Microsoft Teams is a fantastic bit of kit if you haven’t used it much before. If you have Office 365 – it’s almost a given that you should be utilising what Microsoft Teams has to offer. You may even be using it with Yammer as part of your intranet strategy – and there are benefits to that too! However, what are the don’s and don’ts of using Microsoft Teams if you’re still getting acclimatised to yet another communications tool? Here are a few below:
Don’t get into the habit of crowding your Microsoft Teams environment
Microsoft Teams has a great way of sectioning your communications. You have your Teams of course – but within those you have dedicated channels to help slice and dice things. One thing we’d say off the bat is to avoid creating too many Teams and Channels. Before you know it, you’ll have stagnant Teams and Channels that don’t make sense. Create them when you need them, and remove them when they haven’t been used for a while!
Do encourage your colleagues to use it
With any communications tool, Microsoft Teams will only work well in your organisation if you get other people on board. If your organisation is used to using messaging apps internally such as Skype for Business, then the transition may be easier than you may think. If this is new territory, then perhaps introduce Teams gradually – perhaps start things off with an informal company channel where people can test the functionality out. Carry out training sessions with experts and address any concerns before you begin introducing it properly. Phase out old communications tools at the same time, too!
Do tag people within Microsoft Teams itself
Before you know it, you’ll have large Teams of users – perhaps after a while, people may be toggling with their notifications if they’re not directly involved in certain Team chats. To get their attention, make sure you tag them – you can do this by putting an ‘@’ in front of their name. They should then get a direct notification that their name is mentioned in a Team chat. This stops your Team from missing out on important information.
Don’t ignore governance
Microsoft Teams has a vast amount of functionality and potential for future integration with many Office 365 apps (and more to come). With all of this integration, be mindful of who should see what and when. Discuss what ‘rules’ should be applied to using this new piece of kit. When should people be using the phone or Outlook instead? (They’re still valid tools of communication!) Do you want your Team to use the Teams app on their phones? When?
There will still be times when, yes – you’ll still need to go to a meeting. After all, not everything can be achieved from behind a computer screen!
In conclusion, Microsoft Teams is what you make it. If you’re already using other apps in the Office 365 suite, then Microsoft Teams will, surprisingly, slot in quite well with your day to day activities. if you’re new to Office 365, then simply be patient and don’t try to make too many changes at once. User adoption and governance are two things you need first and foremost. Without these things, you won’t be able to get the most out of it.