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Bora Ünlü, Teamflect: “giving and receiving feedback is important in every aspect even if positive or negative”

Knowing how to listen well and communicate is an important skill to master if you want to improve both personal and professional relationships.

It is also undoubtedly essential when speaking about boosting employee engagement. Even a simple demonstration of compassion can go a long way. However, this age wouldn’t be called digital, without at least some help from technology. This field is no option.

For this reason, we decided to have a chat with Bora Ünlü, CEO of Teamflect – a Microsoft Teams integrated performance management and employee engagement tool.

How did the idea of Teamflect come to life? What has your journey been like?

The idea of Teamflect came to the surface when we saw the gap in performance management and employee engagement topics. The user adaptation was low due to a lack of integration in these kinds of performance solutions. There was a need for an application that the employees can adapt to quickly. That’s when the basics of Teamflect were developed.

Teamflect started as an Outlook application and/or add-on. When the use of Microsoft Teams increased we thought that the application needs to have integration with Teams and we developed the application. We still require many updates, we take every demand from our customers seriously and we are still developing our application by adding new features.

Can you introduce us to your performance management solution? What are its key features?

Teamflect offers 7 modules as a performance solution:

  • 1-on-1’s: The 1-on-1 feature of Teamflect lets you organize your virtual meetings to encourage you to keep track of your and your employee’s tasks. Keeping track of the duties and having one-on-one meetings are essential to keep open communication within the team. Within this feature, you will be able to share meeting notes, assign tasks, mark talking points, submit feedback, and see recognition. You can easily allow collaborations with Teamflect’s single-click integration with Microsoft Teams.
  • Goals and OKRs: This feature will let you measure and evaluate the performance of your employees and teammates effectively. You can easily set OKRs and goals to track the progress of the projects. Teamflect has an easy interface that is user-friendly meaning that you can set and create your goals and OKRs with Teamflect’s simple integrations.
  • Feedback: This tool allows you to share your feedback and reviews with your colleagues instantly or privately. You can also check out the self-assessment in order to make your business more goal-oriented.
  • Performance Reviews: You can easily track and review performances with Teamflect’s performance reviews feature.
  • Recognition: Teamflect allows employees to submit recognition where you can share important parts of your company culture to help increase your employee's visibility.
  • Tasks: This feature allows you to create and assign tasks easily, and also track their progress and status within the integration of Outlook and Microsoft Teams.

Even though there are so many employee management options available nowadays, why do you think certain companies still hesitate to upgrade their operations?

Even though there are many solutions in terms of employee engagement, most of them are unknown within businesses. If they are not, most businesses are still struggling to adapt some of their work online and they prefer doing them manually or offline. The businesses might know what they need as a business roughly, but do they know deeply?

Not so sure… Even if they knew their needs, they don’t know what would solve their struggle. Another cause of hesitation to upgrade is the financial part. Most of these solutions are quite expensive and people are having second thoughts about spending this much of their budget on such solutions. Solutions like Teamflect are budget-friendly and they may provide great changes within the workflow with great advantages and improvements.

How do you think the recent global events affected your field of work?

As you know, the most recent global event was the pandemic. The pandemic made people step into a new era in business; remote working. Communication between the employees and the team, and following up on the tasks got harder when people started to work virtually.

This situation directly affected the performance and the engagement of employees, also the performance management. Companies are trying to find easier solutions to implement in their businesses such as Teamflect to rebuild the relationship between the company and the employees. Businesses noticed that with the right online solutions, working remotely can be done without any interruption.

Meanwhile, most people had to adapt the online working system and online tools to keep track of their performance and tasks. Even feedback is now given online, mostly in one-on-one meetings. Following the tasks and their progress is now more important than before, and so does using the right tool to do that.

Recently, maintaining creativity has been a severe struggle for some organizations. How can companies foster creativity and innovation when most of the workforce is working remotely?

Maintaining creativity is a crucial thing within businesses. People can only improve their creativity by creating an engagement both by themselves and their clients and by collaborating. If there is no space to be collaborative or for engagement, their motivation might decrease and this may cause a decrease in creativity as well. For that reason, companies have to build a transparent business culture where people can express their thoughts, ideas, and emotions deliberately.

Giving feedback is also quite important in the process of development, so there need to be feedback sessions that will be held regularly. When companies use a tool where they can track everything they need in a single platform like Teamflect, they would save time and effort, and it indirectly affects motivation, also creativity in a positive way.

In your opinion, what cybersecurity measures are essential for companies with a majority of remote employees?

When it comes to Cybersecurity, measures are always not enough especially if employees are working remotely. However, there are must-have measures that are required for all companies big or small.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a must and nearly all productivity suites offer first-party MFA functionalities such as authenticator applications, SMS, and calling as the 2nd factor.

Since employees now work at various different places such as airports, and home networks that can be prone to network-level attacks, companies should definitely implement Virtual Private Network (VPN) solutions.

Lastly, disk encryption applications such as Microsoft’s BitLocker are gaining more importance. A stolen PC should not mean stolen company data as the data on the hard drives can be easily encrypted with such solutions.

What would you consider the main practices companies should follow to improve their workplace culture?

To improve a company’s workplace culture, they can use recognition and feedback tools to provide a positive workspace. Giving and receiving feedback is important in every aspect even if positive or negative, doesn’t matter. Settings, where people can freely give feedback, tend to develop faster than in other companies.

The settings where people can’t give proper feedback or there is no open communication tends to have a toxic working culture due to misunderstandings or lower engagement. Teamflect’s “focus people” feature lets employees engage in the application by adding them as mentors, managers, direct reports, or team members. In this way, as Teamflect we are aiming to maintain communication between the employees.

What do you think an average workplace is going to look like in the near future?

Recently, lockdowns and isolation reshaped the working and workplace culture. It usually impacted businesses within longer working hours and staying 24/7 online. These past 2 years have taught us a lot in terms of digital transformation and how digital solutions can impact the effectiveness of businesses. Thinking about digitalization, this situation made the transition faster.

The future work settings will connect the platforms with digital products and services. Digital settings will let you track the progress of the required work in a quicker and more effective way. This transformation will also impact employee engagement and flexibility in a positive way and the user experience will constantly improve.

Would you like to share what’s next for Teamflect?

There is no limit nor a single thing to say about what’s next for Teamflect. We listen to our client’s needs and complaints. Our clients are very important to us and their requests are always prioritized. As team Teamflect, our prior goal is to move our integration with Microsoft to the next level or to strengthen it, being a native part of the platform.

We are also working on the team’s productivity supporting features and we plan to highlight the team meetings with our “one to many meetings” feature. We are also working on our new “goal check-in” and feed feature.

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