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Why Aren’t Employees Using The Collaboration Platform You Paid For?

 

It’s easy for companies to become paralyzed when it comes to their collaboration technology.

The existing systems often have problems that make employees avoid them. That poor user adoption, in turn, makes decision-makers reluctant to invest in revamping, redesigning or upgrading their collaboration solutions. On the surface, at least, it’s a catch-22.

Here are some of the most common complaints users have about their collaboration tools:

  1. It’s too complicated to use.
  2. It looks old and antiquated.
  3. It takes me too long. It’s a great tool, but needs to be faster for me to use it regularly.
  4. The old way still works. It’s what I know, and there’s no reason to change it.
  5. If I don’t use the collaboration tool, I’m not missing out on anything. I’m still able to do my job without ever touching the web-based tools.
  6. Information could be stored in several places. It doesn’t have to go in the tool.

One of the main causes of poor user adoption is the lack of sponsorship by an organization’s business leaders. The IT organization is often very interested in launching a new SharePoint intranet or SharePoint project collaboration site, but doesn’t have the business leadership sponsorship involved in the project.

As a result, the collaboration platform is created and presented to business users as just another option to leverage. But no one’s going to opt in and use a new tool that doesn’t present an obvious value, especially if the old ways have worked well enough. If you have leadership involved, however, they’re able to decide when the old system is turned off so everyone has to start using the new one.

When the collaboration platform has been created without input from business leaders and end users, the tools tend to be overly complex, and may not be well designed to work within the actual business processes. Lack of user training is another common adoption problem, and often stems from training information that isn’t tailored to the people who actually need to use the tools.

The look and feel of collaboration tools is also important to user adoption. People resist using a platform that looks old or feels overly complicated and cumbersome. Today’s users have extensive experience with social media tools and powerful internet search engines, and that has raised the bar for corporate user experience (UX) design. For users to embrace new collaboration tools, your internal systems must have the same polish and considerations in UX as those used outside the office.

A successful collaboration strategy comes down to creating the simplest solution possible and truly integrating it into your employees’ working experience. Collaboration solutions fail when they make processes and workflows more complicated for users, asking them to manually apply metadata or save content into a specific library out of hundreds of other possibilities. The key is to make these solutions simple and align them with the kind of work your employees are trying to accomplish.


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