5 smart tips for more effective internal communication

In most companies, email still dominates - even if it's not the best tool for internal communication. What many day-to-day Microsoft 365 users don't know is that the platform offers several alternatives that in many cases are a better fit. 

To remedy this, I've put together my top tips on how you and your employees can use the platform to communicate smarter and work more efficiently.  

 

Much more than email

More and more people are working remotely without the daily meeting with their employees. Instead, most things should be done digitally and dThe "physical" contact may not be completely replaced. While one thing is certain: Microsoft 365 provides completely different (and for many still undiscovered) opportunities for users than before. But in order to take advantage of them, you need to deal with a common and persistent habit: using email for everything..

An educated guess is that 70-90% go via e-mail, whether it's a quick question for a colleague, a document to be shared or information for everyone about new procedures.

Today it is much easier to reach out with a news via the intranet or start a chat with employees than it used to be. For a start, you can do it directly in the app you use without having to switch apps or windows.

It's just a matter of distinguish between different types of communication and choose the communication channel accordingly.

With that said, time for the tips!

 

Tip #1: Communication pages for information to many

General company information such as affects all or many people in the company is perfect for communication pages - such as the home page of the company intranet. You can have one web page for the whole organisation and one for each area, department or major team. HR, for example, can gather all HR information on one easily accessible page that everyone knows about.

Avoid distracting mass mailings to everyone via email "for information". Information is drowned in the tsunami of emails. And in a Teams channel, it "can" easily disappear.

The basic principle is that keep all information (and conversations) easily accessible for whoever needs it, when they need it.

Communication page 

 

Tip #2: Chat in Teams for quick communication between employees

If you're a bit hesitant about the idea of "chatting at work", you're not alone. However, chatting in Teams is not like chatting with friends on social media. It is far more effective than email when an idea needs to be discussed in the group, or when you want get a quick answer to a question. With the exception of a phone callit is as close to talking to your colleagues in the office as you can get without being there.

In addition, those chatting with each other in Teams can easily share in the same app documents, notepads and shared calendars, hold video meetings and much more.

When there are more chat participants I recommend topic-based, threaded conversations over large group chats, which can easily become unstructured. All messages are then linked to a specific post and are open, giving a lot of familiarity. At the same time, selected topics and people can be tagged - more on that in the next tip!

Chat and tag in Teams

Threaded conversations and mentions in Teams

 

Tip #3: Tag people, don't email

Use mentions whether you work in Teams, an Office program or Lists. Instead of emailing a copy of a Word file when you want to get feedback on a text in Word, you can tag the person you want feedback from directly in Word. Through the comment function (type @name), the person will immediately receive a request for feedback together with a link to the right document in the right version, and can respond directly in the document. Really smooth.

If you want to draw someone's attention to something you write, use tags across all channels and apps. However, avoid tagging the whole team if it's just one person. You can communicate something in one channel that everyone should know about. But tag the person who will handle it.

Another reason to use mentions is that Microsoft Viva can send you relevant info so you don't have to look for it. It also gives you insights into what conversations you've been tagged in, documents shared with you, and more.

Mentions in Word

Mail when you have been mentioned in Word

 

Tip #4: Shared channels instead of private ones

Now you can give someone who is not a member of a Team access to a shared channel in the Team, without giving that person access to the Team's other channels. This is different from pshared channels in a Team, which only Team members can access.

Shared channels can be used both internally and by individuals outside your organisation. It's a big improvement for the latter, who see the shared channel directly in their own team environment under "Your other teams" without having to change environment.

Shared channel in Teams

 

Tip #5: Use your personal assistant

Anything written in any of the channels is searchable in Teams and on office.com. There you can also get a summary of your workflow; messages, files and conversations that are relevant to you. Microsoft Viva gathers together everything you need to keep track of from your corporate intranet page, your Teams pages, Teams channels and chats. Over time, there's less to keep track of yourself.

If you have missed a news item or a message it will show up in a daily email where Viva has summarized everything that is relevant to you. If you and your employees really interact with the system Viva will have data to work with. You can tell the system which pages, channels or teams you want to follow. Viva can also assess information as relevant because you belong to the team it concerns. If you haven't visited a particular news page for a whileor been tagged in a conversation, you can get a reminder to visit the page or conversation. The more you use the system, the more you get out of it.

 

Daily email from Viva

Viva insights keeps you up to date

 

In conclusion, do not be afraid to use multiple surfaces and channels, but keep every conversation where it belongs. Quick pucks within the team can be handled with advantage directly in the app everyone works in.

 

Want to know more about how to communicate more effectively within your company? Get in touch!

Robert Veberg
Robert Veberg

Technical Lead - Microsoft Modern Workplace

040-626 75 81robertveberg@wesafe.se

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