Microsoft Teams is renowned for having some of the best employee facing capabilities in the baseline system but there are also thousands of approved apps that integrate seamlessly with Teams and serve to ease and improve your employee productivity, collaboration and wellbeing every day.
We have selected six of our favourite apps that are available right now.
Direct from Microsoft, Approvals delivers the essential ability to monitor, track, and keep record of workflows – all without the need to have an underlying workflow management system. This neat, intuitive app, like so many Teams apps, allows you to kick off an approval flow within chat, in a channel conversation, or from the Approval app itself. You can review and manage all your approvals in one place, in the Approval app, where each is listed alongside details such as the source, requestor, approvers and all important status. Just pick an approval and you can dive into the details and track its progress.
For higher profile, value, or important approvals you may want to capture a signature on an approval (take a legal document, such as an NDA for example) and Approvals integrates with electronic signature providers such as Adobe Sign and DocuSign to allow you to request signed approval within the Approvals app. Using Microsoft security and compliance standards, all events in Approvals (such as requesting an approval, or even rejecting an approval request) are recorded and are available to view in the Microsoft 365 Compliance Centre.
Shared digital canvas app MURAL is a must-have for any business who finds their employees leap to the whiteboard at any given opportunity. MURAL offers a wide range of visual collaboration features from the artistic through to the highly practical – and it’s free to get started with 5 ‘murals’ and unlimited users. Going beyond both online whiteboarding and design software applications, MURAL is embedded with templates and playbooks to support and direct complex teamwork tasks and projects. Users can add a shared digital canvas directly into any channel, chat, meeting invite or live Teams meeting to start sharing and inspiring colleagues, while capturing creative ideas. With the MURAL tab embedded in Teams you can then return to murals again and again, building on ideas and even pulling in new collaborators. Facilitation Superpowers ™ features within the app allow you to customise your session experience by selecting custom toolbars, organising your session content ahead of time, hiding selected steps and sections until you are ready to reveal them, and even other tools to efficiently manage sessions and their output.
With MURAL your creative, ideation and planning sessions will be easier to manage, with more visual and inspiring output, and – of course – well integrated into Teams and the way that your business works day-to-day.
At the heart of an engaged workforce is a business that listens to their people. Engaged employees will feel they have easily accessible routes to provide regular, timely feedback and that they are being listened to on both a collective and individual level. Live polling app Slido gives business users the ability to create and run polls with minimum effort and maximum creativity, to keep the conversation flowing in a lively and low impact way. There are a wide range of poll types to choose from including multiple choice, rating polls, open text, ranking polls. Slido can even support running quizzes, right in your Teams meetings, with a running leaderboard function and celebration graphics for the winners.
Survey and poll results are returned in easy to digest formats such as word clouds and beautiful infographics that you can easily share across Teams and beyond, via email and social media. Slido’s simplicity makes it easy to roll out and start using, but its value comes from its additional features – such as the ability to gather live Q&A during meetings and presentations or see detailed analytics by individual rooms.
Project and task flow management app Trello allows you to start small and build up complexity as you, and your employees, become familiar with its boards, lists and cards. Create projects and tasks, assign actions, and easily move activities through a bespoke workflow all visualised on an interactive board. To make collaboration simpler, you can add a Trello board for your project in your Teams channel so that everyone can access and work on it. Trello is a great way to see your own and other team members’ activities and progress and – with a nifty Messaging Extension – you can search for a card by keyword and then send that card into a Teams conversation.
Adobe Creative Cloud
For your creatives, your reviewers, and everyone in between, Adobe Creative Cloud (as says one 5-star reviewer) “eliminates the need to install 1 million pieces of software” and instead brings together creativity and collaboration in one place through its integration with Microsoft Teams. Once authenticated through Adobe ID, users can access their secure accounts through Teams and pin Creative Cloud assets to a channel tab to share and gather feedback on their work. Creative Cloud also allows users to enhance chat messages with designed assets and keep track of actions taken on assets via notifications. The app also delivers handy access to Creative Cloud files and libraries, so creators and reviewers alike don’t need to leave Teams.
Employee Wellness by Health Hero
This timely app allows groups of any size to create fun, healthy activities and challenges to share, track and engage across the business. Employee Wellness by Health Hero has been specifically designed to increase wellness awareness, improve engagement, and create a wellness focus work environment – particularly for remote and hybrid work and learning environments. It’s social – with a global feed that brings everyone together – and exceptionally well connected – with options to connect with all the major health apps including Apple Health, Google Fit, Fitbit, Garmin, Headspace, Calm and Peloton. Employee Wellness by Health Hero is also Microsoft Viva compatible.
The goals and targets, challenges and activities within the app are fully customisable so that you can design wellness experiences that address the specific needs and objectives of your organisation. Users can view and track personal activities in one place including (with an enhanced Enterprise plan) Biometric screening data, health risk assessments and mental health screenings. Leaders can track wellbeing metrics and activities at an organisational level, and shape plans that will help tackle employee stress levels, boost fitness, and encourage positive mental health goals.