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Microsoft 365: changing the way we work – let’s get started

Paul Graham

Welcome to The Great resignation (UK style). 

  • ‘Almost half of UK workers are planning to change jobs in 2022 (‘Daily Telegraph,’ 22 February 2022)
  • Job vacancies in February up by 20 per cent from November 2021 (Workable, 5 March 2022)
  • The UK is following the trend in America – where 4 million workers left their jobs in November alone (CNBC).

This isn’t about wages. In January extensive research across the globe by leading university MIT Sloan found that low wages wasn’t in the top 10 reasons for people quitting.

The top reason: company culture. People are 10 times more likely to quit a company because of a culture they don’t buy into than low pay.  A failure to promote diversity and inclusion, poor leadership practices, lack of work flexibility, workers feeling disrespected, unethical behavior, work life not meeting more demanding expectations.

The future of work is happening ten years early. For those companies that understand this and change, it represents a great opportunity.

For those who don’t understand this change – they will be the victims of the Great Resignation.

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In their book Out of Office, Charles Warzel and Helen Anne Peterson identify four critical themes companies will have to work on to attract and retain employees:

  • Flexibility – where and how we work.
  • Community and Teamwork – being part of something bigger.
  • Personal Development – learning skills that will be useful in the future – not those that were useful in the past.
  • Fun - Work that is interesting and fun.

As hybrid work becomes the norm, leading companies are looking to use software, such as Microsoft 365, not as only as a tool to enhance productivity - but to facilitate the move towards new ways of working.

This strategy is a win-win. Using, and keeping up to date with, the latest technology is regularly highlighted as a reason people will stay with their employer (McKinsey).

So, how to get started with M365 and bring those new ways of working closer?

Here are some thoughts on an approach:

  1. Understand how M365 is being used – and the gaps
  2. Set agreed targets, goals, and benefits to be achieved
  3. Implement mechanisms to measure targets
  4. Develop a network of M365 champions
  5. Design and implement communication and training mechanisms within M365
  6. Consider and implement opportunities for automation; familiarise yourself with the power platform
  7. Establish a regular cadence and give people the freedom to innovate within a framework

M365 won’t magically solve the Great Resignation, but it will facilitate transitions to new ways of working that excite and engage people and make jobs more rewarding and fun!

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