Microsoft Viva: A Promising Employee Experience or Just a Nice-to-have Gimmick?
Since remote and hybrid work environments have become the new normal for many enterprises today, businesses find it much more crucial to look after their employees’ growth. Microsoft has introduced Microsoft Viva, an employee experience platform powered by Microsoft 365 and experienced primarily through Microsoft Teams, allowing staff to stay connected, updated, and driven. As a plethora of information is regularly shared and passed between colleagues working remotely, Viva helps bring the data together, enabling employees to navigate the complexities of working virtually.
A business is profitable because of its people, so there is no doubt that organizations should invest in the well-being of their human resources. We are not just saying that studies have time and again shown how organizations with highly engaged employees have more profitability, as much as 21% greater. In fact, a PwC survey even indicated that 94% of employees would stay longer at a company if it invested in their development and learning.
What is an Employee Experience Platform (EXP)?
A system of experiences that helps organizations create a thriving culture with engaged employees and inspiring leaders. When are employees considered successful, you say? That is when the wellbeing of people is prioritized, they are empowered, focused, well-connected, and are purpose-driven for professional and personal growth. The vision for Viva is an integrated employee experience that brings together all resources into the natural flow of everyday work to facilitate the success of each employee.
Microsoft Viva: The Future of the Employee Experience
If you’re wondering why Microsoft Viva matters, it is simple. According to studies quoted in this Forbes article, the employee experience has a direct impact on company profitability. As of now, employees are one of the highest costs of running a business. Therefore, ensuring their well-being and efficiency across the organization plays a pivotal role in organizational success. Viva is here and seeks to empower every employee to make the most of their workplace by thriving both personally and professionally.
Microsoft Viva is a great way to adapt to the current work environment that is making employees feel disconnected by creating a space that transforms how they engage with everyday work activities.
Microsoft Viva Transforming Remote Work Module by Module
Microsoft Viva introduces four modules, each of which caters to different work experiences, such as communication, learning, well-being, and knowledge discovery. These modules can be purchased independently or together and some come at an extra cost or license.
Let’s look at what each of the Microsoft Viva modules entails:
Viva Connections provides a single-entry point for employee engagement, internal communications, and a space to harness organizational culture. You can think of it as the gateway to your digital workplace. Built on top of Microsoft’s SharePoint technology, Viva Connections includes company news, resource groups, communities, and even stories!
There is also the exciting capability of boosting content so that it surfaces to the top to ensure that everyone interacting with the interface is in the know about the most important information.
Here is where you get personalized and actionable, privacy-protected insights for individuals, managers, and leaders. The main goal of Viva Insights is to help organizations thrive and improve with actionable findings based on analytics (MyAnalytics, workplace analytics, and Microsoft Exchange) to help prioritize well-being and drive productivity. It brings new personal well-being experiences and recommends actions into the flow of people’s work within Microsoft Teams.
Learning within the workplace is integral to employee productivity, growth, and development. Viva Learning facilitates this as it allows employees to quickly discover and share everything from training courses to various microlearning content. Viva Learning enables managers to assign learning and track the completion of courses to help foster a culture of learning throughout the workplace. Viva Learning is the central hub for training in Microsoft Teams and it comes with AI support that recommends the right content at the right time. Viva Learning aggregates content from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, your organization’s custom content, and training from leading content providers like Skillsoft, Coursera, Pluralsight, and edX. Viva Learning also works with leading learning-management systems. Today Microsoft is announcing partnerships with Cornerstone OnDemand, Saba, and SAP SuccessFactors. And there are more are on the way. According to LinkedIn, 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development, so Viva Learning is well worth considering if your organization is in need of a reliable LMS.
Going beyond the learning capability, Viva Topics enables you to harness your organization’s knowledge and connect people to that knowledge in the apps they use every day. Microsoft Graph helps to supply insights about content and knowledge throughout your Microsoft 365 tenant, and Microsoft Viva Topics builds on top of the Graph to create a bespoke knowledge network. Think of Viva Topics as a Wikipedia with AI superpowers for your organization. It uses AI to automatically organize companywide content and expertise into relevant categories such as ‘projects’, ‘products’, ‘processes’, and ‘customers’.
The Impact of Microsoft Viva on Employees
Microsoft Viva seeks to transform the employee experience in three different ways:
- Culture and Communication: Microsoft Viva aims to empower regardless of where they’re working from. Key components like employee resource groups and communities allow for better connectivity and communication across a remote or hybrid workplace.
- Productivity and Well-Being: Actionable insights and recommendations help everyone in an organization better manage their time and work. Personal well-being is prioritized as Microsoft Viva alerts individuals to take a break and prepare to disengage at the end of the workday. By encouraging staff to free up mental space and plan for tomorrow, Viva strives to aid organizations with employee well-being.
- Knowledge and Expertise: Microsoft Viva supports employees with knowledge and information to help them achieve tasks efficiently. The AI within Viva surfaces timely content, allowing users to learn without disrupting the flow of work.
Utilizing Microsoft Viva in Higher Education
Like many organizations, higher education institutions and universities were hit hard by the pandemic, as many were forced to move to a completely virtual environment for the first time. Organizations found themselves scrambling to adopt new technology or upgrade existing technology to support remote working. A tool like Microsoft Viva strives to help alleviate some of the pain points associated with remote and hybrid working environments.
Enhanced Digital Work Environment
With the power of Microsoft Viva, higher education organizations can create a better staff experience by supporting staff to be more efficient, more effective, and more engaged in meaningful professional development and learning. Viva is here to help higher-ed organizations connect complex systems and grow their networks both locally and internationally.
Many higher-ed institutions have multiple campuses or are located across different geographies. Microsoft Viva can connect people across multiple campuses and drive remote collaboration. Microsoft Viva’s AI engine finds and surfaces data to people working on similar projects, helping to bring the community together regardless of where everyone is physically located.
The Viva Learning module can also be utilized by higher education institutions to bring informative content to students. The ability to provide resources as and when needed has the ability to change the face of how universities impart education. This is not only true for students but also for staff members as Microsoft Viva enables organizations to execute and track training uniformly across the organization.
Higher education institutions can sometimes be high-stress environments for both students and staff. Microsoft Viva integrates well-being into the workplace as it encourages people to take breaks and prioritize their mental health.
Let’s not forget the heavy workload of information that universities often host on their servers. With the power of AI in Microsoft Viva, large chunks of information can be quickly processed, narrowed down, and surfaced, based on what you’re working on.
What Does Microsoft Viva Mean for You?
Microsoft Viva is a suite of services complementing the Microsoft 365 stack that uses AI, machine learning, and customization, made available through SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Viva is here to enable employees to feel more connected and aligned to their company’s purpose. To provide the best employee experience possible, Viva gives them a chance to grow and make an impact from within. Not only can you channel resources for knowledge base and training but also encourage open communication about the mental and emotional health of members of the company. Microsoft Viva is a progressive solution that promotes inclusivity with well-rounded professional development that you can trust.
The well-being practices recommended by Microsoft Viva strive to keep employees from suffering burnout and while it’s early days yet, it will be interesting to see how this aspect of Viva pans out. In addition, Microsoft Viva is created to enable vendors to create add-ons, like additional training resources and specific HR modules that can be easily integrated on top of Viva components and we expect Microsoft Viva to continue to grow and evolve.
Why not give your employees a new and improved digital workplace experience with Microsoft Viva? Feel free to get in touch with us if you want to discuss the details of Microsoft Viva and further explore the impact Viva could make on your organization.