Communicating and collaborating as part of the culture change

Posted on Friday, October 2, 2020

The Digital Campus Transformation Plan speaks to ambitious priorities it will undertake over the next give years to deliver added value and transformation to uOttawa. Part of the undercover work that occurs hourly, daily, weekly, monthly … is the collaboration and work it takes to make all the pieces happen properly and at the right time. And it is for this reason that a series of best practices & tips were collated into what they are referring to as the Etiquette series.

The motivation comes from the information glut that surrounds our collaborations: the emails, the texts, the meetings, and tools to get it all done. There aren’t enough hours to read everything that we receive and act upon it promptly. There is no magical pill to make it all go away but there are some guidelines we can agree to try and follow that will help reduce the information load. 

I challenge you to look at the number of unread emails you have every morning and then before leaving at night, look at the number of emails you’ve sent. I’m sure it’s impressive no matter where you sit in the organization!

A bright and colorful series of infographics was created following days of research into what other organizations are doing and what specialists across the world are promoting as ways to staunch the flow of correspondence … striving to send more meaningful and impactful information.

Information Technology delved into virtual workplace guidelines and tips; MS Teams productivity; DLs and listservs, email checklist (a favourite among our directors!); email best practices; and meeting best practices. The interest was positive among our staff. A survey was sent after each publication. The infographics transmitted something new to respondents in the range of 31%-65%. The specific tips that elicited the greatest favorable reviews were:

  • set up the daily MS Teams status daily
  • avoid texts and calls outside regular business hours
  • tips on microphone, meeting chats, Teams backgrounds
  • difference between DLs and listservs
  • stick to one main message per email
  • consider using Grammerly for a tone check in emails

Other sectors have expressed interest in this series too. We plan to remove the tips that relate strictly to IT staff and make a more general version of the series available. Check the IT website in upcoming weeks!

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