Communication Tools for Managers

There are a number of ways managers can stay in contact with their team's, service delivery partners and peer group. The most obvious of these email and personal phone calls. This contact information should be readily available through the email system or on Active Directory if colleagues have kept it up-to-date. If not, you should encourage them to do so.

Members of CMT, Service Managers and those who attend corporate boards or working groups have been issued with a Microsoft Team licence, to conduct those meetings. Webex remains available for staff who require to have confidential or sensitive discussion and Zoom is available for general discussions. In addition, the roll out of the softphone will allow one to one videoconferencing. Please see below for more information:

Microsoft Teams

As highlighted above Microsoft Teams is available for some managers, a list can be provided by IT. Please note that under the terms of the licence agreement the use of MS Teams for internal videoconferencing meetings is restricted, and only those staff can be invited to attend meetings using MS Teams. This licensing restriction does not apply to colleagues in Education Services with a westlothian.org.uk email account or parties external to the council.

To access MS Teams please visit Microsoft Teams (note using the Chrome or Edge browsers provides a better experience than Internet Explorer), login using your email address as your username and your existing password for MS Teams. Note that on some occasions Windows will automatically fill the username field with the wrong information in the format lastname.firstname@wlcorporate.westlothian.gov.uk, please change this to your email address (firstname.lastname@westlothian.gov.uk) before attempting to login.

IT Services have arranged for the software to be installed on the devices of the staff on the list and the following link provides access to an online training video

Webex

Employees with Webex already installed will continue to have access to the system for the next 12 months to host and attend meetings. The council has purchased a number of concurrent user licences which will enable internal and external videoconference calls. Unlike MS Teams there are no restrictions on staff without the Webex system being invited to attend a Webex meeting, however there are no plans to extend the number of concurrent user licences.

For more information on the Webex Meetings product and its functionality visit their website

Zoom

The use of Zoom is permitted for all other staff.  This is an online meeting tool which can also be used to provide webinars and training. You can sign up for free and hold meetings up to 40 minutes long. Longer meetings, webinars and training events require you to subscribe. The council has a Icon for pdf guide [1.41MB] on the use of Zoom.

WARNING: Zoom should not be used for sensitive or confidential meetings and documents should not be shared.

Softphone

There is also software installed or that can be installed on council laptops or desk tops that allow employees to make video calls. More information can be found in the Icon for pdf Soft Phone Guidance [386.46KB]

WhatsApp

If all your team have a smart phone and are happy to participate you can also set up a WhatsApp group to communicate more easily and more agilely than using email.  As with Zoom, this should not be used for sensitive or confidential meetings or documents.

Advice on online meetings

This brief BBC clip provides some advice on using video conferencing.  The CIPD have also produced a helpful Icon for pdf guide [1.75MB].

There is also guidance from the Improvement Service on Icon for pdf hosting online events [815.0KB] and Icon for pdf running effective webinars [984.13KB]

Digital Champions

Remember your Icon for pdf Digital Champions [397.09KB] are there to help if you need support in establishing effective communication arrangements with your team and others.