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How to build employee engagement via feedback in Microsoft Teams

Communicating via Microsoft Teams has proven absolutely vital for our business during lockdown. But Microsoft Teams broke 80 million downloads this year. So we know for a fact that the same is true for many of you

And with a great system for communication comes a great opportunity for improving employee engagement. And because it's virtual and remote-friendly, even the new "Big C" won't slow it down! 

So now seems like the perfect time to talk about how Microsoft Teams can help you maintain an engaging, feedback-driven workplace culture in your organisation.

How employee feedback in Microsoft Teams creates an engaging workplace culture

Workplace feedback has become increasingly sought after in the last few years. Millennial and Gen-Z workers in particular seem to crave more feedback from management

Feedback plays an essential role in both growing and maintaining employee engagement in the workplace. But it has to be a mutual exchange rather than one-sided. It's also important that managers respond to employee feedback by taking action.

Failing to address employee concerns will make your staff lose faith in both you and your feedback process. In turn, that will seriously compromise the validity of the resulting information.

Gallup argued in 2019 that traditional one-way feedback is ineffective. They attribute this to the role of performance management having become too complex for one-way, purely corrective feedback to be satisfactory. 

However, Gallup's research has shown that when managers actually request feedback from an employee, it helps to create an atmosphere of trust. This creates a much more suitable environment for discussions around performance. So, with consistent two-way feedback, you can establish a culture of open communication in your organisation. 

Strong communication practices are vital for maintaining an innovative and inclusive workplace, as well as an engaged one. Effective Microsoft Teams feedback has become a more important aspect of this than ever. The platform and others like it have played a key role in helping to enable 2020's surge in remote work.

Employee feedback in Microsoft Teams with Weekly10

The role of asynchronous communication in feedback

Even with the accessibility of video communication services like Microsoft Teams, sometimes, face-to-face conversations just aren't possible. 

The advantages of asynchronous communication make it essential for maintaining lines of communication. Modern tech can bridge the gap, whether you're in different time-zones or just have conflicting schedules.

You might be tempted to hover over your employees or badger them for hourly updates. But those well-meaning impulses are a sure-fire way to stray into micromanaging territory which can be awful for workplace trust. 

On the other hand, asynchronous communication methods like email or direct messaging tend to be a lot less obtrusive. There's no need to set an agreed-upon time. They don't need to interrupt anything, and you have time to really consider how to respond effectively. That said, it's definitely still possible to accidentally micromanage with these tools. If you're constantly messaging your team members and demanding immediate updates, is it really asynchronous anymore?

Tools that empower asynchronous feedback like Weekly10's employee check-in software are a great alternative to more classic sporadic management tools or, god forbid, stifling micromanagement practices.

What modern asynchronous feedback methods have over something like a traditional performance and engagement survey is that they're designed to fit neatly into everyone's routine without disrupting it. Keep things lightweight, frequent and asynchronous!

Our 360° feedback service is also conducted asynchronously. It's performed entirely via surveys that can be easily customised for different types of respondents. That means managers can evaluate performance based on a much larger pool of data from different levels of the organisation.

Microsoft Teams and Weekly10 combine into the ultimate feedback tool

Microsoft Teams is an incredibly useful tool for workplace communication and feedback. It can enable you to deliver bespoke performance management to all of your staff, no matter where they are. What makes it so flexible to different business needs is its array of specialised app extensions. They're all a click away, available for purchase or free download through its in-program store. 

We are officially partnered with Microsoft Teams. And as one of its leading employee engagement services, Weekly10 is one of these apps. Our extension enables users to access all of our platform's features via Teams. Managers can even set up their team members with the app automatically when they complete their Teams sign-up. The benefits of using Weekly10 in Microsoft Teams include:

A blend of synchronous and asynchronous communication: 

Adding Weekly10 into your Microsoft Teams feedback process gives you a choice of both synchronous and asynchronous communication options. Managers can respond directly to individual answers on an employee's update using the Weekly10 mobile app. 

Further discussion can be conducted through Microsoft Teams' direct messaging or video calling capabilities. 

The same also applies to 360° feedback, as these surveys can be followed up with group video stand-ups.

Employee feedback in Microsoft Teams is a key process to drive employee engagement

A more involved feedback process for remote workers: 

Managers shouldn't forget their duty of care for remote workers. Those working from home are at greater risk of isolation than centralised employees. Even when we're not locked down, spending most of the day cooped up by yourself isn't most people's cup of tea. But alongside our own service, Microsoft Teams is one of the most important tools we recommend for remote work

Our weekly check-ins can make a great week-to-week support for sporadic performance reviews. They can help cut employee anxiety by bridging the gap between annual or bi-annual performance reviews. But it's still important to emulate in-person one-to-ones with a video meeting. 

This helps engagement by maintaining a connection with your remote team. Weekly10's SMART Goals help to give remote workers manageable workloads. But if that's not your style, our OKRs can show employees how their work feeds into company objectives.

Multiple accessibility options for feedback documentation: 

Documentation is one of the most important parts of on-going Microsoft Teams feedback. Or, indeed, any feedback process at all. We've all experienced the dread, fear and embarrassment of forgetting to document something correctly in a review session.

Weekly10 preserves the answer history for each question asked in a weekly check-in, along with any responses or additional comments. When it comes to actual performance reviews, these can be done via Weekly10m in Teams. Managers can simply upload their documentation to Weekly10 for viewing by the subject employees. 

Teams supports this in its own way by incorporating multiple file-sharing methods. Small files can be shared directly via the direct messaging interface. Microsoft Teams also has full OneDrive integration, which is perfect for link-sharing or hosting larger files.

That means you have a host of options available to make referring back to prior Microsoft Teams feedback easy for everyone involved.

Machine-learning algorithms help managers gather more insightful data: 

So hopefully, we've shown you just how useful the Weekly10 app can be for Microsoft Teams feedback. But we'd be missing the mark if we didn't touch on how we use machine learning in the form of people analytics and sentiment analysis

Our algorithms don't just collate the answers to your weekly check-in questions. They also analyse the surrounding context and the language used. It's not just that you can use this information to create bespoke reports containing actionable results. You can also discover new questions to ask based on previous results and what's been found to work for other businesses similar to yours.

Together, our Weekly10 app and the Microsoft Teams platform combine structured, consistent feedback with easy, accessible communication. And you can bet that we're always developing new functionality to bring even more of the Weekly10 experience to the ever-more-popular Teams.

Want to see how employee feedback in Microsoft Teams and Weekly10 combine to drive employee engagement and improve workplace productivity?