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How to Get Employee Buy-in for Your New File Sharing Solution

Your organization is finally ready to upgrade to a new file sharing solution. Maybe you need added security that your old platform couldn’t provide. Maybe you’re moving files to the Cloud for efficiency-sake. Whatever the reason is, a successful transition is only going to happen if employees buy-in. 

While you may see the positive operational and security impact the platform can make, ensuring that your employees are actually using it and using it correctly is another thing entirely. 

Check out how to create employee buy-in for your new file sharing solution.

Trickle-down Buy-in

As with any new initiative, buy-in needs to start at the top. When ground-level team members see leadership not taking initiatives seriously, then they’ll assume that the platform is more of a suggestion rather than a company-wide adoption.

If leaders blow off training or don’t follow the standing operating procedures for file structure or permissions, then you better believe that the rest of the organization will follow suit. Leaders in your organization need to make it clear that they view your new file sharing solution as a positive asset to the company. 

Find Advocates

The trickle-down of leadership buy-in probably won’t be enough for employees across the board to completely accept the new change. It will be important to tap a couple of ground-level team members as advocates for the new platform. Hearing positive messages from the top and from peers will go a long way in creating buy-in. 

Similarly, as you design and outline file sharing policies, engage more than just leaders and department heads. Front line team members can offer a fresh perspective and help you understand how to refine policies for the majority of the people who will be using them.

Define Policies

With a new system comes new ways to create confusion and disarray. But with standard policies of use, employees can understand the most efficient and secure way to utilize your new file sharing solution. With concrete policies and best practices, employees can be more confident in their sharing decisions, and it will cut down on file sharing mishaps. 

Put some serious thought into what permissions should look like for your files and folders. If someone needs to share a file with an external party, are they allowed to send the actual file through an email, or should they share the secure link to the file? Perhaps this is different depending on the type of data in the file, but this is something you need to figure out before rolling it out to the entire company. Don’t muddy the waters with vague language or a lax attitude.


After you’ve created concrete file sharing policies, it’s time to get in front of people and train your organization. One of the worst things you can do is simply hand out the policies and expect people to read and implement them on their own. There will always be questions that will need to be addressed and one-off situations not explicitly detailed.

The more relevant you can make your training, the more likely your employees will get and stay engaged. Show them actual use cases on a screen in front of them rather than just robotically reading the rules to them. It can be helpful to gather employees together for the training live, but record the session so people can refer back to it when (not if) they have questions.

Tailor your training to your organization by offering different types of training materials, which could still include the paper list of policies, but also materials such as:

  • An FAQ-style page on your company intranet 
  • A list of helpful tips and tricks
  • Short refresher training videos 
  • Screenshots directions for a complicated process

These training suggestions are great for when you first roll out the new file sharing solution but don’t forget about training for anyone that comes into the organization after launch. Incorporate file sharing training into onboarding, so everyone is on the same page. 

Make it easy for employees to buy into file sharing by utilizing a solution that is secure, efficient, and simple. Give SmartFile a try for free today — no credit card required!

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SmartFile is a business file mangement platform that gives you more control, compliance and security.