You’ve just purchased Smartsheet, the collaborative work management tool you feel confident will make your teams more efficient, productive, transparent, and engaged in their work. But how do you get them to start using it?
Soon after the initial purchase, your Customer Success Manager from Smartsheet will work with the key stakeholders of the account to discover what their immediate and long-term goals are. Together, they will devise a plan to implement new workflows and train your teams. The process generally consists of several phone conferences or even on-site trainings from basic to advanced — including high-level sysadmin training. Smartsheet will routinely make follow-up calls to ensure we’ve reached your goals. So when it comes to getting your teams onboard, we’re here to help.
A format they’ll recognize
With any new application or process, the only real roadblock to adoption is the initial anxiety of drastically changing the way you work. Your team members are comfortable with the work management solution they know — in most cases it’s an unintegrated mixture of spreadsheets and email. Even as you assure them that it’s a move into a more intuitive and effective system, they’re likely experiencing apprehension about the unknown. Luckily, Smartsheet looks and feels familiar to the applications your team uses every day.
In an enterprise with geographically disparate teams working on many types of tasks at once, central Smartsheet functionalities, like a row update request or automated report, might come as a surprise. At first, this can lead team members to dismiss the new tool out of a natural resistance to its unfamiliarity.
The way to solve this issue in a company roll-out is to be proactive in registering for webinars, scheduling phone trainings, or sharing ongoing educational pieces Smartsheet provides to our customers. Encourage employees expressing enthusiasm to jump right in as soon as the first notification comes their way, and then share their experience with colleagues. Once they realize how much Smartsheet frees up their time and eases communication, that enthusiasm creates a ripple effect.
Customize training with real examples
It takes just as long to train a team using generic templates as it does custom ones. Smartsheet customer success managers know this, so they train teams using personalized data focused on the current problems being solved. When you engage in informal training moments with your team members, use templates geared toward exactly what they’re doing in their current workflow. Personalization makes people get excited about their work, and it inspires them to share their excitement with others.
That being said, users are already ahead of the learning curve the moment they open their first digital workspace in Smartsheet. Because we use the tried-and-true spreadsheet format as a template, employees begin with a base of usable knowledge from experience. They can learn at their own pace by taking advantage of our array of online resources and witness all of the features that make Smartsheet so much more than a spreadsheet.
Still, there are a few ways you can be aware of best practices for seamless adoption, such as diversity of engagement styles, features with a penchant for taking off, and more. Make sure your teams have a clear picture of how Smartsheet integrates with all of the apps they already use to get work done their way.
Built for diverse learning
One of the biggest advantages to Smartsheet is its flexibility to work like you. So in the spirit of freedom, flexibility, and control, let your team members learn however suits them best. In the enterprise adoption process, there tend to be three main types of learners:
1. The trailblazing learner
Autodidacts are the exception to the rule, and companies are usually over the moon to have employees like them on board. You give them access, leave them be, and watch them quickly become work mastery pros on their own.
2. The group learner
Group learners like to sit in a webinar or a classroom. They respond well to training scenarios that allow plenty of time for Q&A’s, and will retain information best in a collaborative community setting.
3. The 1-on-1 learner
Some people learn best working with one other person. Smartsheet offers one-on-one coaching via our Design Desk program. The employee comes to the training with a very specific business challenge they’re trying to solve, and explains how it’s currently being approached. This gives the trainer the opportunity to demonstrate how Smartsheet will improve the process while teaching the employee its functionality. This is by far the most impactful method for many people, with an incredibly efficient ROI for both the user and the provider. Two 30-minute sessions is all you need to boost their Smartsheet efficiency, leading to higher daily active use afterwards.
3 simple features to boost teamwork
Of all of Smartsheet’s collaboration-ready features, sharing, attaching, and comments tend to be the components that really drive usership. They’re catalysts for making adoption both faster and more streamlined.
Sharing a sheet allows you to collaborate with anyone you want, even if they’re not yet a Smartsheet user. You can control the scope of their access by giving them view-only, editor, or admin privileges. Sheet sharing is the fastest way to set your team members on a path of discovery when it comes to Smartsheet’s ability to improve their entire workflow.
There are several different ways to incorporate attachments in Smartsheet. You can link to Box, Dropbox, Google Docs, or other cloud-based programs, or add attachments straight from your computer’s hard drive. This creates a repository of everything and keeps people accountable. If you attach blueprints to a sheet and share it to your coworker, there’s no way your coworker can say they didn’t get the blueprints attachment. Everyone stays on the same page, and team members quickly catch on to the time-saving capabilities.
The beauty of the comment feature is ridding yourself of the endless emails that slow productivity. The sheet is the one place where all of the back-and-forth becomes a shared digital workspace. Once your team members see a full comment taking place within a row of a sheet, they’ll immediately see the efficacy of Smartsheet for communication.
We’re here to help
These are just a few of the features that make Smartsheet spread quickly through an organization, but it’s worth your time to get to know other indispensable functionality like report creation, Gantt charts, and more. Spend a little time with your team learning about some of the most popular Smartsheet features and expect a big return in adoption speed — and a big return on productivity in the long run. And remember, we’re invested in your success as if it were our own, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of all of the resources available to you to help you reimagine your work.