As an example, the most recent one was about a feature that allows Gmail to automatically email your daily agenda to you every morning.”
Ultimately a successful adoption of Google Apps comes down to how easy you make it for people to get in and experiment. They will learn faster by doing and your transition will be that much more successful. Providing a training website with lots of short video tutorials can help your employees sort through and learn the new features and functionality. The monthly tips emails are a great way to help users get excited about the new technology and is quick and easy.
Let’s get the conversation started! What tactics have you used to increase adoption of Google Apps at your organization?