Communications / April 9, 2020
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I learned two things last month that inspired this article. First, I am not the only AEC marketer experiencing a significant change as my company switches over from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams. Second, the AEC marketing space is full of seller-doers and other organizational leaders, as evidenced by the crowd at the Growing Your Career by Growing Business  event. It follows that firms are likely turning to their marketing personnel to smooth out the bumps as they transition to Microsoft Teams from Skype and other collaboration platforms. This edition of Marketing Trends provides helpful tips for making the switch to Teams by applying concepts from John Kotter’s Leading Change   to the Teams rollout.
People need to know and feel the need for change. That is, you must present hard facts and then bring them to life emotionally. Maybe your current conferencing platform is notorious for dropping calls, and Teams promises relief from that embarrassment and frustration; or maybe you’re just so dang excited about the collaboration tools that you can’t wait to make the switch. Regardless of the reasons for the change, communicate the benefits in a way that emotionally engages your coworkers.
Nobody can reap the full benefits of this new platform alone. To facilitate the transition, create a group of tech-savvy super users to pilot application features and lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it. Host lunchtime talks and webinars to encourage questions and show off the tool’s capabilities.
Clearly communicate the benefits of the switch to Teams. Employees need to imagine the new collaborative landscape and desire its benefits. This is achieved through clear, focused communication of the advantages it offers.
Encourage Teams adoption with the following steps:
To prevent organizational forces from prohibiting the adoption of Teams, take the following steps:
Celebrate using Teams for meetings and messages. Send updates and kudos firmwide as more people join at least 1 Team.
Once Teams has been established as the go-to platform for simpler functions like instant messaging and phone calls, encourage users to delve into more advanced features like the built-in OneNote and Planner.
Set a firm date to sunset your old collaboration platform and switch to Teams for good. Continue to host brown bag webinars and send out helpful links as you learn about new Teams features. Microsoft is constantly updating Teams and posts helpful articles here.