Microsoft Teams has rapidly become a foundational tool for organisations seeking efficient communication and collaboration.
As businesses adapt to diverse working models, mastering the nuances of tools like Microsoft Teams is crucial.
In this guide, we will share how to get the most out of this tool, as well as some best practices that can elevate the quality and productivity of your Teams meetings.
How To Get The Most Out Of MS Teams In Your Business
MS Teams can be a pivotal tool for business comms – here’s how you can get the most out of it:
- Centralise Communication: Utilise Teams as the primary platform for internal communication.
By directing all communications here, you can eliminate the confusion that comes from using multiple platforms.
- Integrate with Other Microsoft Products: Teams seamlessly integrates with Office 365 products such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Make the most of this integration by collaborating in real-time on documents without leaving the platform.
- Use Teams for Project Management: With features like Planner and Tasks, Teams can be your go-to tool for project management. Assign tasks, set deadlines, and track progress all within one space.
- Customise with Extensions: Tailor Teams to fit your business needs by exploring its extensive library of apps and extensions. From polls to project boards, find tools that align with your operations.
- Secure Your Communications: Teams offers advanced security features. Regularly review user permissions, ensure multi-factor authentication is enabled, and educate team members about best security practices.
- Train Your Team: While Teams is user-friendly, offering dedicated training sessions can ensure everyone is using it to its full potential. This can include useful shortcuts, advanced features, and integration tactics.
- Feedback Loop: Encourage team members to provide feedback on their Teams experience.
Regular reviews can help identify areas for improvement or new features to adopt.
Best Practices For Microsoft Teams Meetinigs
When using something like MS Teams, it can be beneficial to get everyone in the company on board with the best practices:
- Preparation is Key: Just as an architect wouldn’t build without blueprints, meetings require planning. Distribute agendas well in advance. This provides participants ample time to prepare, ensuring discussions are focused and actionable.
For instance, a financial team can share quarterly reports beforehand so the meeting can centre on analysis rather than presentation.
- Set Clear Meeting Objectives: Starting a meeting without clear objectives is like setting sail without a compass.
Explicitly stating goals ensures that every participant understands the meeting’s direction, making tangents less likely.
- Be Punctual: Time is an invaluable resource. Honour it by beginning and concluding meetings as scheduled.
This not only respects participants’ schedules but also sets a professional tone.
- Utilise Teams Features: Microsoft Teams is brimming with features designed to enhance collaboration.
For example, using screen sharing can facilitate a clearer understanding of presentations, while breakout rooms can be perfect for smaller group discussions within a larger meeting.
- Assign a Moderator: Much like a conductor with an orchestra, a moderator ensures harmony in the flow of discussions, especially in larger gatherings.
- Record Meetings (when appropriate): The benefits of recording extend beyond absentees. It can serve as a reference point for clarifications, training, or onboarding. Remember to obtain consent before hitting ‘record’.
- Stay Muted When Not Speaking: Background noises, even minor ones, can be distracting. Encourage those attending the meeting to use the ‘raise hand’ feature if they wish to speak.
- Use Video Thoughtfully: While video can make interactions more personal, be considerate of individual comfort levels and possible technical constraints.
- Follow Up After the Meeting: This could be in the form of detailed minutes or a summary email highlighting the key takeaways and action items. It acts as a touchpoint ensuring everyone remains aligned.
How Do You Ruin Effective MS Teams Meetings?
An effective meeting not only achieves its immediate objectives but also fosters team cohesion, ensures clarity of purpose, and can be a significant morale booster.
Furthermore, efficient meetings can lead to time savings, ensuring resources are channelled into other productive activities.
As a team that uses MS Teams on the daily, we have some thoughts to share on how to run the most effective meetings:
- Establish Ground Rules: Set norms, like using the ‘raise hand’ feature to speak, to ensure order, especially in larger gatherings.
- Facilitate Participation: Everyone brings unique perspectives. Create an environment where each voice is valued. Perhaps introduce a rotating “speaker of the week” to share insights.
- Limit Meeting Duration: A focused 30-minute meeting can be more productive than a rambling hour-long one. Consider using the Pomodoro Technique, breaking meetings into short, intense bursts followed by brief breaks.
- Stay Organised with Tabs: Utilising tabs to organise associated documents, agendas, and notes can make referencing easier and discussions smoother.
- Opt for ‘Together Mode’: For teams missing the office environment, the ‘Together Mode’ can reintroduce a semblance of physical meetings, enhancing camaraderie.
- Consistent Scheduling: Predictability can lead to better preparedness. If weekly updates are always on a Tuesday morning, team members can plan and prepare accordingly.
You may also like: A Guide To Microsoft Teams For Beginners.
Our Final Word
Harnessing the full potential of Microsoft Teams for meetings requires more than just familiarity with the platform.
It’s about integrating best practices, valuing participants’ time, and leveraging the platform’s features for maximised collaboration.
As we navigate this digital age, mastering these nuances can significantly bolster productivity and teamwork.
To learn more about how your business can benefit from MS Teams, get in touch.