Microsoft Teams is a great option for keeping your staff informed, updated and upbeat
We’re in this together. It’s undeniable that collectively we’re confronting a crisis, but it can be difficult to feel like we’re together when so many of us have been suddenly displaced from the comforts of our offices.
While there is no perfect substitute for the normalcy we crave, Microsoft Teams can be an effective outlet to provide employees with some much-needed face-to-face interaction, keep them updated on the latest information and even have a little bit of fun.
Encourage Staff to Utilize Calling in Teams
In normal times, many of us largely shun making calls to colleagues in favor of sending a quick email. Obviously, prior to the ongoing crisis, we understandably took for granted the fact that many of our colleagues were in the other cube or office or on the other floor. We’d see or talk to them later, we assumed.
For the last few weeks and for (at least) the next few weeks, though, many of us will be without the option to see our coworkers in person. Teams, of course, provides a great platform for video conferencing. But it also offers the Calling in Teams feature.
Calling in Teams could not be simpler to use. As a leader in your organization, consider making a point of regularly reaching out to your staff via a Teams call. Not all the time, not even most of the time…just every now and then. Don’t underestimate the impact hearing your voice can have on employees who are trying to make their way through this situation. Likewise, don’t underestimate the need your employees have to connect with their colleagues. Encourage them to call their coworkers too. Calls are tangible means to stay connected. Remote working does not and should not mean working in isolation.
Conduct Regular Organization Update Meetings
Teams is a terrific collaboration platform and it’s great for online meetings. Consider making the most of the options Teams provides by conducting regular, organization-wide meetings. Here at Kiefer Consulting, we’ve been conducting such meetings on a weekly basis. These are relatively short meetings during which our executive team covers any new developments regarding the crisis, how our clients are coping and identifying opportunities where we might be able to help our clients navigate these challenging times.
These meetings are also opportunities for our staff so see each other’s faces, hear each other’s voices and express any questions or concerns they may have. Everyone has a unique response to this crisis, and everyone is impacted in their own way. But everyone shares a common need to be hopeful that things will return to normal. While working in a remote environment can reinforce the fact that things aren’t normal, regularly getting together as a group to talk things through can help keep us tethered to each other and to the (hopefully not too distant) time when normalcy returns.
Don’t Forget Fun – It’s Important
Fun might be an afterthought presently but try not to let it be that way. We spend roughly a third of our day at work and now, more than ever, people are in need of a respite from stress and worry. For the past few weeks at Kiefer, we’ve been ending the week with a Teams Happy Hour.
The way it works is easily replicated – everyone gathers on Teams (with the camera ideally turned on) with a drink of their choice. Some of our staff like to don outlandish costumes for the occasion. And each week we play a game together. The first week we played Pub Trivia, the second week we played a variation of Family Feud, the third week we played the Match Game and so on. Ask your more extroverted employees to volunteer to facilitate or host the game, encourage remote staff to participate while outside, weather permitting, and use Teams to practice fun and fellowship.
Teams does a lot of great things and one of them can be to promote the well-being of you and your staff. The challenge we face is an invisible one. Let’s not be invisible to each other. Because we are, after all, in this together.