Although hopefully the Covid-19 pandemic is largely behind us, its legacy remains. One area of business life that has been changed is the rise of hybrid home and office working. If everyone is working in the same physical location, it is easier to ensure all employees get a similar experience and absorb a company’s culture, in a uniform way. Microsoft realised that in the new distributed and digital work environment, this is not always possible, and created a new employee experience platform to address the issue. Microsoft Viva.
What Is Microsoft Viva?
Microsoft describes Viva as “the first integrated employee experience platform for the hybrid work era.” It aims to help employees learn, grow, and thrive, and companies flourish. It is designed to work alongside existing Microsoft tools such as 365 and Teams.
Announced in 2021, Microsoft Viva focuses on the daily needs of employees at work. It builds on the power of Teams and Microsoft 365, unifying the employee experience across four key areas: engagement, wellbeing, learning and knowledge. Viva enables organisations to integrate their fragmented workplace tools, with new functionality, and provide them in a single, seamless employee centric platform.
Viva should certainly find favour with HR and internal communication departments, addressing the four key areas of engagement, wellbeing, learning, and knowledge via four different apps within the Viva platform.
Connections is the gateway for an employee to access internal communications and organisational resources, including news, HR policies, and company information. It also provides the ability to participate in different social and business communities.
Learning focuses on training and employee professional development. It brings together educational content from a company’s own resources, as well as 3rd-party providers such as LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and a growing list of other providers. The content can be made available on an ad-hoc basis, or curated into formal education streams and courses.
Topics uses AI learning to deliver a company specific “knowledge discovery experience” helping to provide relevant information to the right employees. This information is presented as topic cards within conversations and documents in Microsoft 365 and Teams. Clicking on a card opens a topic page, containing related documents, conversations, videos, and subject matter experts within the company.
Insights provides employees, managers, and leaders personalised and actionable information, to help them thrive as a person and benefit the company. For example, managers and leaders can see trends at a team level, as well as recommendations as to how to ensure a better balance between productivity and wellbeing. As well as using the information stored in Microsoft 365 and Teams, data can also be integrated from third-party services like Zoom, Slack, Workday, and SAP SuccessFactors.
How Can Businesses Use Microsoft Viva?
The focus of Viva on the employee experience means that it is likely to appeal to HR departments. A great example would be in the onboarding of new employees and helping them to understand and adapt to a company’s culture. Microsoft themselves make some bold claims about the benefit in these areas for Viva:
“Since its launch, Viva has helped customers reduce onboarding time by 50 percent, improve worker productivity through a 75 percent reduction in search time, reduce employee attrition by 20 percent, and more, resulting in 3x ROI.”
Providing a curated education and learning experience is likely to be another key usage area for Viva, especially in the hybrid office and remote working environment. New education providers are starting to provide their content on Viva, and we can only see this trend increasing.
The provision of health and wellbeing is already high on the corporate agenda, and the integration of Headspace, the mindfulness and meditation app, makes it easier for an organisation to provide some of the support their employees require.
Overall, Microsoft Viva is a game changer when it comes to providing a consistent and rewarding employee experience, and one that will undoubtedly lead to increases in productivity and satisfaction too.
How do I get Microsoft Viva?
We are an accredited Microsoft partner, and we would love the chance to show you what Viva can do for your employees and business. Whatever your size, shape and ambitions, Microsoft Viva can make life easier and more enjoyable for your employees, and in doing so help improve your business productivity. To find out more, please get in touch.