It's a thumbs up for Teams at LHR

28 October 2020

In September, our colleagues at London Heathrow welcomed Teams to their team. We talked to VP Frank Dobbelsteijn about the impact this has had within Ground Handling.

“When we were planning to introduce Teams, I kept reminding everyone that it was taking over a week, in some cases, for information to reach the whole Ground Handling department. Microsoft Teams has completely changed that,” says Frank, whose enthusiasm for the new technology is evident.

“We really thought hard about how to organise Microsoft Teams and, with IT’s help, we’ve created a set up that is working well. Managers can communicate to their teams, departments can connect with each other, and individuals can chat and collaborate.”

Asked how people are using Teams, Frank explains; “It’s great for sharing operational information and we’re realising how useful it is as a record of events and as a risk control. I know a lot of people are using it to support shift handovers as well, which is great for customer service continuity.”

Microsoft Teams is a platform which offers a lot more than just chat and instant messaging. Frank and his leadership team have been using the Live Event feature to hold colleague meetings, with more than 1100 people taking part in recent sessions. “Live Events can be set up at a moment’s notice and a lot of colleagues can join without needing to travel across the airport or rearrange their working day,” says Frank, “and we can record the Live Events so others can watch them later. It’s really changing the way managers communicate and is making information like business announcements easily available to everyone who has downloaded the Teams app.”

As well as work, the Heathrow Ground Handling team is using Microsoft Teams for a bit of fun – luckily emojis are built into the tool and easy to use. The translation option is also proving valuable as users can view Teams messages in the language that’s easiest for them.

Frank Dobblesteijn and his leadership team are now looking forward to the next phase of Microsoft Teams: the introduction of a time and attendance management tool. “We’re working with Kronos to develop a tool that will allow us to swap shifts, clock in and out and book annual leave using Teams on our smartphones, rather than having to use touch panels and kiosks. I’m really hopeful that this will let everyone in Ground Handling manage their time and reduce the reliance on paper.”

Using Teams has already become second nature to many of Frank’s colleagues…and he no longer has to wait seven days for news to travel!