Best practices for efficient communication

Different communication tools are suited for different means. While emails are great for recaps, updates, and other informational exchanges, it can slow down or muddle an important message. Choosing the right medium speeds information access and agility.

When employees need to quickly receive information, instant messaging can be a more suitable tool to remove bottlenecks and speed up processes.

Why it matters

Based on the information presented in What email, IM, and the phone are each good for, you might be hampering productivity with too many emails:

  • "We default to email to connect with people — to the tune of 122 business emails, on average, per person per day."
  • “Your colleagues have plenty on their own to-do lists."
  • "In order to get the response you need, when you need it, you must make it as easy as possible for the recipient to get back to you — and this is where choosing the right medium makes a difference.”

Based on the information presented in The new manager 1:1: nurturing employee resiliency during disruption and change about findings during this big shift to 100 percent remote work:

  • "Managers told us that that 1:1 check-ins held higher priority for them, and were more essential, than in ‘normal’ work times."
  • "Without the in-person interactions that happen in a shared office space, and given the diverse and unique challenges each of us is facing, managers appreciated this new insight into their employees’ lives, interests, and constraints."

Based on the information presented in Don’t just tell employees organizational changes are coming—explain why:

  • "Executives and those responsible for leading change cannot assume that employees understand the reasoning behind them. You must spend time explaining the changes and why they are important."
  • "Inspire people by presenting a compelling vision for the future. During times of uncertainty, people experiencing change want a clear view of the path ahead."

Best practices

  • Showcase the value in utilizing instant messages, such as Chats in Microsoft Teams for quick questions.
  • Launch a champions program for employees who are early adopters of Microsoft Teams and can guide, teach, and train their peers.
  • Use Power BI Microsoft Teams insights to monitor Teams usage through Workplace Analytics data, including instant messages, meeting, and email metrics.
  • Consider the nature of the conversation based on the subject and type of response needed and identify the appropriate medium for communication.
  • Encourage using instant messages for urgent questions to get what you need faster.
  • When dealing with a sensitive topic, a quick chat on the phone or in person is more ideal than volleying emails back and forth.
  • Schedule a more structured meeting or conference call when dealing with multiple people.
  • Keep emails short and be sure the subject line is searchable.

Change strategies

Be a role model for Teams use

Your team is more likely to use Microsoft Teams if they are familiar with it and if they have coworkers that are already using it. Model the following behaviors with your team and encourage others to join you:

  • Communicate the personal and team benefits of using Teams. Take a communication that you usually send by email and move it to Teams.
  • If you receive an email from a siloed group, post it in your Teams channel and tag people that might benefit from the shared knowledge.
  • Each week give a team member kudos for a job well done on your Teams channel.

Recognize those who make the switch

Create a Teams channel or an email thread that recognizes teammates who migrate conversations to teams, resulting in time savings.

Direct your team to relevant training

When introducing a new tool, help team members get comfortable and adopt quickly with pre-built materials and resources. For example, Microsoft Teams free, live, online training classes.