We organised a google café: a market place with different booths (google plus, mobile, google drive/docs/sheets/slides, hangouts, ...) and a bar (of course).
During the lunch break colleagues had the opportunity to have a chat and demo from enthusiastic peers who are already into google apps. This way colleagues were inspired by other colleagues to see how google apps can facilitate another way of working, more efficiently.
We also added some fun activity: a real photo studio to make a wonderful google plus profile picture and a collection of google gadgets.
We also provided some FAQ's through one minute quizzes at the booths.
This event was not really a training though: it was rather an introduction into the google apps world; but a good way to start opening minds of the colleagues...
A belated thanks for sharing your great example of an engaging learning and awareness experience. I love the Google Cafe idea - and bet it was well received - anything food related generally is!
Did you run this event as a one off? And if yes - when during your deployment did you run it?
I think that this would be a very impactful way of re-engaging with employees post deployment too - to give advanced tips and tricks to people and share use cases.
Has anyone else tried this type of event? How about doing something like this post-deployment?
it was indeed a post deployment event:
- a summary and overview of all features
- a way to show 'a new way of working'
- adding some 'fun' to facilitate access and use of google apps
re-engaging or 'the next level' is comping up... we are exploring ways to do so and another google café would be an option... a monthly 'lunch learning' or 'after work drink' is also an ideay... to be decided yet
When I read your posts, I can't avoid thinking, "corporate, schools,
government, etc." Any organization with 50 plus employees. Even though
training those many employees can become challenging, I strongly believe
that implementing new procedures and training employees in a small
organization is twice as challenging.
That is the case in my organization. First, in small business there is no
one person who only does only one job. Second, resources are generally
very limited. Third, the personalities of the members of the organization
become more prominent because the every-day-dynamic is more personal.
With that said, reading yesterday's post, made me realize, that training
can not be taken lightly and it must be structured in order to be
Thank you for the blog. It has become an important tool for me as an
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On Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 6:19 PM, Google for Work Connect <
Thanks for your reply.
I think that there are different challenges that impact different sizes of organisations. The larger organisations have to deal with multiple offices, locations, languages and cultures as well as limited project resources, whereas smaller organisations often don't have people dedicated to working on organisation-wide projects. However in a smaller office it should be easier and take less time and resources to run some face-to-face training sessions and capture the whole organisation. In an organisation of tens of thousands of employees in hundreds of locations with different language needs it is much more time consuming and resource intensive to deliver training.
My firm belief is that change management is relevant to all sizes and types of organisations. Regardless of the size and type of company - it is people that we are trying to help change. And people have many of the same challenges dealing with change regardless of the size of organisation. For a small company the training needs analysis, design and development might only take an hour - because there are a smaller number of people and teams, and the design and develop is focused on directing people to the relevant online resources which will help with their specific learning needs. It is also likely that there is a more hands on approach from leaders and a closer working relationship across the employee base which should make driving change easier as objections and challenges can be dealt with quickly by the decision makers.
If you are too stretched to deliver training by using internal resources - then do get in touch with our partners who are very experienced and will be able to tailor something for your organisations specific needs.
I'd love to hear from others in smaller organisations to find out what has worked well regarding managing change and training people?
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Hi Kim Wylie,
Consider who is the ongoing owner of Google Apps training materials and incorporate Google Apps training into the induction program for your new hires. Also consider how you will keep employees up to date with product updates as they are rolled out (check the What’s New site for details). Create a regular rhythm and format of getting all relevant updates out to your employees, be it newsletters, hangouts, drop in Q&A sessions or creating your own internal video updates - similar to ‘The Apps Show’. If this ongoing training proves challenging for you to keep up with internally - don’t forget that this is exactly where your partner can help out. Many of them offer regular hangouts to train their customers employees on product updates - have a chat with your partner to find out more about the services they offer in this space.
These are really very important points. I've seen a number of organizations I help have amazing transition programs to Google but no training for new hires. And I can think of specific examples where we have found no one owns the training material and it stagnates for years becoming so outdated it's fairly useless.
And handling product updates can be a large task especially if you have users who are sensitive to change. Strongly recommend partners (and people like me :-) ) who can help advise you on upcoming changes. It's also helpful to set expectations that Google Apps is a SaaS product and there are often changes you have no control over so you can avoid users being upset when you can't help them with requests such as "I hate material design, make sure it isn't enabled on our domain."
One side note that has helped is to offer informal training with Q&A and Coffee Hours that cover specific topics like "How to use Google Apps on a Tablet" as well as broad "Q&A" sessions. The Q&A is really helpful to get some idea of what people are struggling with using Google Apps and can really help users get a helping hand for issues they don't want or can't describe well enough to a helpdesk.
Another great blog I will use on the next new deployment for sure!
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Really like the concept of running ongoing Coffee and Q&A sessions to give people a forum to ask questions about updates and gain more expertise on specific elements of the products. Keep up the good work!
