Tagging specific groups of people within the same team.

Copper Contributor

I'm not exactly sure how to ask this question so I'll do my best to describe what I'm looking for.


Let's say I have a Microsoft Team called "Restaurant" in the Team we have Cooks, Waiters, and Managers as separate channels.  So my teams tab in Microsoft Teams will look like this:



     - General

     - Cooks

     - Waiters

     - Managers


While we want everyone in the restaurant to be in the General group, I have an issue with the kitchen so I want to post something like this:


"@cooks there is a problem in the kitchen" 


I want to post this in General, and I don't mind that everyone can see the post, but I want it to specifically notify just cooks. 


From my playing around with Teams right now, anytime I add a new channel to a team, it automatically adds all team members to that channel. I can't seem to figure out a way to *remove* people from a specific channel yet still have that channel "@" able, if that makes sense.  In our practical application of teams right now, we have separate channels for specific things, however when we have someone who tags the entire channel that needs something for it, it's essentially just spamming the entire team when really just Cooks need to be notified of the issue at hand, not everyone in the restaurant. 


Can Teams do this? What am I missing?


I am aware that you can tag people individually, but let's say I have 30 cooks, we don't necessarily want to sit out and "@john "@rob " etc. for this. 



14 Replies
Short answer is: no for now. You will have this feature when private channels arrive to Teams

The only solution that I could think of requires adding the channels and then asking the people who are not a part of that channel to unfavorite it and then when  you tag it in teams it will notify only those who have it Favorited. So it will work (it will also just have a lot of spam channels that most people won't need to worry about.) 


But thanks for the response. :) 

Teams will automatically favourite the first 5 channels, after that adding a new channel wont have everyone by default.


Is this really a team? Would the 30 cooks consider each other their inner-loop of contacts? Maybe Yammer would be a more suitable solution? Or maybe have separate Teams for Restaurant, cooks, waiters and managers then you can control the membership more easily.



That is what we do now. However when someone who is not a part of that team wants to ask a question just to specific members, you can't just easily "@Cooks" in the Restaurant team. You would have to be a member of the Cooks team to do so. So if someone who was just in the Waiters team needed to ask the entire @Cooks staff something, there isn't an easy way to do it.

The way to get around that would be having channels like I described. I want as few "teams" as possible and to control membership via channels. I work at a call center and what is happening is we are all phone agents but we handle different things. And so we want our "Tier 1" agents to be able to tag our "Tier 4" agents so they get notification of the post, which everyone can see, but they don't necessarily need to get a red activity notification on it.

Really, Channels would work really well for what we want, but we can't control membership of channels on a team. Just the team itself. Also, this adds the other complexity of random "chat channels" that we don't necessarily want or need either.

This is however an ideal use case for Yammer, public groups allowing anyone to paste, great control of notifications to group members. It sounds like your requirements are far more like the Outer Loop scenario where people would know the topics rather than the users they need to reach.

Yeah that used to be the solution we used for that but our management wanted us all to be using the same platform rather than different ones for that. So we can't use Yammer any longer (even though it did work perfectly for what we needed.)

Definitely a valid use case - I wanted to do this today.  We have a project team site that has our core team plus stakeholders.  I wanted to draw attention to a survey for the core team but had to type in their names individually as I didn't want to spam all using the @team tag ...


Garry @ Selfridges

Garry, why not have a channel for your core team? then you can either post in there, or @mention the channel from general to only notify the people following that channel.

Yes. Having a separate channel or team works for something like that. However there are times where I don't care if anyone in the main group could see, but I want it to specifically notify a group of people within a group. 


We have over 200 people in our Department team and a bunch of fragmented groups, but sometimes we have to post the information in several channels to get the point across, where it might make more sense to not have a full blown separate "team" but a separate channel that we could exclude members from or tagging of specific channels across all channels of a group. 


Like my analogy above. I don't want to post a message in the Cooks Team that there is a problem in the Kitchen. I want to just tag "Cooks" in the main restaurant team yet still have the message be seen by everyone in the restaurant. Also, the more channels you add, the more fragmented the message gets and it gets tougher to use Teams as a solution for macro and micro problems. This is kind of a "medium" problem, but it would be incredibly useful in our application of it. 

That's more or less what it does.


If you have a channel called cooks, and your encourage your cooks to follow that channel, you can then use @cooks from any other channel in that team. The notification goes to the people following the channel you @mentioned. The post doesn't need to be in their channel.



@Steven Collier so my understanding is this is now a feature in Teams. New Teams Features


However, I can't seem to see how to tag people? Any ideas?


Targeted communication allows team members to message everyone in a specific role at the same time by @mentioning the role name in a post. For example, you could send a message to all cashiers in a store or all nurses in a hospital.

That feature is on its way but not yet released!



My problem is that I have 4 classes on one teams page, sometimes more.  Two classes can run together as they clash on the timetable anyway. But this isn't the only problem. The bubbles are a challenge in themselves. Each learner should have 90 minutes every week as general learning hours but one of only four bubbles can be live in a classroom the other three are online, There are two bubbles to each class.  So work has to be left on teams for the remaining 3 bubbles. 


I always thought that as soon you posted that you were ready to run your online class that was it and for most learners it is as they get a notification from the channel, the chat or the general posts platform.  I feel that learners are being awkward just to avoid doing any work at the best of times so I have resorted at times to mention that a class is about to start on a trade platform first, and then sometimes via another tracking system that sends a text message. 


I actually think I have the worst possible learners you can imagine as they just don't care either about their mark, in fact, I know that an average of 20%- 25% if not more have given up their courses this year as none of my construction wanabes feel that they can cope in an online situation. But again knowing how good these learners are with social media gives me great cause to doubt the sincerity of this. Meanwhile, I am plodding along wondering how to notify a group within a group, of their class starting times and days ,other than using chat and having to enter each one individually.