6 Vital Microsoft Teams Training Tips for New Admins

Post Date: 01/28/2020
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So you’ve finally gotten your organization on board with Microsoft Teams and migrated your users over to the platform. What’s the next step? Training your adopters into a well-oiled Teams machine, of course! To help you avoid potential frustration and set your users up for success, here are six Microsoft Teams training tips every admin or power user should consider.

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Accept That You’re Going to Be a Champion

Becoming the go-to person for information and questions relating to Microsoft Teams can be daunting, but it’s a responsibility you’ll have to become comfortable with. Your role won’t necessarily be to answer IT-related questions like “Teams won’t load,” but more so questions like “How do you do this in a Team or a channel?” It’ll be up to you to define that line and keep yourself from becoming overburdened with technical requests.

Be Patient

Be prepared to repeat yourself constantly when folks are still getting used to the platform. You’ll see people responding in threads improperly, starting conversations in the general channel when there’s a more appropriate sub-channel available, posting things in the wrong spot, and more. Regardless of any mishaps, however, it’s never worth it to publicly shame people or make them feel bad about not having a handle on Microsoft Teams yet.

Even if it’s all in good fun, it’s always better to encourage your users. Public call outs might make other users less willing to engage with the platform because they don’t want to end up in a similar situation. Thus, make sure you’re always being patient, encouraging, and positive when helping people in your organization.

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Be a Curator

If you do see someone post something in the wrong space, use the copy link function in Teams to copy a link from what they said and put it in the correct channel. Then message the user, mention the switch, and continue the conversation in the appropriate channel. That way not only do they get the feedback, but the onus is taken off of them to correct their mistake.

Similarly, if someone is responding outside a thread, copy a link to the new thread they created and say, “Hey X, I saw that you responded. Let’s continue the conversation here to keep everything going” and link to the original thread.

Be Proactive

This might be a bit more difficult in a remote setting, but one of the things I did when I was first trying to get Teams off the ground was walking around and proactively asking if anyone needed my help. If there’s a new feature that just came out or if there’s something people are struggling with, offer to explain it to them. This can be done sporadically when you have a few minutes in-between tasks.

This is also a good time to take notice of how your team is using Microsoft Teams on a regular basis. If you see some bad habits growing, proactively guide them towards the right path. One of the benefits of Teams is being able to segment conversations so you can focus on what you need; this is a chance to curate all those side conversations that are going on in your environment.

Struggling with teaching your users about Teams? This post might help: Click To Tweet

Host Group Training Sessions

Be it a lunch and learn, a weekly stand-up call, or a regular “tips and tricks” session, what matters is getting people together in a group to talk through their Microsoft Teams experience. Find out what they’re doing, their past experience, how they’re using Teams now, and so on.

It’s rare that one person can figure out the best way to leverage Teams across an entire office or department; you need that collaboration to change, grow, and modify based on the collective impressions of your users. One of the best ways I’ve found to drive adoption is to get feedback from group brainstorming sessions and then implementing that change as soon as possible.

Not only does that drive adoption, but it also gives users a sense of ownership. It proves that they have an influence on how this thing is rolled out. Doing a survey is also a viable way to get feedback if getting everyone together is too difficult.

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Stay Involved as Your Business Changes

As you have new activities that the group wants to do, stay involved. As you see new people coming into your organization, do your best to see how you can tie them into the Teams ecosystem and prevent the sprawl of applications if you have multiple collaborations apps. If people are using other apps, work with them to see what it would take to migrate them to Teams as the central collaboration platform. The more you make that collaboration story seamless to your users, the more adoption you’ll see, the better the work experience you’ll see, and the more efficient you’ll become as an organization.

The sense of community you get when everyone is in one place and everyone has the central chat and search functionality is absolutely incredible. That said, to achieve real adoption can take months to get everyone up to speed; it’s an ongoing process.

…Bonus Idea!

When you have an office or division that’s still rolling out Teams, have a channel dedicated to Q/A and Teams updates. At AvePoint, we call it the Knowledge Channel. That becomes a central place for people to jump in, ask questions, and share new things they’re trying to figure out. That way you can actually get this growth happening autonomously and independently without you being the focal point for content.

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Sam Valme is Senior Director of Partner Experience at AvePoint, working out of our Arlington, Virginia office.

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