A lot of people just do the basics and don’t know all the features to really drive stronger communication and collaboration across Microsoft Teams. It may be there wasn’t a training program to really help reinforce Microsoft Teams use and just a one-off session, or your organisation expected you to self-learn and find the things you don’t know. Either way, you have been using Microsoft Teams for a while and let’s move deeper!
Here are some handy features to dive deeper into posts to have a more extensive understanding of this area in your Team and channel.
Formatting – making things visual and structured
Formatting is one of the first things I think all people need to know. It is useful across Chat and Conversations. Instead of large amounts of text, use formatting to make things easier on the eye, and easier to scroll through and find.
Saving posts to read later – how do you then find them?
In the earlier days of Microsoft Teams, I relied on making activity alert as ‘unread’ to remind me to review something when free. Later on I discovered how to save posts.
During a busy day, if I see something I want to read or engage with but not at that minute, I save it. Then later on when I have some time, perhaps when I am out of ‘focus time’ I go to the saved list first.
Posting across multiple channels
No need to copy and paste content across multiple Teams or Channel’s when you can simply easily post the same info with a simple tick. Maybe I am part of multiple projects and they all have issues to review, or perhaps many areas have expenses due. I can simply do 1 post and select the option for all the areas to duplicate and post it.
Using ‘share to Teams’ in Outlook emails
Some organisations or people within have trouble moving on from Outlook and email for their core communication. The old habit of forwarding an email around, or the ‘reply all’ conversations are hard to budge. Doing so thought just grows the ’email tree’ and creates mess and additional work in everyone’s inbox. If you use a post to share information and it becomes a discussion thread in a Team channel, this is cleaner, easier to read and also easier to search.
The ability to receive an email then forward it to post in a channel can shift communication from Outlook to Teams and reduce the email load for all those involved.
Sharing a document in a post – avoid duplicates!
There are some key things to keep in mind if you share a document via a post.
How do you ensure you do not create a duplicate, or have lots of docs stored at the top level of the library creating a mess?
What am I talking about!?!?!?! Watch.
Make sure you @mention an individual or use it to alert the entire team
I am sure many people know how to @mention a colleague in a post. A key additional feature to use here is also to @mention the entire Team. You can easily alert every member with a quick @mention and it’s a powerful communication tool.
Do this wisely, you may not need to tell everyone. If it is more than a couple of people, consider using a tag, see below.
Using tags to alert multiple people at once
I never hear people talking about this feature but it is awesome.
You create a tag name and associate people to it. It could all the developers, sales team, or even your organisation Champions. Check out an example in this video.
Eliminate replies on your post – avoid distraction from the main point
Some of you may be aware that you can have different configuration and permissions in a Team. It could be that only certain people can post, or that anyone can post and nothing can be deleted or edited. This can be also at a post level. You can eliminate the ability for people to reply. Why would I do this?
Am I antisocial and don’t like discussion?
Well, if it was a senior leader communicating crucial updates about the pandemic, they may not want replies and discussion that increased anxiety or distract from the main point. There are various reasons people don’t want responses on a post and it can at time enhance communication and be important.
Turning off notifications on a post – muting a discussion!
Just like with other products like LinkedIn, you can get multiple alerts when other people post comments in a discussion thread. There can be a point when you don’t want to be pulled back into the conversation, and want to mute those alerts. It is a great feature to switch off alerts and no longer be involved in the discussion. It is like stepping out of a meeting. You have other things to focus on and shut out that noise.
Poll, surveys and forms
These are all really helpful for gathering data or opinions. It is great to reduce back and forth discussion and just collect useful data.
These vary, some are native features, some are stand-alone apps and they can be confusing. Essentially, when creating a post, you will see in the video where these options are, I recommend you explore.
Please note, these exist in the conversation only and you have to find the thread to vote, respond or see results. If you use Planner or Forms instead, the data is in your app and easy to locate later on.
Share some love and positivity through praise
Finally, share some love people!
Praise is a great way to call out a colleague for great work, kindness, leadership and various other categories. It can make someone’s day and is really positive.