Microsoft Teams Chat vs Channel Posts

Occasional Contributor

In my experience, people tend to avoid posting in Microsoft Teams channels and use chat to communicate with team members instead. My guess is that the reluctance to post in channels is tied to the fear of speaking in public, which is more or less what posting in channels is: putting your thoughts/questions out there for the group to see.

 

I think, from a knowledge management perspective, posting in channels is a lot more useful, and chat certainly has its place, for quick questions, etc., but how to convince team members to adopt the use of team/project related discussions in channels?

 

What is your experience with this? Are team members posting in channels? Should team leads set/define the standards? Does it matter?

3 Replies
I've seen more engagement in channel discussions when you have the right mix of team members, training, and if the manager leads by example and communicates expectations. I would also look to see if the team has too many members (5-50 is usually best) or if members need private channels.

@Graham_McHugh 

 

Yes, I strongly believe it matters. Team leads and champions absolutely must visibly model this behavior, but not just them, your org leadership should do it too. Leadership is not just about making the big expensive decisions, it's also about leading by example.

 

This leadership from the top will also go some way to addressing the fear of ridicule which is at the root of the fear of public speaking. Team/channel owners can also reward channel posts with like/love emojis and engaging with the posts in a sincere and supportive manner.

 

Finally, it's essential to have compelling use cases for people to understand and accept the "why". Valuable insights shared in 1:1 or group chat are locked in to only those participants, whereas a channel message is a transparent, inclusive and democratic mode of communication... <tough love>if you can't come up with a relatable example of why this is good for the business then you need to take a step back and reassess whether Teams is the right tool for that workload and/or team.</tough love>

 

I'd also give some thought to Yammer as a KM tool ;)

 

#LearnOutLoud

@Graham_McHugh Through my experience, when people are used to Skype for Business and are converted over to Teams, they go to chat as a default behavior. It is very difficult to move them to channel messaging because they view channels for announcements vs. general discussion.

 

I do agree with @TerenceR_-_Transparity that this is a behavior/training issue. Your champions and your team owners need to lead the way to get the rest of the Team to use channels for discussion vs. chat. I've seen where someone will create a chat with 10 people that are all on the same team for a discussion and those thoughts are never saved to the Team.

 

One thing we need to do is to have a better adoption strategy when it comes to Teams/Yammer. If you have not looked into it, go out and view Microsoft Modern Collaboration Architecture (MOCA) as it better defines the roles between where you use Teams and where you use Yammer. I have attached the link to the Microsoft doc.

Enabling Modern Collaboration – Microsoft Adoption