Ritual, habit, social norms – they all dictate expected behaviors and, often times, the right tool for the job. Think back 20 years ago. Cell phones were all the rage and by 2000 most business professionals had one. However, if you had an important discussion to have – perhaps for a job interview or with a potential client – you didn’t use your cell phone. Using the “landline” was expected. Better yet, you showed up in person to have that important meeting.
Today, we are faced with a new set of dynamics that are challenging expectations of behavior and convention. While some companies have operated for years with remote workforces, and the concept isn’t new, it is new for a lot of companies that have followed with tradition and only used web meetings or other types of remote communications when getting together in-person was impractical.
At blumshapiro, we use Microsoft Teams to support our collaboration and communication needs. While we’ve been using this platform for a few years it has only recently become “expected” that a Teams meeting would be scheduled in lieu of a phone call or a walk down to someone’s office. However, with Teams we are not only able to support a new normal, but have proven to ourselves, our employees and our clients that many typical interactions are often better when using Teams.
Let’s look at 3 different scenarios we face every day and how we address these business needs using different features of Microsoft Teams.
Job Interview with External Candidate
- Organization needs to interview a slate of candidates to fill an open position
- Meeting is created and candidate knows when and how attend
- Meeting is secure to protect confidentiality
- Meeting supports audio, video and content sharing to enable candidate to best present themselves
- Meeting needs to be transcribed and recorded for attendees who cannot participate, but need to assess candidate
- Microsoft Stream
- Create a Teams meeting, inviting candidates with their email as well as internal attendees. Auto-generated link is sent in the meeting invite.
- Host controls who can join the meeting through the “lobby” to ensure that only the candidate and internal attendees are in the meeting
- Candidate and attendees use voice and video features to talk and see each other (verbal and non-verbal communication)
- Attendees can blur their background or use tasteful background images to create a professional environment for the meeting
- Candidate can share their screen, specific applications, or upload files (resume, portfolio, etc.) during the meeting
- The meeting, when recorded, is automatically stored in Microsoft Stream and transcribed for later review and sharing within the organization.
Quarterly Board Meeting
- Organization needs to hold a quarterly board meeting
- Attendance and minutes must be taken
- Votes must be recorded
- External experts may need to be included
- Follow-up items must be assigned after the meeting
- Reports need to be submitted
- Microsoft Planner and Forms
- Private Channel
- Microsoft Stream
- Board chair invites external participants as needed with standing invite already on team’s calendars
- Documents are emailed to the Team email address which kicks of a Power Automate flow to collect review notes
- Board members assign tasks to each other using Planner
- The chair puts all of the items to be voted on in a Microsoft Form and individual votes are able to be tracked.
- The meeting is recorded and transcription edited to address and any errors.
- Real-time attendance is viewable and point-in-time record available to admins.
Weekly Client Status Meeting
- A team meets for a weekly project status meeting and reviews agenda items
- Share status updates verbally rather than just in an email
- Present content visually
- Achieve consensus on open items
- Build team morale
- Team Channel for meeting place
- Using a channel, and the calendar feature in Teams, the facilitator can schedule the recurring meeting so that it happens within the Team channel. This allows past meetings, materials and chats to be available within the channel itself, rather than as a standalone meeting
- Participants can join using audio and video, share screens, contribute to the chat, create polls and drive agenda items to closure.
Whether you are new to Teams, through a recent migration to Office 365, or are interested in getting there, blumshapiro and our team of Microsoft certified resources are here to assist.
For more information on our Collaboration and Communication with Microsoft Teams services, please contact us here: