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Filling out lengthy IT support ticketing forms that no one understands, enduring time-consuming site request processes, taking overly complex annual employee surveys … it's no wonder so many organizations have customized Office 365 solutions, processes or workflows that end users hate. This is not good for sustainable adoption of the platform.

Digital workplaces have to make sure that platforms like Office 365 are used as intended and to their fullest. Besides working towards deep and wide user adoption, ongoing creation of better solutions is an essential step towards that end. This kind of agility enables companies to stay ahead of the digital innovation curve and realize greater return on technological investments.

For that to be possible, your IT department has to be able to initiate digital changes with enthusiasm. They have to constantly look for ways to improve how the platform is being used. It is the gradual and continual improvements that turn Office 365 into a great digital asset. But IT departments rarely initiate these kinds of proactive changes. Why is that? 

Understand Why IT Is Reluctant to Make Changes

Digital solutions always need to be updated. There's always a way to make tools, workflows and processes simpler and more user-friendly.

However, many IT teams tend to delay or avoid making these needed changes out of a desire to play it safe. They dread disrupting people's work. Generally speaking, once they implement a solution, they are content if it just works. And if it does, they will keep it for as long as possible, until an upper executive requests change.

There's another major reason why IT tends to delay change: they rarely get rewarded for their innovative initiatives. The thinking goes, "Well … I'm not going to get a bonus for introducing these changes, so why should I take the risk?"

There are ways to motivate your IT staff to always initiate digital change — here are two of them.

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Tolerate Risks and Introduce Rewards

The first step is to allow your IT team to make mistakes (within reason).

For an employee to be entrepreneurial, there should be no prospect of penalty if things go wrong. Given that well-tested solutions sometimes fail to produce intended results, it is imperative for employees to know that any failures will be treated as part of the normal process toward success.

Explain to your IT team the necessity of exploiting Office 365 to the fullest. Expand their role to include continual digital improvements and assure them that mistakes are expected.

Moreover, it's not enough that they know they're allowed to take risks — they also need to know there's something in it for them, a distinct motivating factor. The second step is to recognize their innovative efforts. This can be done by providing financial rewards, the same way bonuses are given to sales staff.

Bonuses do motivate employees. It's a simple way to get your cautious information technology people to be more proactive in their work.

They need to know why they have to go the extra mile, beyond installing, maintaining and fixing digital infrastructure. When their initiatives lead to improved communication, productivity, collaboration, data security, regulatory compliance, user experience or user adoption, be sure to have some kind of reward in place.

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A State of Constant Improvement

You will never use Office 365 to the fullest unless you continue to build better and better solutions. When an IT team continually pursues better ideas, your digital workplace becomes agile enough to stay on top of the demands of ongoing digital transformation.

Create a culture that rewards — both literally and figuratively — innovation and your IT team will deliver.