With hundreds of millions utilizing Microsoft Teams, it is so important that organizations know how to foster a collaborative and open culture through Microsoft 365. It was on this premise that I recently joined fellow Microsoft MVP Alistar Pugin on a free webinar to explain optimization options for success. The great group from Kollective Technology hosted the webinar and you can view the recording for free on their website: Developing Inclusive Communications Through Microsoft Teams – Kollective Technology
What's Involved with Developing Inclusive Communications Through Microsoft Teams
We approached being inclusive and allowing everyone to participate in communications across your organization by focusing on four specific topics. The first topic was best practices for using Teams live events and webinars. We then discussed breakout rooms and when to use them as part of your meetings. Followed by a discussion on using video to communicate through Microsoft Teams – and why it is important to keep your camera on! Lastly, we discussed using Viva Engage as part of Microsoft Teams to bring your communities together.
Microsoft Teams Live Events
We discussed the differences between Teams live events and webinars, focusing on functionality and attendee experience. With live events being targeted for large audiences and no collaboration between the audience members, it is nice when you have the need for a moderated Q&A for example. The audience experience is enhanced with the ability to pause playback when needed, translations, and the ability to receive the content faster utilizing an Enterprise Content Delivery Network (eCDN), if that is set up by their organization.
If you choose to utilize a Teams webinar instead, your event will receive the full functionality of Teams meetings. You also get a registration page that allows a customized experience for users to sign up for your event. This registration process allows the organizer to see who has signed up for the webinar before it starts. You might choose a live event over a webinar to avoid interactions in the chat room or the ability for attendees to see who else is in the event. But a webinar does bring a more full-featured experience for attendees.
Many of us have encountered meetings that had too many attendees. When you're trying to get people to participate and get engagement, it is key to reduce the size of the meeting using breakout rooms. Breakout rooms are great for workshops, training, as well as doing brainstorming sessions where you give everyone an opportunity to give input. Breakout rooms give you the ability to allow open communication and dialogue in a smaller setting than a large meeting.
One of the biggest values Microsoft Teams brings to meetings is the ability to see each other using video. However, what has happened over the course of time is the growing practice of people turning off their video. This is understandable when working from home or remote locations, however it is detrimental to the connections we make as humans. It is also imperative for full spectrum communication to see the person who is communicating, as well as the person receiving the communications.
We also discussed new features recently released in Teams that brings the video experience to the next level. Teams front row, interactive Whiteboard, and all new device ecosystem is a huge improvement for the Microsoft Teams experience.
Microsoft Viva Engage
Finally, we discussed how Viva Engage enhances Microsoft Teams to connect people across their organization. Viva Engage replaces the Yammer and Communities apps in Teams and Outlook. New Viva Engage features, including Storyline and the ability to create Stories outside of communities, is very powerful for employee engagement. We wrapped up the Viva Engage discussion with the newly announced Leadership Corner functionality. Leadership Corner provides easy connection with your organization's leaders and fosters open dialogue.
Make sure you watch the webinar to get all the details and to learn how we feel Microsoft Teams is a fantastic tool to bring an inclusive communication environment within organizations.
Also published on Medium.