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Four Best Practices for Better SharePoint User Adoption

By Alex Brown
Updated February 8, 2024

When it comes to comes to getting the most out of the SharePoint platform, there are two major hurdles many companies encounter:

  • End users not understanding the value of using SharePoint
  • A strong company launch followed by no strategy for incremental growth

In order to drive better adoption, we see four key tactics that should enable better SharePoint adoption across your enterprise: showing leadership buy-in, encouraging user buy-in, showcasing successes, and providing performance support.

Show Leadership Buy-in

The decision to implement a SharePoint tenant should be a company-wide decision that includes participation from the executive team (but not solely driven from the C-suite). To inspire employee involvement, company leadership must explicitly show they are committed to leveraging the collaborative strength of the environment.

To do this means the executive team must accomplish two things:

  1. Adopt and use SharePoint for their own tasks and communications. SharePoint has a robust social component, and leaders must routinely appear within that channel. Likewise, they must "internalize" SharePoint functions into their daily routines
  2. Evangelize their use of SharePoint throughout the organization

Get User Buy-in

Although the drive for high adoption will likely focus on increases in productivity and ROI, end users are only concerned with "what's in it for me?". By clearly messaging the benefits of SharePoint to end users, there is a greater likelihood that users will expend more energy to learn and adopt SharePoint. The key here is to be transparent in addressing concerns like corporate governance, team sovereignty, workflow expectations, and role eliminations, if applicable.

In addition, leadership must develop and share the long-term vision for SharePoint adoption; specifically, connecting that vision with the use of SharePoint. How will user adoption lead to positive financial, performance, and job satisfaction outcomes? How can each user contribute to getting there? These messages must be embraced by the entire organization.

Showcase Successes

Early adopters must be showcased, especially entire teams, in order to nurture adoption. Therefore, metrics that express results should be shared with the whole organization. When business process elements are successful, the team's efficiency and compliance focus have to be highlighted in a manner that encourages others to follow suit. Successes, along with increased efficiencies and reduced effort, can be encouraging examples for other teams and divisions.

Enabling feedback systems is another way to showcase successes and facilitate broader adoption. Allowing users to score favorite content, contribute comments, and participate in user networks can go a long way in generating wider SharePoint use.

Provide Continuous Performance Support

Performance support refers to the act of enabling users to fully embrace a technology tool by providing help to accomplish their daily tasks. In many cases, executives see this support as training, reviews, and feedback. Performance support – as it pertains to SharePoint use – comes by enabling users to do their jobs with the least disruption (having to rely on accessing remote training or fumbling through insufficient help features).

Performance support is crucial to both getting user buy-in on the first day and sustaining better company-wide adoption as more users shift to SharePoint. End users want to learn tasks faster and team leaders want adoption to happen quickly. With inline, in-context, and on-demand help provided within the SharePoint interface, users can get performance support without having to disrupt workflows with day-long training and employee review meetings.

Driving SharePoint adoption is a team effort led by your strongest evangelists. But adoption will still remain weak when end users cannot embrace SharePoint as a primary collaboration tool. The key is to start with committed leadership and then make using SharePoint easy, productive, and rewarding to end users.

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