Using Microsoft Teams to improve collaboration and your organization’s culture

Right now, organizations are experiencing the greatest change to how they operate and do business in history. Those who adapt and thrive have a clear market advantage. Those who embrace the ‘new normal’ and find innovative ways to not only continue to do business but move into new markets, acquire new clients, and maintain their culture will have used this change to make their organizations even better.

At Brightwork, we believe change can be positive when organizations focus on people, processes, and technology. With everyone working remotely and with everything going virtual, we’re more reliant on how technology can contribute to people and processes than ever before.

Smart organizations have already realized this and they’re utilizing existing tools to maintain communications, build collaboration between teams, and bolstering their culture.

Smart organizations have already realized this and they’re utilizing existing tools to maintain communications, build collaboration between teams, and bolstering their culture. One of the most powerful tools most organizations already have and are not utilizing to its full potential is Microsoft Teams.

With real-time chat and messaging; video meetings; live events; document storage and sharing; cloud-based communications; real-time editing; find and search functions; public and private channels; and solid integration with apps, Microsoft Teams is a truly collaborative venue that lets team members use a variety of Microsoft’s tools in one, convenient place.

Built on the Office 365 suite, Teams is based on curating a cooperative experience by offering a document library; projects that consist of a collection of people, conversations, and files; and channels within each project that can focus on a particular topic (marketing, deliverables, etc.).

A simplified system, organizations can easily use the web app or download the software to create a new team and immediately begin collaborating on major initiatives. Users can make teams private or public, and can invite others to join the team. From there, the team can add new members, create channels, upload and/or create new files, add tabs, and connect with other applications.

Channels represent a useful way to facilitate the team atmosphere by focusing on key areas of a project. As a ‘mini-team’ with the larger team, channels host conversations, calls, files, and other communications between those assigned or invited to that channel.

There are 200 possible public channels and 30 private channels for each Team, and each can be setup with unique files, notifications, access, and users.

Public channels are accessible to everyone on the team while private channels are accessible by only those staff who have been invited. Private channels facilitate collaboration for distinct, proprietary information (budgets, strategies, cost, etc.) and each has its own settings and siloed tasks.

Once the team has gotten everything setup and determined channels, Microsoft Teams works as a repository for all your communication needs. If you want to setup a quick chat with just the marketing team or need to go over logistics with a bunch of different team members, solutions are just a click away. Staff can store documents, collaborate on edits, add content, share changes, co-edit in real time, and move files from one channel to another.

Teleconferencing, quick chat, meetings, and other apps offer convenient ways to share ideas, check-in with staff, quickly identify and resolve issues, and have virtual ‘run-ins’ – there’s even a water cooler function.

Organizations can utilize Teams to continue during this ‘new normal’ to have happy hours, hangouts, and other social events to keep staff engaged and feeling a part of the larger team and company. Organizations can host ‘all staff’ meetings on Teams and showcase new initiatives, awards, major projects and developments, and other outreach efforts to help staff feel connected and listened to, and foster dialogues between teams spread across departments and even nations.

As we learn how to operate and do business during these unique, trying times, Microsoft Teams provides an accessible, convenient, and useful venue to utilize technology to improve people and processes, and ultimately, improve the entire organization.