I am ready for you question when you want ask me something I am ready
بتاريخ ٢٦/٠٣/٢٠١٥ ٤:٤٩ م، جاء من "Google for Work Connect" <
Really like the concept of running ongoing Coffee and Q&A sessions to give
people a forum to ask questions about updates and gain more expertise on
specific elements of the products. Keep up the good work!
Reply to this message by replying to this email, or go to the message
on Google for Work Connect
Моя особиста думка полягає в тому що на даному етапі фактично ми змушені обирати між методологічними підходами типу: шукати "найкраще у старому" або створити "нове бо життя не стоїть на місці ".
Що я маю на увазі: через нестачу неформальних каналів лоялізації, (які, звісно, треба стимулювати), фахівець з навчання стикається з великою проблемою - йому треба доводити що його знання дійсно потрібні та не є занадто вузькими та спеціалізованими. Якщо ти стикалася з просуванням технології СRM t , то напевно розумієш про що я хочу сказати... : 50 відсотків сил лектора йде на аргументацію ЙОГО діяльності.
Маючи на меті широке залучення персоналу, дуже ризиковано залишати цей тягар на лекторі. Бо не всі є гарними вчителями.
Іншими словами: треба інвертувати рівні ініціативи - щоб головна цінність процесу навчання була актуалізована перед учнями (звичайними співробітниками організацій) на більш високому рівні ніж мотивація фактичного замовника - власника/керівника бізнесу.
Якщо ми знехтуємо цим, то крім проблеми про яку я писав, з'явитися ще одна - ігнорування виконання рутинних облікових функцій та дотримання заходів безпеки співробітниками після закінчення навчання, що може зробити досягнення мети замовника неможливим.
Методологія викладання - це процедура суто технічна і другорядна (, якщо так можна сказати), і вона буде успішною за умови бажання учнів вчитися.
Бажання треба створити до навчання, бо розуміння необхідності інструментів є пов'язаним із іх знанням.
Тож я ще поміркую над створенням стартових мотивацій учнів, бо це мені близько бо я викладач за фахом, хоч і займаюся маркетингом та продажами.
Сам звісно не впораюсь, зробимо щось нове усі разом, адже нас багато. )
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Hi Kim & everyone,
I deal with onboarding new employees and based on talking to other attendees at the DC meetup this week realize my environment challenges are fairly unique -- I have to DIY most of my training documentation myself. My company is only using GfW for a portion of our projects per the requirements of a small handful of clients -- so a tad under a thousand users this year; a drop in the bucket as far as the company's population goes. As a niche program within a larger company that requires all email to be managed by the Messaging group, we are unable to enable the Mail portion of our Apps accounts. This causes a chain reaction of awfulness effecting every other aspect of the user's experience.
It all starts with training: I cannot keep up with documentation. Most of the troubleshooting solutions available from the Help menus do not apply to our situation. Even our most savvy users who are used to how it _should_ work, end up being the most frustrated and confused, as things are just not functioning as expected.
When I finally have a clean & current manual pulled together and new training slides (this is not my entire gig) I have to brace myself for the inevitable changes to GfW that always occur within a month following my documentation release. "Um, my screen doesn't look like yours. What did I do?" (Obvious reply: "Oh no, you broke it.")
Updates to form and function are not really something I want to complain about, and our absurd self-hamstringing of our environment is certainly on us. I continue to re-do (and re-translate) my training program along with the FAQ files and at least it keeps things fresh.
All of that was a long way of saying I'm very interested in everyone's training experiences! Here are some things I've been incorporating into our training program beyond initial orientation:
- lunch and learn refreshers
- tips & tricks messages based on location/language/needs
- Hangout "office hours" where people can join and ask me anything from how to do something in Sheets to setting up their newest device.
- Game-ification. I've got a scavenger hunt type self-training setup that I am completely re-working to fit with the new Drive. The users who have opted to play receive an email that a document has been shared with them. If they open it, it takes them through a series of actions they need to perform to find the next clues to eventually drop them into a hangout that I'm idling in. This exercise demonstrates their ability to use all of the Apps features that we have enabled in addition to understanding this particular team's internal workflows. One of my goals for this spring is to have that first document give them the option of basic or challenge mode, and spin them off into different paths that are focused on their type of work. (My users are mostly architects & engineers so giving them a puzzle really speaks to them in ways that might not fly for other fields.)
- "Did You Know?" signage in our team's common areas since they likely didn't read the emails I sent.
- More security discussions. The talk about phishing this week has lit a fire to really test the team more and see what/who I need to focus on. We had a great initial push on this early on but expanding from 150 users to over 500 in three years has taken a toll on time/resources.
- Apps guru program -- I want to steal some of the co-ops from each dept and mold them into GfW go-to folks for their coworkers. Still working on the politics of this. Does anyone have a power user/guru/incentive-to-help-out system in place?
Looking forward to being a part of this community,
Thanks for your response and taking the time to share your experiences. It does indeed sound like a challenging situation.
My first suggestion is of course to encourage the rest of your organisation to move onto Google Apps - so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of being able to collaborate and work seamlessly on one system ;-)
I love the scavenger hunt idea that you've set up. We're all big kids at heart and I don't know many people that don't appreciate learning in a fun format such as that. I also think the 'Did you know...' posters are a great idea for sharing tips and features with people who maybe don't take the time to read emails or attend training.
Regarding the challenges that you have with regards to keeping your training material up to date - I can sympathise. When I first took on the role of Google Apps Change Manager I spent a lot of time developing training materials in slides that I could share with our partners so they could train customers. But of course with the product updates always being dripped through it became obvious to me that it wasn't possible for me to keep all the content up to date. That's when I landed on the idea of using 'lesson plans' rather than slides. Lesson plans are scripts that a trainer can follow - but they would use a live account to demo the features and benefits rather than showing slides, therefore eliminating the need to update screen shots. I understand that you have some very specific issues related to coexistence within your environment, but I wanted to make sure you were aware of the following:
- Learn.GoogleApps.Com - end user training site which is updated by Google
I'd strongly encourage you to establish a guru program as you mentioned to help you scale and ensure that everyone has someone to ask questions of when they get stuck.
My last suggestion is that you might want to consider working with an Apps training specialist and getting some help to develop and maintain content specific to your environment. I suggest connecting with the team who run AppsTrainer (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Aline Hoffmann) and have an initial discussion with them to see if there might be something they could help you with.
Let us know how you get on - and best of luck with everything!
I found the document Designing a training program to educate your employees most useful, the Lesson Plans are also very very helpful. Perhaps the one Google Apps for Executives: Lesson Plan would benefit from a refresh to highlight / showcase items from https://transformationgallery.withgoogle.com/
Ps: I really enjoyed your presentation to those of us who were in Milan :-)
Hi Des Donnelly,
Thanks for the comment and suggestion for update. Great idea to include the new transformation gallery into all the lesson plans - I'll add that to our 'to do list'!
Great that you were able to participate in the Milan training - wish I'd been able to join in person.
Last month I had an interesting interaction regarding change management / training for a G Suite implementation. It might go beyond the discussion topic here; still very relevant.
I got requested to quote for a change management program for a global organisation, 15'000 employees spread in 6 locations, switching from Office to G Suite. The request was broad, including change management efforts; so, as this is my key expertise, I gave a full change approach which totalled in USD 130'000 over a four month period. The immediate answer was, the client only has a training(!) budget of 40K.
Are we only focusing on training when we talk about change management? In my eyes, giving every employee one training session, will allow them to use the new collaboration suite. Though, we are missing the opportunity to create new collaboration routines; this requires (from my experience) these four elements: training (yes, sure) / change agents / communication / KPI dashboards.
In my experience, it is relatively easy to materialise a 1% efficiency gain in collaboration when switching to better collaboration habits. This means, people spend about 1.5 hours per month (5 min a day) on more valuable tasks by avoiding to spend time to find information, to consolidate content across different version of files, finding experts, etc. For the organisation above, this means that the equivalent of USD 300'000 per month can be invested in more valuable and meaningful work activities.
G Suite even has a lot more advantages then the ones described above, like making data available in one place, reduce travel across sites, focus on faster innovation.
What are your thoughts on this strong focus on training? What do you suggest to the implementation partners? How do you usually calculate the return on investment for the change activities?
Have a great day
4 of 4 people found this helpful
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.
Unfortunately this is not the first time that I have heard of an organisation that thinks 'Change Management' is 'training'.
Per our methodology and proven approach - training is just one part of the work that needs to be completed in order for the change to land successfully. Other activities include:
1. Sponsorship and champions
2. Organisational analysis and change impact assessment
To jump directly to training with none of the other work in place will most likely result in employee resistance & frustration, loss of trust in leadership, project delays, loss of productivity, moral dip and low adoption rates.
How will people know why they need to change? How will they know what's in if for them? How will they understand the purpose of the move to Google if there is no organisational analysis or communications planning? If there are no champions or leadership support, who will people go to when they have an issue? Who will be role modelling the new behaviours?
It is a false economy to cut corners on change management when the success of the project is down to people utalizing the tools and becoming more efficient, collaborative and innovative.
You might want to share the Value of Change Management report with your customer to show the ROI of doing the change program properly: The Value of Change Management.pdf
And I'd also consider sharing the below articles with them too:
Best of luck!
Thank you very much for your response and I am delighted to see that we have aligned views. G Suite has huge potential to become more productive and excellent!
Let's spread these insights to more customers and partners.
Have a great day