Our business suffered a significant decline due to COVID-19 since the majority of our revenues right now come from people printing and copying in the office. We were very fortunate that, between planned retirements and leveraging government programs and grants, we have been able to keep our entire team together. I came across this proverb about a year ago, and it has been our mantra throughout this trying time: when fishermen cannot go to sea, they mend nets. One of the “nets” we have been mending has been improving our internal company communications using Microsoft Teams. Before the pandemic, we rarely had meetings amongst each other and often worked on our own tiny “islands.” This shifted last summer when we created a Team for each of our main groups (Service, Administration, and Sales & Marketing). Below are a few of the practices we implemented:
- Each group has a Microsoft Teams audio & video meeting every week. In the beginning, our meetings were longer, but now we have them down to 45 minutes to one hour.
- Each Microsoft Team has a “Checklists + Actions” planner board, where we define recurring tasks and other tasks the group determined as needing to be completed. There is also a separate planner for “Agenda Items.” Throughout the week, as issues come up, they can be recorded there for later discussion in the next weekly meeting.
- Every week, a team facilitator runs through all open tasks and reviews the agenda items. Someone else serves as the secretary to update, complete, and add new tasks as the meeting progresses. A team leader helps to prioritize tasks for the group.
- We have a special chat set up for the Service Team to facilitate conversations daily. They also meet every morning for a quick 15-minute huddle.
- We also have a “Collections Alert” chat that goes out to the entire company to be aware of which clients have past-due invoices and to address them accordingly.
- We have a “Where Is Waldo” team for people to post when they are taking breaks so everyone knows they won’t be as easily reachable [For those of you that may not know the reference, it was a series of puzzle books popular in the ’90s where the task was to find “Waldo” in detailed crowd scenes].
- We have a Company chat to celebrate wins together and support each other for losses.
I hope these examples give you some ideas that may help your business! To have a deeper conversation about these practices, improve your Teams usage, or implement Microsoft Teams in your business, you can schedule a conversation with one of our IT experts below!