Improving the Employee Experience Part 1: Teams as a Platform

Employee Experience

Employee experience (EX) can affect productivity, employee wellbeing and customer satisfaction. That’s why it is vital for companies to get it right. So, we spoke to our friend Joel Oleson, an MVP and Microsoft veteran, about why Microsoft Teams is the perfect employee experience platform.

In the first of a three-part series, Joel talks about why Teams is the perfect platform to host a range of apps, keeping employees engaged in the place they’re working; how organizations, who rapidly adopted the platform in the pandemic, can combat the Teams “sprawl”; and why Teams + Valo Solutions are a match made in heaven.

Why do you think “Teams as a platform” is such an important message today?

Joel: Teams IS a platform. It’s the single hub and place where employees can work. Teams as a platform means you don’t need to go build another browser-based or desktop app.

There’s no need to build your own custom UI and essentially spend a lot of money and time customizing the interface. Instead, look at Teams as the front end, and focus instead on what you’re going to do with that data.

It’s so much simpler to land an application inside of Teams. And then you don’t have to worry so much about the user experience.

The rapid adoption of Microsoft Teams has left many organizations with a Teams’ sprawl. How can people regain control of this platform?

Joel: When people deploy Teams, they typically get a tonne of teams, because people get excited about it. There’s no guidance from Microsoft as to whether a manager should create the team or whether a project manager should create the team. And what about any given user? Can they create a team?

If you were to ask what the average number of teams a company has, you’re going to notice a huge variety. Some companies will have one or two, others 20 or 30 + because every project or every customer, or everybody you interact with is creating a team. And that’s why you end up with chaos.

Maybe they’d be a lot less teams if people could find the teams that were created. So, discovery itself is a huge problem.

If you organize Teams in a structured way and let everyone know who’s able to create a team and use a tool like Valo Teamwork, it will be easy for the end user to see which team they belong to and where their content is.

From a back-end perspective IT admins can also use Valo Teamwork to create templates, tag groups and introduce lifecycle management – which make governance a whole lot easier.

Good governance is about having a structure around policies, a thought process about configuration, securities and permissions. That’s super important for scalability and growth.

What is what is the advantage of going with a solution like Valo versus SharePoint out of the box?

Joel: SharePoint out of the box provides lot of the tools and solutions for being able to get started. But what Valo brings to this is it’s an accelerator. It’s designed around rapid adoption.

Any company adopting SharePoint very quickly wants it to not look like SharePoint, they don’t like the look of it. And while Microsoft has come out with some creative things like the Look Book, that helps with company branding, they can only get so far.

This is why, a few years ago, the number of intranet-in-a-box solutions exploded.

You only have to take a look at the number of awards Valo has won to see it’s one of the best intranets globally. But it’s not just about internets, Valo is great at governance too.

If you’re using Teams and SharePoint out of the box, every single team you create, you can share the files in it with somebody external, but that’s not something that you should be doing with every team you create. You absolutely need to be governing it and thinking about how you manage external users.

There’s very little provision within the in-the-box solutions around managing guests, and inviting external folks, and then archiving and removing those people over time. However, with Valo Teamwork and Valo Entrance this is all possible.

Want to know more about how to improve your employee experience inside Microsoft Teams? We’ve got you covered:

Watch our “Teams as a Platform” webinar now available on demand. Or read our latest blog “5 steps to a complete employee workplace experience”.

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 Or simply contact the team and one of our experts will show you how to maximise your employee experience within Microsoft Teams.

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