How to help your employees learn Microsoft 365 skills

Onboarding new employees can be a time of excitement and stress for the employee and employer. Organisations want to integrate new team members as quickly as possible to maximise productivity, whilst the new hire needs quickly adapt to a new communication and collaboration culture.

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For many organisations Microsoft 365 has become their core workplace productivity platform and for good reason Packed with features and functionality, Microsoft 365 is constantly evolving and offering organisations large and small with opportunities to streamline processes and improve the efficiency of internal and external engagement. For knowledge workers in particular, Teams calls have become a mainstay of the working week and whilst hugely beneficial it barely scratches the surface.

To help employees new and old to feel comfortable with Microsoft 365 and to begin to harness its potential. it is important to provide clear corporate guidelines, tailor training and the freedom to help them to help themselves as part of their continuous development. 

Wherever your organisation and employee are on your Microsoft 365 journey, here are six essential tips that you can start to introduce today:

Six tips to educate your employees on Microsoft 365

1. Specifying the right tool for the task

It is important that everyone in the organisation takes the same approach to the digital tools they use to communicate and collaborate. Ideally, you should have a clearly defined communication strategy highlighting which tools to use for certain task.
A good example of this is breaking the longstanding over reliance on email in the workplace. Adopting a policy of using Outlook email to communicate externally (due to its ubiquity and interoperability with other email systems), whilst using messaging and collaboration tools (such as Microsoft Teams and SharePoint) with colleagues internally is far more efficient and effective way to collaborate and centralise documents, data and projects.

2. Leverage Microsoft Learning Pathways

For some employees, there may be a knowledge gap or lack of experience in using all or some of the tools available with Microsoft 365. Fortunately, Microsoft offers a number of self-help and self-learn options that can help significantly. One of them is Learning Pathways. Learning pathways are a training tool designed to help organisations drive user adoption and proficiency with Microsoft 365 tools. Microsoft offers a guided tutorial experience, providing curated, customisable and on-demand training content. A common question is ‘Are Microsoft Learning Paths free?’ The good news is yes and accessible to all who need it. Microsoft Learning Pathways are available in different languages, always up to date with the latest versions and are automatically included in all three Microsoft 365 licenses (Standard, Premium and Business) and can be easily unlocked in the Admin Center.
With so many organisations using SharePoint Online as the basis of their internal intranet it makes a lot of sense to integrate Microsoft Learning Pathways into this communication site. In doing so it ensures every employee has round the clock instant access to refresh and learn new skills, whenever and wherever they choose.

Here's a brief explanation of how to use Learning Pathways for Microsoft 365 adoption:

  1. Provision Learning Pathways:
    Activate Learning Pathways in your M365 tenant. It’s a free service available in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. Once activated, you can customize and manage the content to align with your organization's needs.
  2. Customize the Learning Portal:
    Tailor the Learning Pathway portal to reflect your organization's branding and culture. You can add your logo, company colors, and relevant messages to create a personalized learning environment.
  3. Curate Training Content:
    Learning Pathways offers a library of training content for various M365 tools. Review the available modules and select those most relevant to your organization. You can also add custom content or link to external resources.

3. Take advantage of “Help” in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has an extremely useful ‘Help’ section which offers three important areas of insight – News/What’s new, Training and Topics.
With the continuous evolution of Microsoft 365 it is important that everyone (experienced or new to the platform) stays up to date with the latest improvements and newest features. One of the best ways to do this is to regularly check the ‘News’ section. This can be easily accessed directly and via Microsoft Teams search function by typing ‘/whatsnew’.
The ‘Training’ section offers an array of video tutorials, Quick Start and a fantastic beginner’s introduction to Teams, showing how to use Chat, share files and many other essential task new hires need to know from day one. There are also useful tutorials on how to create a Team, working with external guests, and an introduction to channels, along with more in-depth videos on creating and using channels.
Meanwhile, the ‘Topics’ section conveniently clusters videos tutorials by type, making it easy to browse, find and stream related relevant videos.

4. Create Clear Documentation and Tutorials

If you have the resources and capacity, you can of course use your own materials beyond the training provided by Microsoft learning. To encourage employees to improve their knowledge and understanding of Microsoft 365 and its tools, considering create user-friendly documentation and video tutorials that new or inexperienced employees can take advantage of. These resources should cover the basics including general definitions of Microsoft 365 tools, use cases, common tasks, best practices and troubleshooting tips.
If you follow tip two and activate Microsoft Learning Pathways on SharePoint Online, you can also add these new materials there. This way you automatically set up a user-friendly, informative knowledge base.

USER GUIDE – Microsoft 365: tips for using Microsoft Teams and other apps as a digital workplace for effective collaboration

To help you take full advantage of Microsoft Teams, we've brought key strategies and features together in this User Guide. This helps you setting up Teams, creating channels, managing members, and organising files. Further, it offers you collaboration capabilities such as co-authoring, real-time editing and integration with SharePoint and OneDrive. It provides as well project management, task assignments, and progress tracking using Planner and To Do and finally, it fosters teamwork, open communication and active participation.

6. Request Employee Feedback for Continuous Improvement

It is important to obtain feedback from new employees about their experiences with the Microsoft 365 tools during their onboarding process. Use these valuable insights to identify areas for improvements to training and to refine support materials.

The overall the goal is to create a supportive environment where new employees feel empowered, supported and confident in using Microsoft 365 tools, rather than reverting to the ‘comfort zone’ of using Outlook and siloed applications, that hamper productivity and progress.

Leadership support is essential to encourage employees to embrace the new tools. Regularly share success stories of how these tools have positively impacted projects and teams.

Konica Minolta’s expert team can help you implement the right Microsoft 365 Learning and Onboarding programme for your organisation, ensuring that all these elements are covered and that your whole team is able to utilise the powerful benefits.
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