Effectively managing employees with Microsoft TeamsReading Time: 5 minutes
Like many other businesses around the world, we at Weekly10 have had to re-organise ourselves to be able to coordinate and get things done remotely in the wake of COVID-19. Almost overnight, like hundreds of thousands of other businesses, we had to pivot quickly and move all operations to away from the office; thankfully we already had a pretty robust remote working policy so the upheaval wasn’t too daunting!
No matter where we have found ourselves working in the “new normal”, direct, frequent and effective communication and collaboration within and across our people remains a top priority at all times. Not least to ensure our people are in the loop and up to date on shifting priorities and new projects, but also to support and maintain wellbeing, employee engagement and team morale. As Grammarly’s Head of Comms Senka Hadzimuratovic says, “communication fosters connection”.
While there are tools and services useful for different aspects of remote team coordination, the one we’ve used for direct (and asynchronous communication) above all others is Microsoft Teams. Teams is very popular right now, having gone from 20 million daily active users to 75 million in just four months.
Communicating and managing employees with Microsoft Teams gives you a range of options
Microsoft Teams has a lot of options for communication. That’s why it featured on our list of top remote work tools. While it’s most well-known as a video conferencing app, it has a lot of great features, such as a direct messaging interface file-sharing courtesy of its OneDrive integration, and integration with a bunch of optional third-party apps (including Weekly10, but more on that later). The only thing to bear in mind is that Teams does require the use of an Office365 account.
It’s important not to underestimate the value of a good direct messaging system. Asynchronous communication is vital for remote collaboration because it enables you to ask questions and share information without putting immediate pressure on. Remember as we can’t see our people, we don’t know what they are dealing with at any one time when working remotely and the last thing we want to do is pile on at a bad moment.
On top of that, employees have their chat histories, making it easy to double-check what’s been discussed.
In Teams, you can have up to twenty participants in a video call. Until recently, most people you can have on-screen at once was four, but this has been increased to nine in a change that Microsoft started rolling out in April due to user demand. So larger group/team meetings are becoming a more realistic event as the platform grows.
As a video conferencing tool, Teams is reliable and in our experience very easy to use, but if that were all it had going for it, we wouldn’t recommend it to you. It’s all the extra’s it provides, plus the fantastic array of third-party integrations that make it stand out.
One great feature in Teams is the ability to record video meetings. These recordings can then be uploaded to Microsoft Stream for easy access. Even if you don’t do this, the recordings are still available to be downloaded directly for twenty hours after the meeting.
This is fantastic because it enables video-conferencing to take a leaf out of asynchronous communication’s book, in that it enables your team to go back over everything that was said. It could be that someone couldn’t attend the meeting, or they just want to double-check the finer points of what you told them about the project you assigned to them. This way, people can catch themselves up without having to get a second-hand account from someone else, taking up their valuable time.
Obviously the people who stand to get the most out of the video-conferencing side of Teams will be remote workers and those collaborating across different branches of a business.
If you’re using Teams to manage remote workers (and in these wild times, you probably will be!), then daily 5-minute video stand-ups (as we run here at Weekly10) can really make a difference. Even in normal circumstances, a connection to their team members can be essential for maintaining an employee’s sense of social wellbeing. Now, though? It’s more vital than ever, considering your morning meeting might well be the only spoken interaction they have all day.
Then there’s the wide array of third-party applications available through Teams. Trello, Salesforce, Lucidchart, Adobe CC and even Zoom all have apps available in Teams to supercharge collaboration and flexibility.
Oh and then there is Weekly10 for all your employee engagement, goal/OKR setting and performance review needs…
How Weekly10 makes managing employees with Microsoft Teams even easier
Now Teams isn’t the only app with Weekly10 integration, and Weekly10 is far from the only third-party service integrated into Microsoft Teams. But the two really do go hand-in-hand. While Teams by itself is a fantastic communication tool with plenty of useful features, Weekly10 brings its own strengths to the table.
Weekly10 was created with the aim of redefining employee engagement and supplementing face-to-face employee performance reviews. Our weekly check-in allows your employees to provide continuous feedback and updates on their wellbeing and satisfaction, as well as objective progress (via SMART goals or OKR) and any work-related issues they might be experiencing.
While weekly check-in may sound like a lot (particularly if you’re used to employee surveys, that can take huge amounts of time for employees to complete), it takes just a few minutes, with the aim being no more than 10 minutes per week for any employee.
The Weekly10 add-on makes it even easier to manage employees with Microsoft Teams. Employee check-ins can be completed by staff and reviewed by managers through Teams, and you can even have employees complete their Weekly10 signup through it as well. This means they don’t have to create new user credentials and can get to grips with Weekly10 in an application they’re already familiar with. On top of that, with a 365 management account, you can add Weekly10 to your employees’ Teams apps automatically.
Weekly10 also enables dynamic performance reviews and 360° feedback, pulling relevant data from the weekly check-in, the attitudes/perceptions of other employees and performance data together to create reviews with genuine impact.For more information on Microsoft Teams, Weekly10, and other highly useful communication and management tools, visit our blog today!