Microsoft Teams is best known for group channels, chat conversations, meetings, and calendars all in one place, making team collaboration easier within a unified hub. But beyond this – by providing many ways that apps can integrate, Microsoft Teams is designed to be highly tailored. It can become a customized digital home for your team, well suited for remote work scenarios. Many teams are now fully working remotely. As they adapt, it’s important to keep experimenting in customizing the mix of communication styles and applications to find the right balance for your team.
Taking a pulse of the team
In-person work provides many informal ways to connect and keep connected – from hallway conversations and watercoolers, to 60 person team meetings where you can ask for formal Q&A. 1 to 1 and group chat can facilitate many of these opportunities, but you may want to consider additional tools to ensure every voice is heard.
One technique is to consider pulse surveys – small one or two question surveys that are easy to fill out. In v-team meetings that can involve many, a quick poll can provide a low impact way to get the sense of your team – providing the virtual equivalent of taking stock of a room.
Partner applications integrate with Microsoft Teams capabilities including chat and team spaces to make creating a poll possible in as few as three clicks. Through the compose bar within Microsoft Teams, you can add a quick poll for your team, within your channel and meeting conversations. A quick, non-intrusive poll will frequently elicit responses a normal chat conversation may not. Common applications for quick polling functionality can include Polly, SurveyMonkey, Open Agora, TinyPULSE, and more.
These applications are becoming more tailored for gathering quick feedback in real-time – SurveyMonkey, for example, has released several updates recently to make their surveys, polls and quizzes even more dynamic and accessible within Microsoft Teams. With multiple question types and live previewing during survey creation, users can launch surveys seamlessly and with the flexibility they need. In addition to powerful analytics within the SurveyMonkey app, you can now access results within Teams channels.
Polly also makes it easy to get started with a pulse survey habit – simply add the Polly app to an existing site. Within the compose bar, you can gather quick feedback within your team using Polly.
Staying connected to your team is more important than ever. As with meetings, you can use Polly’s pulse surveys to regularly check in with your team in-channel – for example, a weekly pulse survey at the start or end of week that captures the week’s goals and overall sentiment.
One common suggestion is to use a rotation of common “pulse” questions for your team, including:
- How are you feeling?
- What’s your primary focus this week?
- Is anyone blocked in taking their next step?
- What are folks doing to learn and grow more this week?
- Are there any challenges you’d need help with?
The simplest kind of pulse survey is one that simply asks for peoples’ outlook and perspective – for example, Are people are feeling Great/Good/OK/Bad. When asked consistently, week over week this can help provide a perspective around “changes in temperature”.
Qubie is one application that provides a concise and focused team feedback experience along these lines. Its design as a Team Coach app focuses on delivering a concise input experience – just pick from a status emoji – and channels that feedback into overall team assessments with details and analytics for team leaders.
Whether you are designing your own weekly polls within polling applications, or using an app like Qubie, these questions can be rolled into a weekly assessment for your team, to help foster a habit around team connection and overall feedback assessment.
As part of connecting teams together, get started in your meetings and team channels to take the pulse of your team. This will help you get a better sense of how your team is doing, and provide ways to collect input from all voices on the team. Within Microsoft Teams, several applications – including SurveyMonkey, Polly, and Qubie – provide a streamlined path to quick Q&A. The diversity and power of these applications will make it easy for you to find just the right style of communication with your team.
If you would like to learn how to better use apps in Teams to enhance remote work, see these remote work Teams apps site with more use cases and ideas, and take advantage of the free virtual training events each week.
For Teams end-users:
- See more related remote-work apps and scenarios available from the Microsoft Teams store.
- Check out this guide to remote work apps
- Join a live, instructor-led training session called “Learn to Use Apps in Microsoft Teams.” Find, install, and leverage the full functionality of some of the most popular apps.
For Teams Admins:
- Join the Chalk Talk series, where members of Teams engineering walk through the security, deployment, and management of third-party integrations.