What are the options outside of email?
Teams Vs SharePoint Vs Yammer for communications
Firstly, it is important to note that all three applications are now integrated. While document sharing and collaboration in Teams leverages SharePoint infrastructure, Yammer has recently been further integrated with the Teams platform as part of a recent Microsoft 365 update.
In terms of deciding which channel to use, it really comes down to what you want to communicate and to whom.
Teams is a collaboration channel ideal for working directly with colleagues on joint projects. It allows colleagues to easily interact on tasks relating to their day-to-day roles. Teams Chat is also used by colleagues familiar to one another. Teams Live Events and video conferencing can be an ideal way to engage with staff to provide updates, briefings and training.
Yammer is an enterprise social platform that is great for cross-organisational outreach. It is good for publishing news and updates to reach colleagues outside of your usual network. Yammer can also be useful in creating common interest groups such as cycling, running, baking, whatever. This can be a great way to break down the silos between different teams or departments who can connect over something that is not explicitly linked to work.
SharePoint News is the best option for corporate communications like those from senior leaders, change management teams or marketing. You can use SharePoint News to create and broadcast content like blog posts which can be emailed as a stand-alone piece of content or in a newsletter that is sent to individuals, groups or all users. This makes it a great platform to target specific content at specific users.
SharePoint Intranet hubs act as the shop window to your corporate information – signposting colleagues to relevant content, pages or other platforms. They now have the added feature of multi-lingual capability, which can be somewhat automated through translation services in Bing. This enhanced editing experience is great for multi time zone, multi-national organisations, allowing them to get targeted information to range of users.
“In terms of which option is best, it really depends how your organisation wants to communicate and use the tools,” advises Paul. “There is always a flexibility in how we can use the tools available and how they work in parallel to complement each other. We’ve moved away from the world of ‘context switching’ or platform switching’ and it’s a much more seamless experience.”
Frequency of communications
There’s no right or wrong answer for how much you should be communicating. It is about getting into a rhythm and approach that works well for your organisation. By sending out targeted communications to specific user groups, you will reduce unsolicited or unnecessary contact.
If you need to communicate with small groups or individuals, especially if it is frequently, Teams chat certainly works better than email. What’s more within the notification settings, colleagues have the option to mute a chat or leave a chat entirely if they don’t feel it’s relevant. Within Teams you can also set your status do not disturb to prevent in-coming contact when you need to stay focused. There are some great tools that give users the ability to set the parameters around how and when they can be contacted – within reason.
For more advice on how to use Microsoft Teams, you might find some of the following blogs useful: