Congratulations! You've Gone Google. Now What?

Your project team has successfully accomplished the task of migrating to Google Workspace (formerly G Suite); congratulations! While moving your infrastructure to the cloud is a huge step getting your users to adopt the new tools can be a task of its own.

Google Workspace will give your employees the ability to collaborate, share, and simplify existing business processes, no matter where they work. It's up to your project team, however, to get your users engaged.

Engagement and Google Workspace adoption shouldn't be something you think about once deployment ends. These activities should be part of the entire deployment plan from Day 1. Generating enthusiasm about this change could be too late once you've Gone Google.

Start out Slowly

It's essential from the start that you understand your users. Put yourself in their shoes and look at the transition from their point of view so you can anticipate their concerns about making a change. Take it slowly as you go all in with Google.

Once they are comfortable with the nuances of Going Google with a new email and calendar system, they should then proceed to explore Drive. It is in this beginning phase of using Drive that you want them to start using Google Docs, Spreadsheets and Slides.

Discuss how they can upload other types of files only after they are fully aware of the existing capabilities of the Google Docs native files. It's crucial that they understand exactly what kind of powerful collaboration features Google Docs offers to them on a daily basis.

Executive Sponsors Drive Adoption

One of the best ways to increase Google Workspace adoption is to ensure that your executive sponsors and other high level employees are using these tools. If they share and collaborate within Google Drive and use  Hangouts Chat  you can be sure that others will follow suit. Moving forward, meeting minutes, company spreadsheets, and similar material should be created only in Google’s native, collaborative format.

Here are additional ideas to increase adoption with your users and get them excited about Going Google:

  • A contest in which users can participate, posting their “Top 10 Tricks for Using Google Workspace.” The best would then be chosen and awarded a prize. This could range from a gift certificate to a Chromebook! The incentive of winning a prize will almost certainly have users searching in Google for the best tricks.
  • Use Google Meet for meetings whenever possible.
  • Increase adoption by bringing templates into Google Docs early in the implementation. This can prevent the uploading of “non-Google native” docs and encourage a standard for documentation moving forward. This is also an initiative in which executives can promote their use.
  • Google promotes deployment training with what they term Google Workspace “Ninja” training. If your organization has leveraged these materials, have your users complete the training. Once completed, have them post the image of the “Google Workspace  Ninja” to your company intranet, indicating they’ve successfully completed the training. Use a hashtag such as "#ninja" to track who has participated. You might randomly select participants to win a prize similar to the top 10 tricks contest in item number 1 above. 

Trusting the New Environment

Working in the cloud can be daunting for the inexperienced user who has yet to build their cloud IQ. Your users need to trust the new environment in which they are working and fully understand Google’s strict privacy policy and data protection techniques. Your communications plan should include high-level information about security, covering such topics as logging out when using public machines – and how to change a password.

In the end, it all comes down to change management. Keep your users engaged and informed by helping them understand all of the exciting new tools they now have at their disposal. Success can be measured by improvements in productivity and user satisfaction. Make sure to use the reporting capability of Google Workspace to track how many files are being uploaded and not converted, how many new Google Docs are being created, and so forth.

After all, moving your organization to the cloud is a great opportunity to decrease operational expenses – and to increase productivity.

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Meet the Author

Kevin Verde, Manager, Collaboration and Productivity Solutions

Kevin Verde, Manager, Collaboration and Productivity Solutions

As a Manager for Onix's Collaboration and Productivity Solutions, Kevin serves as a cloud evangelist by promoting better ways to work both in a brick-and-mortar office and remotely using cloud collaboration tools. He boasts a dual US/EU citizenship and spent four years of his career living and working in Madrid. He also is an advisor for House of Genius ( a non-profit think tank that supports entrepreneurship around the world.

More Posts By Kevin Verde, Manager, Collaboration and Productivity Solutions