Microsoft recently made a massive announcement about their new Employee Experience Platform (EXP), Microsoft Viva. This is Microsoft’s first experience platform that empowers you and your colleagues to feel connected, supported, and able to put your best foot forward at work. In today’s blog, we’ll discuss what Viva is, its various components, and when you can start using it!
What is Microsoft Viva?
According to Microsoft, organizations spend upwards of $300 billion a year on employee experience! This consists of training, benefits and wellbeing, and various employee experience technologies. However, things start to get messy when technologies become fragmented, difficult to find and only result in a disruptive workflow. This is where Microsoft Viva comes in. Simply put, Viva is a new experience platform geared towards the digital era where remote work has become the new norm. It is safe to say that the way work is being done today has significantly changed, thus the definitions of success often become blurred. With COVID impacting so many lives in more ways than one, many organizations have transitioned to a remote and hybrid workplace, where location matters less and everything is becoming digital. Microsoft has adapted to that change by creating a new experience platform that fosters a culture where people and teams are empowered to be their best from anywhere. Viva was developed to help you and your colleagues thrive at work by bringing together different tools for employee engagement, learning, wellbeing, and knowledge discovery all seamlessly integrated with the tools you use every day at work! To break things down a bit further we’ll cover the four different components/modules of Viva: Viva Connections, Viva Insights, Viva Learning, and Viva Topics.
According to Microsoft’s Trend Index, nearly 60% of people say they feel less connected to their team after shifting to remote work. To combat this, Microsoft has made Viva Connections. Viva Connections helps keep your organization informed, connected, and inspired to bring their “A-game” to work every day. You can think of Viva Connections as your personalized gateway to your digital workplace where colleagues have access to internal communications and company resources. Viva Connections lets you easily discover relevant news, conversations, and tasks so you can stay engaged and informed with your various workflows. Best of all, Viva Connections allows you to seamlessly build on your existing infrastructure by integrating with existing capabilities in Microsoft 365 like Teams, SharePoint, and Yammer! You can expect to see the Viva Connections app for Microsoft Teams on desktop in public preview sometime in the first half of 2021, with the mobile app coming later in the year! If you’d like to learn more about Viva Connections, check out Microsoft’s official blog here.
Often times working remotely means you’re never truly leaving work for the day. With nearly 70% of employees reporting higher stress levels and over 40% experiencing decreased mental health, employee burnout and wellbeing has become a top concern. To help you achieve a better work-life balance, Microsoft has made Viva Insights to help you build better work habits and help you find focus wherever and whenever you need it! Viva Insights gives individuals, managers, and leaders personalized and actionable insights and recommendations to empower everyone to achieve balance, build better work habits, and improve business outcomes. With new ways to quantify the impact of work on people and businesses, you’ll be able to see how work patterns affect employee wellbeing, productivity, and business performance. Viva Insights also comes with a dashboard that allows organizations to combine employee feedback from LinkedIn’s Glint with data from Viva Insights, so you can more accurately identify which teams are struggling and take a proactive approach by adjusting their work norms and monitor their improvement over time. Viva Insights not only uses data and signals from Microsoft apps but also incorporates data from third-party services like Zoom, Slack, Workday, and SAP SuccessFactors. If you’re interested in checking out Viva Insights, you’re in luck! The Viva Insights app in Teams and the new Glint and Viva Insights dashboard are already available now in public preview! You can also check out their official blog here.
According to a PwC CEO Survey on Talent Trends, 79% of CEOs worldwide are concerned that a lack of essential skills in their workforce is a barrier to future growth. However, with studies like the one from Deloitte showing that employees only have 1% of their workweek to focus on learning new skills, this only exacerbates the problem at hand. With Viva Learning, Microsoft is able to deliver learning through Microsoft Teams by integrating material into your hub for teamwork from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and other third-party providers like SkillSoft, Coursera, Pluralsight, and edX! With all your learning content in one easy to find location, you’ll be able to simplify your learning experience and easily discover, share, assign, and track learning material throughout your workday. The Viva Learning app is available now in private preview, and starting later this year, Viva Learning will start integrating with leading learning management systems like Cornerstone OnDemand, Saba, and SAP SuccessFactors! To learn more about Viva Learning, check out their official blog here.
According to a recent study by Spiceworks that surveyed U.S. based organizations, they found that people spend upwards of an hour each (or 7 weeks a year) searching for or recreating information! Luckily, Microsoft’s Viva Topics uses an AI-powered solution that automatically organizes content and expertise across your systems and teams into related topics such as projects, products, processes, and customers! By building on the content and platform services of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Graph, you can easily deliver knowledge directly into the Teams experience. In addition, Viva Topics can seamlessly integrate knowledge from third-party services like ServiceNow and Salesforce to automatically surface topic cards with conversations and documents across Microsoft 365 and Teams. These topics cards can then be clicked on to open the topic page which contains relevant documents, conversations, videos, and people. Best of all, Viva Topics is now generally available as an add-on to Microsoft 365 commercial plans! If you’d like to learn more about Viva Topics, I encourage you to check out their official blog here.
That wraps up the four different modules around Microsoft Viva. I hope now you have a good understanding of what exactly Microsoft Viva is, so you can determine if this new employee experience platform is the right fit for your organization! Also, I encourage you to check back soon, as I’ll be digging into each of these modules as more content is revealed! Until then, viva la vida!