10 ways to use Microsoft Teams to manage a crisis

Managing communications during a crisis can be difficult, with fast–paced situations and ever–changing information. It’s vitally important to keep your people engaged and to empower them to make the right decisions.

Microsoft Teams offers you a platform to share information and to communicate with employees quickly, no matter where they are. It also provides a hub for you to coordinate your rapid response, collaborate across teams and keep a single source of truth. All of these are crucial in a crisis situation.

Here are our top 10 practical ways to use Microsoft Teams in a crisis:

1. Create a Team to manage your crisis response

Before you consider how you will use Teams to manage the crisis with your employees around the globe, your first step is to create a Team for those you will need to collaborate with. You can add people and Channels as you need them to manage different work streams.  Remember to keep this private so that you can discuss potentially sensitive information. • Share your files here to collaborate on them.

• Use the wiki to keep fluid information up–to–date.
• Add apps and bots to manage your workflows.
• Calls can take place here to coordinate activities and move seamlessly from chat to calls.

2. Create a Team for all staff

Create a public Team and add up to 5000 people. If your staff exceeds 5000, we recommend splitting out into lines of business. Ideally, you don’t want members to be able to create new channels or @mention everyone in the Team, so update your Team settings before adding anyone.

• Generate a team code so everyone can join without approval and use it across all of your communication channels.
• Explain to staff that this Team will be the single source of truth.

3. Use a Moderated Channel to share official information

By default, a general channel will be created within your Team. Change this channel to “Only owners can post messages”. You will need to decide who has access to deliver messages in this channel. They will be responsible for all communications.

4. Create a Q&A Channel to allow people to ask questions

You need somewhere for people to ask their questions out loud. This might seem daunting at first, but you’ll find that multiple people will have the same question, so it will actually save time and avoid repeated conversations for your team. Use threads to respond and keep the conversation tidy. This can also help to inform a FAQ wiki.

5. Enable your people to get the most from Teams

Your people might be new to Teams, or they may need a refresher. Create help content so that they know the basics of Teams, how to get the most out of it and some tips. You could even create drop-in training sessions with your Teams champions.

6. Encourage use of the mobile app

In a crisis situation, your people may be spread across a number of sites or locations. You might even have frontline workers or those out in the field.  Keep in touch with people on the go by promoting use of the mobile app.

7. Use the announcement functionality

Highlight the most important updates by using the announcement functionality in the text editor. You can do this by changing the message type from ‘conversation’ to ‘announcement’. You can even mark it as important, but be sure to set up governance in advance on what constitutes “important.” You don’t want people to become overloaded with information.

8. Translate messages across borders

Use inline message translation to deliver instant, consistent messages internationally. It can even enable your employees to interact with each other, no matter where they are. Conversations and information can flow more freely in the Channels.

9. Live video updates

Share live video updates from your leadership team in Microsoft Teams. Create professionally produced events, with shareable content and Q&A. The recorded event can be shared afterwards in Microsoft Stream. 

10. Help people manage their notifications

Your employees might be feeling a little overwhelmed in times of crisis. Whilst they still need the information to stay safe or keep business continuity, managing the notifications they receive can help alleviate some of that stress. Give your staff clear guidance on how to manage their notifications to get the most value from Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams can play a huge role in your crisis management plans, as a hub for your company.

Future Worx is a proud Microsoft Partner. If you need to deploy Microsoft Teams quickly, we can enable you to move fast and empower the right people, when you need it most. Get in touch today.

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