Are you tired of collecting employee feedback through hundreds of paper forms or clunky processes that are difficult to manage? Building a Power App is one way that you can streamline this process. However, did you know that there’s already an app available in Microsoft Teams that can help you with this? The Employee Ideas app is not only ready use, but it can also be customised to fit your unique needs. In this post, we’ll explore how the Teams Employee Ideas app can make the feedback collection process a breeze, and how you can tailor it to best suit your requirements.
If you’re a Microsoft Teams user, you should be able to find, install and configure the Employee Ideas app at no additional cost (and as long it has not been blocked by an admin).
What does the app do?
Here’s what you’ll be able to do with the Employee Ideas app:
- Submit ideas for a particular campaign and review other team members’ ideas
- Establish and customise an idea campaign to group ideas
- Create a submission form for employees to fill
- Upvote/Like other idea submissions
- Manage and evaluate the campaigns and associated ideas, including editing or deleting campaigns
- Track the most popular ideas via leaderboards
Installing the Employee Ideas app
The app can either be installed within a Team, or as an organisation-wide app. If added within a Team, members of the Team will be able to use it to submit ideas. Managers of the Team will have the “Manage Ideas” side of the app, where settings can be configured. Publishing as an organisation-wide app will require admin approval first.
Here, we’ll look at adding it to a Team’s channel. Click on the Apps area of Teams, and search for employee. You should see Employee Ideas come up.
Select it, then click Add to a team. Select the channel, then click Set up a tab > Save.
It may take a few minutes to set up, but you’ll get a notification once it’s ready to use. You’ll see the 2 tabs for the app added to the channel.
Using the app
There are two sides of the app:
- Ideas: Team members/employees can view the campaigns that have been created, then submit ideas to a campaign. They can view and upvote other submissions.
- Manage Ideas: This is where Team managers create campaigns, view submissions and edit the form questions.
There is some sample data which contains pre-built campaigns and submissions. The Manage Ideas app is where these can be edited or removed.
In the Ideas app, as a Team member, you can browse through the current campaigns. Campaigns act as a category or topic, where employees can submit related ideas. Clicking into a campaign will show the ideas that have been submitted, or the ability to create a new idea. By default, attachments can also be uploaded with each idea submission.
Manage Ideas app is intended for tracking ideas and setting up campaigns. You can restrict this side of the app to just Team owners from the Settings area (cog icon in the top right corner of app).
To remove the existing sample campaigns, you can Edit the campaign to see the Delete option.
When you create a new campaign, you can specify a start and end date, as well as the questions for employees to complete. The campaign will be visible to employees in the Ideas app only during the campaign duration.
Extending the app
Employee Ideas is a pre-built Power App. While you may be able to make some basic setting changes via the Manage Ideas app, you can make further changes to the app design and functionality via Power Apps Studio. You can also modify the Dataverse tables, and extend it with other Power Platform tools such as Power Automate, Power BI and Power Virtual Agents.
To see the backend of the app and Dataverse tables, go to the Power Apps app in Teams.
In the Build tab, click on your Team, then Installed Apps. Click See all.
If you click on … > Edit for one of the Canvas Apps, Power Apps Studio will launch. This will take you to the designer where you can make your changes to the app screens, for example, if you want to add your own branding, colour scheme, or any other functionality.
See here for more information on Power Apps Studio.
It is best to not change the functionality of the app unless you know what you are doing! You might make a change that could break the app. But if you do make any changes, click on the Publish button to make them live.
Keep a lookout for future posts about the Employee Ideas app. Next time, we’ll look at how you can extend it with the other Power Platform tools.