Boosting employee productivity with SharePoint forums

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Adoption of your SharePoint platform has a big effect on your employees’ productivity levels. In a 2016 study by AIIM, adoption issues were the sole cause for why 26% of internal projects stalling. So, by looking to boost how much your users interact with the platform, the better it will be for their day-to-day work (projects, tasks, etc.) and, ultimately, for the business.

SharePoint forums are an often overlooked and underused part of the platform and can be a great answer to the question: “how do I get my employees to use SharePoint?”. SharePoint forums help improve the communication and collaboration that happens between your teams across the platform, meaning it becomes a central part of everyone’s day. Let’s look at why.

Productivity is the name of the game

Better business productivity is what all organisations are shooting for. This can be achieved in different ways, of course. But one of the most common ways is to invest in a large and powerful IT infrastructure, that provides your employees with heavy-hitting tools that allow them to communicate and collaborate better.

SharePoint is a great tool to this end, yet it can be difficult to navigate for a lot of employees. Despite being such powerful platform – a central hub for all kinds of content, an intranet and a powerful document management too – it is divisive. Some of your employees will love it. Some will hate it.

Higher employee adoption means higher ROI for your solution

What good is the best piece of kit if you don’t use it? The frustrating aspect of SharePoint for a lot of business leaders is a lack of employee adoption. The frustration for a lot of users, on the other hand, is to do with the ‘usability’ of the platform. And this comes down to more than simply the context in which SharePoint is most often used, i.e. document management (many employees don’t see the bigger picture and the value of doing so correctly). But it’s more than that; SharePoint can sometimes feel as if it lacks the human touch.

Have a people focused approach

We are social beings. And it’s no different for your employees and how they respond to the technology and tools they are asked to use at work. So, with that in mind, here are some tips for boosting your SharePoint adoption and by proxy employee productivity using the power of SharePoint forums.

Encourage collaboration

Information silos are a problem for many businesses. We are dealing with more and more data and content every day, and multiple tools with which to process this increasing volume of information. Collaboration is such a big topic now and it seems like every new tool that’s popping up is dedicated to improving it. But you’ve already employed SharePoint which, by its nature, is a collaboration tool. Using SharePoint forums is a great way of getting your users to engage with each other.

Use SharePoint forums to break down silos and increase knowledge

When you have a location in your organisation for questions, answers and discussion around specific topics, this means that one question and answer from one person can be extremely helpful to multiple people time and again. This is better than the same question being asked and answered in an email thread between two people. SharePoint forums break down information silos and breed a culture of learning.

Monitor usage

You can see who is using your SharePoint forums and what questions people are asking to get a better insight into how your platform is performing. This is always important in the quest to boost adoption, because knowledge of what people are having difficulty with and the changes that can be made may also have a knock-on effect for your business processes.

Connect to Yammer

SharePoint forums can be connected to Yammer and your Newsfeed to enhance your employees’ ability to connect to one another and share valuable information.

Use the power of gamification

Social Squared works with your SharePoint user profile to allow users to manage their online persona, follow other users, and have their posts appear across newsfeeds, earn rewards, and be considered ‘frequent posters’ and collect badges. All these gamification aspects encourage user participation.

SharePoint forums: on-premises and in the cloud

Social Squared, from lightning tools, provides your employees with a range of best practice social tools, including easy-to-use SharePoint forums. Social Squared has been available as a SharePoint add-in for the best part of a decade, and about a year ago, Office 365 got it’s add-in for SharePoint in the cloud. So, whatever way your SharePoint iteration is set up, you can leverage the power of social to make it work better for you. Improve your adoption, boost your productivity and see your business’s bottom line grow!

Lightning Tools are SharePoint and Office 365 experts who have developed a range of solutions and vast industry experience helping customers get the most out of their IT investment. If you’d like to see how we can help your organisation, contact us today