What Smarter Collaboration Means in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams Meeting

In today’s global work environment, organizations and their employees must effectively communicate across different locations, time zones, and languages to drive their businesses forward. Microsoft Teams puts everything organizations need—chats, meetings, calling, and Office 365 apps—to make faster, more informed decisions in a single, intelligent hub. With Teams, every type of worker—from the frontline worker to the C-suite—is empowered to contribute their voice and take shared accountability for business outcomes.

To quantify the benefits of Teams for organizations and employees, Forrester Consulting conducted a Total Economic Impact™ study of Microsoft Teams, commissioned by Microsoft. Forrester interviewed and surveyed over 260 customers using Teams in a wide range of industries, spanning financial services to education.

All customers cited the following business objectives for implementing Teams:

  • Increase employee productivity
  • Improve collaboration across the organization
  • Enable innovation

Key Benefits: Implementing Microsoft Teams

The study uncovered 11 benefits for companies to consider as they evaluate Teams as a primary communication and collaboration tool.

The top four benefits are:

  • Teams reduces the total number of meetings and their duration. Online meetings conducted over Teams are reliable and of very high audio-video quality. As a result, employees spend less time addressing setup and call quality issues, and more time interacting. The total time savings equal $6.9 million.
  • Information workers save four hours per week from improved collaboration and information sharing. With Teams features like coauthoring, integrated file storage, and internal directory, information workers can effectively and efficiently collaborate in real-time. The potential savings equal more than $14.3 million.
  • Information workers save more than one hour per week by not having to switch between applications. Access to third-party and line-of-business apps inside Teams from any device benefits all workers, especially remote workers. This creates better employee cohesion and a common corporate culture across locations. The total savings are nearly $4.8 million.
  • Having resources available online in Teams reduces downtime by 14.6 percent. When resources are available in one cloud-based location, downtime is reduced and complexity is lowered, making security and compliance easier. 

Maximizing Value from Microsoft Teams

In just the last few months, Microsft released Collaborative Notes. The new Teams’ meetings feature enables meeting attendees to work together taking notes, forming agendas, and creating action items.

Meeting notes are not new to Teams, but this updated version automatically synchronizes edits to the notes across all attendee devices, offering a more efficient and seamless collaborative experience.

Attendees are not restricted to a single app. Collaborative Notes will be instantly updated whether they are shared in Teams, Outlook, Loop, Word for web, or Whiteboard.

How Smarter Collaborative Notes Work

Attendees can add recurring agendas to all meetings while scheduling in Teams. To join a Teams meeting and collaborate on meeting notes, click the  click the “Meeting notes” pane, you can create agendas in real-time or review the agenda already provided. If you are assigned a task during a meeting, you will also be sent an email notification and the task will be automatically synchronized with your Planner and To Do.

But real-time in-meeting communication means we don’t take into account the different personalities and work styles of our colleagues when we communicate. As a result, communication can often be misinterpreted, unclear, and not as meaningful and effective as it could be – which stunts productivity and connection. It also prevents the uninterrupted time that is necessary for team members to bring their full range of talents to their work, which is what makes them feel satisfied at the end of their work days. 

Consider implementing a collaboration and coaching add-on to support more productive meetings and to maximize the value you get out of Collaborative Notes.

A Smarter Way to Collaborate in Microsoft Teams

This can begin as easily as putting personality insights at the fingertips of every employee, where they communicate most often —  think video meetings and chat. With this simple plug-in in Teams, you can give your staff the kind of information needed to better communicate and collaborate with one another, taking all of the guesswork out of it and allowing them to spend time on the work that matters.

The plug-in automatically surfaces useful, customized tips for more effective communication with peers during meetings.

Imagine being able to click on meeting participants and see real-time tips and recommendations for communicating, motivating, and influencing. Imagine seeing this same information in aggregate for your meeting group. Imagine knowing who best to tap on for pre- or post-meeting action items, for helping leading certain initiatives while identifying those better suited to document or support, and who might benefit from a heads up on particular messages — all of which take into account your team members’ behaviors, motivators, and work energizers in an easy-to-understand way. 

AI in team: Microsoft Teams Member Profile
In this Microsoft Teams example, see the dynamic of this meeting group, and be able to tap into the unique behaviors and values of certain participants.

As a team leader, you’re able to lay a strong foundation for more inclusive communication and belonging for team members, along with:

  • Creating more balanced, diverse & agile teams
  • Ensuring employees onboard or transition teams smoothly
  • Optimizing team members’ impact by tapping into the unique behaviors, motivators & work energizers of each person.
  • Experiencing the increased productivity that comes from improved team effectiveness.
  • Squeezing every ounce of value out of your use of Microsoft Teams

As a team member, you’re able to:

  • Gain deeper understanding of one another, allowing better connection and ability to work through conflict
  • Create deeper, more meaningful connection that translates into more effective collaborations and higher quality relationships at work
  • Feel more engaged in your daily work

It’s important to give your employees the opportunity to thrive and do the job they were hired to do — instead of requiring them to spend their valuable time figuring out how to work better with one another. The truth is, most people won’t take their time to figure out how to collaborate better, and as a result, connection wanes, relationships are reduced to transactions, and performance suffers. Don’t let team members go down this road when there are easier tech-enabled ways to do it. Doing so drives trust in your processes and leadership ability, and keeps employees engaged and performing at their highest levels.

For more on how to make the most of your Microsoft Teams, check out the article: Creating Positive Connections from Asynchronous Communication Tools: Slack & Microsoft Teams.

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