I recently was speaking with a SharePoint user who told me one of the biggest challenges she faces with her deployment is that users don't want to use the system, and they prefer their old ways. Now, in my office, typically I don't have a choice when it comes to what systems are used and how work gets done. "Do you want me to juggle chainsaws, sing Katy Perry songs and integrate this new cloud project management tool?"
Sure boss, if that is what's required.
So this instance led me to think that maybe the troops could use some tips on how to win over employees or customers when launching a new system or changing the way you alter data:
1) Make it fun. No one has to be told to play Angry Birds or check Facebook, because they are fun by default. (Espeically when you see that an ex has once again set their Status to "single.") When engaging new users, make things fun! I always keep candy on hand and use personal stories and silly pictures to get people engaged. If people are laughing and smiling, you are winning them over to a new way of thinking. If that doesn't work, forget to put your pants on after lunch.
2) Provide lots of training opportunities. Some systems don't require training but you should support different methods of learning. I like to record two minute, bite-sized videos that can be sent and shared easily, in addition to documentation and live sessions. Let people experience it live, or on demand.
3) Be there to answer questions. Bedside manner is critical when it comes to dealing with reluctant team members. Don't be afraid to make yourself available in person. I like using "office hours" where people can call, drop in, or message me for instant answers.
4) Use the carrot and stick. This is critical, because you can't have one without the other. Just as people should be trained and rewarded, they should also be punished for not doing their jobs and working as part of a team. Don't be afraid to crack down on people that seek to derail your efforts and projects.
So community, what do you think about these approaches to making end users happy? What methods do you use to create smiling faces? (Besides the colon and parenthetical keys.)