How to Prepare Employees for Office 2019

How do you provide Microsoft Office Upgrade Training to 10,000+ employees across 200+ locations?

A customer recently came to Webucator with this question. We helped them deliver a comprehensive Microsoft Upgrade training program.

What challenges does your company face when upgrading to the new version of Office?

With the release of Office 2019 this month, we are publishing our Microsoft upgrade tips to help others who are facing similar upgrade scenarios. You might also want to check out our Microsoft Office 2019 Upgrade Class, which is delivered by live instructors.

Here are your Microsoft Office 2019 Upgrade Training best practices.

Need help organizing a training plan? Download our Office 2019 Upgrade Training Checklist! 

Focusing on Office 2019 New Features

In helping employees upgrade to Microsoft Office 2019, your training should focus heavily on the new Office 2019 tools and features. Software upgrade training prepares users for the updated version of programs by helping them quickly find and use the tools most relevant to their daily work.

Microsoft Office upgrade training typically does not attempt to advance the technical skill level of a user. For example, the goal of Microsoft Office Upgrade training is not for an introductory Excel user to become an intermediate Excel user. Instead, in this example, the upgrade training would help the introductory user quickly become familiar with the new Excel interface and features so they can easily transition to using the new version of the software.

When you are facing the challenge of upgrading hundreds or thousands of users to a new software, focus only on “what’s new.” This will ensure employee readiness while minimizing classroom time.

Different Departments, Different Needs. Prepare a Needs Assessment!

Every department uses Microsoft Office differently. Legal Teams may be using Microsoft Word Macro automation while Sales Teams can be PowerPoint Pros.

In helping our customers with their Microsoft Office upgrade training, we meticulously tailor the content based on their business needs. Consider using surveys to reveal your employees’ needs before the training. Your surveys can help you determine:

  • How much time should be spent teaching the new features of Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, etc.?
  • Do you need to add content on lesser used programs like Access, Project, SharePoint, Visio, OneNote, etc?
  • Do you need to organize sessions by experience level?

You may also benefit from talking with your Help Desk. Review the questions and issues they typically receive and consider whether those topics should be addressed in the training.

Choosing Onsite Classroom or Virtual Classroom for Microsoft Upgrade Training

Virtual Classroom BenefitsShould you deliver your Microsoft upgrade training onsite, virtually, or use a combination of both? Consider these factors:

  • Office Locations and Size: Are there multiple office locations? Does each location have enough employees to justify holding a session at the office?
  • Computer Literacy: Are the participants already comfortable with web conference software?
  • Technical Support: Does your company or your training vendor have technical support available to help users in connecting to a virtual classroom?
  • Budget: Travel is sometimes required for onsite training. Is there enough room in the budget for travel costs?

If you choose a virtual format, ensure that each employee has the required web conference software installed before class. Be sure to provide employees with clear instructions for accessing the web conference room on the day of class, as well as a calendar invitation with a link to the web conference.

Classroom Handouts

What type of reference material is most helpful to your employees? Do they need an in-depth manual or a short packet for quick reference?

In delivering our upgrade training, “quick reference guides” tend to be the most popular resources. These are short guides, usually from 1 – 5 pages, that explain essential tools and processes. Depending on the user, a more in-depth manual may be helpful.

In addition to generic Microsoft Upgrade training materials, consider including a set of handouts that focus on the processes and use of the Office products as they apply specifically to your company. This may include style guidelines, how to get help from the help desk, how to use and access templates, etc.

The Role of Help Desk or Technical Professionals

The Help Desk professionals can be a vital part of your upgrade training initiative.

Before and during the training, they may be needed to help participants access the virtual classroom. Or, they may be needed to help troubleshoot issues with accessing the new Microsoft Office software.

Help Desk Office 2019Who will your employees reach out to with questions after the training? This will likely be your Help Desk or Technical Professionals. When you deliver your upgrade training, be sure to include this information for the employees.

You might also consider starting a Yammer Group, discussion board, or other space for employees to post questions and discussions about the Office Upgrade.

Some training vendors like Webucator also encourage students to email questions to their instructor after class.

Follow-Up Training and Specialized Classes

After the initial training is conducted you may find that employees have great questions and special projects that they need help with.

Additional training can be provided to focus on those needs. This typically falls into two categories:

  • Follow-Up Training: Once employees are back on the job and using the new software, they might have questions. The follow up training sessions are often built from those questions. Think of this training as Q&A / Coaching time.
  • Specialized Classes: Employees may need help updating their templates, creating new workflows, building new macros, etc. Consider delivering customized Microsoft classes to focus on these types of projects.

As you plan your time and training budget, be sure to consider how you will support these additional needs.

Frequently Asked Questions Document

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) can be pulled from the actual class questions to help others.

The instructor will document the questions asked in class along with the answers.

Create the Frequently Asked Questions document in Microsoft Word, HTML, and PDF format to share with your company employees. These formats make it easy to post the questions on the company intranet in a searchable format.

Self-Paced Training Options

Consider recording your training session or investing in a self-paced version of the Microsoft Office Upgrade Class.

For many of our clients, we record their session or offer a self-paced version of the course which is then available on the company intranet.

The self-paced course is a great resource for any employees that missed the in-person classroom training, participants who need to review, or new hires who need to get up to speed.

Next Steps: Your Microsoft Office Upgrade Training

workforce productivity statWhat will Microsoft Office Upgrade Training look like at your company?

Training initiatives will vary for each company, but we have found the items outlined in this article help ensure a successful program.

As you plan your Microsoft Office Upgrade Training, be sure to download our Free Microsoft Upgrade Training Checklist. This worksheet includes helpful reminders and provides space for your own notes and planning.

Need more help? We support companies with their upgrade training in many ways. Here are just a few:

  • Comprehensive Microsoft Office Upgrade Training Solution: We will partner with you to help facilitate your full program. We provide everything from the needs assessment, to the delivery of the classes, to the resources and support after the training.
  • Instructor-Led Microsoft Office Upgrade Class: Our instructor-led classes can be delivered in a classroom at or near your office, or in a virtual classroom. Your expert instructor will tailor the class based on your needs. Click to explore our Microsoft Office Classes and specifically our Microsoft Office 2019 Upgrade Class.
  • Self-Paced Microsoft Office Courses: Our self-paced classes include videos, readings, exercises, and quizzes. Your employees will complete the training on their own, when they have time. Our Office 2019 self-paced courses will be released soon.
  • Microsoft Office Coaching: Need help with specific questions or projects? Book time with our expert instructors and get exactly the answers you need.
  • Microsoft Office Courseware and Manuals: Planning to deliver Microsoft Office training internally and need course materials to use in class? Our Microsoft Office Courseware is available for sale at

Have something different in mind? Reach out to us to chat about your Microsoft Office 2019 Upgrade plans!

We hope these tips have been helpful!

Office 2019 Training Plan Checklist

About Webucator

Webucator provides instructor-led training to students throughout the US and Canada. We have trained over 90,000 students from over 16,000 organizations on technologies such as Microsoft ASP.NET, Microsoft Office, Azure, Windows, Java, Adobe, Python, SQL, JavaScript, Angular and much more. Check out our complete course catalog.