A successful onboard can make a tremendous difference to getting a new joiner more productive, more engaged, and more satisfied with the organization. However, in person onboarding can be inconsistent and overloading., and is especially challenging in these Work-From-Home days. We built TeamMate to help make this process smoother, more interactive, and more engaging, while at the same time allowing employees to engage with the content, the tasks, the information and ultimately the new organization flexibly in their own time and their own pace.
What it does
TeamMate makes sure the new joiner has the information they need, and is guided successfully through the onboarding. It does this through three key features:
- 🖼Interactive, hierarchical menus - providing structured and grouped content and either linking out to relevant items or showing them embedded right inside Teams (e.g.video)
- ⏰Scheduled messages - delivering bite-sized content to users over time and offering multiple possible Calls-to-Action
- 💡AI-Driven Q&A - allowing the user to get support on a wide variety of topics, 24x7 and without requiring precious HR or IT staff time
🚀 All of the above are fully-customizable by the organization to suit their new joiners' needs.
How I built it
TeamMate is built using the Bot Framework, in .NET, and utilizes Hero Cards, Adaptive Cards, LUIS and QnAMaker. Azure is utilized for all hosting requirements, with Azure Functions heavily used as the backend.
Challenges I ran into
Given prior experience with Teams app development, creating the actual bot itself was relatively straightforward - the biggest challenge was providing a robust, comprehensive (but easy-to-use) backend to make customizing the new joiner's experience as easy for the administrator as possible, and providing good mechanisms to allow testing and verifying of each customization. Covid of course provided its own challenges, severely affecting project timelines.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Getting the app all the way from conceptualization to actually in the store was a huge task, so I'm glad to have achieved this big milestone.
What I learned
A lot more was learned about Teams development, the app store process, and a huge amount about the fairly wide mix of technologies required to make TeamMate happen. As an engineer, I also personally have been learning a lot about Marketing & Sales!
What's next for TeamMate New Employee Onboarding Welcome Bot
There are a ton of new features lined up, so TeamMate will keep getting better and better, both for new joiners and for existing staff.