Dear Mr / Ms Boss,
Thank you for empowering your staff in such a cool way. They will learn skills here that they will be able to use for the rest of their lives. However, there are some things you need to know about learning SharePoint.
1. This stuff takes time. Just because your amazing staff member attends one power user course, does not mean they will have all the skills they’ll need to teach the rest of the department! It can take up to a year full time SharePoint experience before they will have the skills required to train other people – and I assume your lovely staff member has a day job already…?
2. Please stop bothering them all day long while they are on training. They are here to learn. The building will not burn down for the 6 hours they have to concentrate; there is a lot to learn. And pulling them off training on the same day when there is a path to follow makes it difficult for them to catch up to the rest of the group. Plus they have to wait for the next class which invariably means they forget all about the previous class by that time. Please give them the freedom and time to learn – you are paying for that after all.
3. Give them time to assimilate what they’ve learnt into their real working world. You can’t expect any amateur to be able to build and entire site for an entire department after four days of training. Most people that come to training don’t even have the basics of document management and PC skills under the belt, now you expect them to run SharePoint for your department? It doesn’t work that way, this is not Microsoft Word. They need constant hand-holding, guidance and support for months until they will be strong enough to fly solo. Are you providing that environment for them?
4. Come to training yourself so you can understand what it is you are asking your staff to do. Lead by example and show willingness to get your hands dirty. You will earn the respect of your staff and be able to speak the same language in collaboration, communication and document management. There is so much cool stuff you can do in SharePoint to make your reporting easier that you didn’t even know existed; time to let go of Excel a little and try new things.
5. Don’t be a killjoy – your lovely staff member is going to come back from training full of the joys of spring and ready to change everything. Help in that process, don’t just shut them down and say there is no time for that. Why did you send them to training if that’s the case? Carry on empowering those that have a flair for it and keep asking you for it. They are the ones that are going to revolutionise your department and make you look like a rockstar. 🙂