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Everything You Need to Know About Microsoft Viva

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COVID-19 has forever changed the way we work. With a rapid shift to remote work at the beginning of the outbreak, companies worldwide worked rapidly to digitize most of their business processes and tools. However, as this pandemic continues, it’s time to do more than just provide employees with the tools and resources they need to get work done. It’s time to provide them with the employee experience they’ve been missing.

One recent survey conducted by Forbes found that over 50% of HR representatives and business leaders ranked employee experience as their number one company initiative for 2020. Dr. Steve Hunt, Chief Expert, Technology, and Work at SAP, stated:

“Employee experience management tells us the ‘why’ behind the perceptions employees have about the moments that matter to them, and allows employers to get inside the heads of employees, turn on the sound, and understand what is working and not working for them.”


There are a number of reasons that employee experience is more important than ever in the wake of COVID-19. A bigger workload, burnout, and feelings of isolation being just a few. At the beginning of the outbreak, many businesses turned to new digital tools to ensure remote workers could complete work. However, we now need to implement tools that provide employees with an optimal experience and leave them feeling empowered.

Today, we’re excited to announce the latest employee experience platform (EXP) created by Microsoft: Microsoft Viva.

Introducing Microsoft Viva

Microsoft Viva is designed to keep remote employees connected while providing users with an employee experience made specifically for this digital era. The goal of Viva is to connect users across learning, well being, and collaboration which will empower them to be their best. 

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, said this about the creation of the platform:

“We have participated in the largest at-scale remote work experiment the world has seen, and it has had a dramatic impact on the employee experience. Every organization will require a unified employee experience from on-boarding and collaboration to continuous learning and growth. Viva brings together everything an employee needs to be successful, from day one, in a single integrated experience directly in Teams.”

With direct integration into Teams, users will enjoy the same security and accessibility featured within the Microsoft 365 stack.

Currently, Viva features four modules: Topics, Learning, Insights, and Connections. Microsoft has already stated that additional modules are already in the works.

Topics

The business world is  filled with jargon, acronyms, and terms that are difficult to keep track of. Most of us have probably been in situations where terms are thrown around in a business setting and we have no idea what people are talking about.

Jared Spataro, head of Microsoft 365, described Viva topics this way: “Think of it like a Wikipedia page for the organization.” This module is powered by AI and will automatically surface topic cards that contain documents, videos, or contact cards from apps like SharePoint, Teams, and Office.

So if you’re working and come across a term or topic that you’re unfamiliar with, Topics will help to fill in the blanks. This is especially helpful for new hires who are just starting with your company and may be overwhelmed with new information. 

Learning

Some of the most successful companies are those that have built learning into their everyday workflow. Employees who are able to constantly learn and grow feel happier and more successful at work, and will likely remain with a company longer. 

Viva Learning brings learning into every workflow with ease. Similar to Viva Topics, Learning is powered by AI and houses training courses and materials as well as other educational content. Currently, the module is integrated with LinkedIn Learning, PluralSight, Cornerstone, and Skillsoft, and additional partnerships are already in the works.

Insights

While the pandemic may have saved us some time in our workday by cutting out long commutes or office distractions, productivity has decreased significantly for some employees. Working from home day in and day out can be mentally draining and lead to feelings of burnout among employees. Plus, for those with families at home, it may be even harder to remain focused and productive. 

Insights provides personalized analytics and data-driven insights and recommendations to improve employee productivity and wellbeing. Each of these insights are privacy-protected, ensuring that sensitive data stays protected. Insights can also plug into additional platforms like SAP Success Factors to analyze employee patterns and trends. Information is customized on an individual, manager, and leadership level, providing users with the information they need to thrive.

Connections

It’s not surprising that with more people working from home, feelings of loneliness and isolation are on the rise. One survey of 3,500 remote employees found that 20% of employees said that loneliness was their biggest struggle to remote working—being unable to unplug and struggling to communicate or collaborate were close seconds. Many of these feelings come from being unable to meet face-to-face in town hall meetings or at company events. These feelings are especially heightened in new hires who may not have visited the office in-person or physically met any of their colleagues.

Viva Connections is designed to bring people back together by acting as a personalized gateway to your company’s digital workplace. Here, users will have easy access to internal communication and information such as resources, tools, benefits, policies, and community groups. All information can be accessed from one application within Microsoft Teams and is customizable for specific users.

This is Just the Beginning

Microsoft leaders have already stated that there is so much more to come with Viva. They’re optimistic that the platform will continue to improve employee experience while empowering employees to be their best in remote, hybrid, or in-office situations. 

Josh Bersin, research analyst at Microsoft and recognized expert on employee experience technology stated:

“Microsoft Viva is a groundbreaking Employee Experience Platform, ushering in a new enterprise software category that focuses entirely on the daily needs of employees at work. Viva will enable companies to integrate their fragmented workplace tools and provide them in the flow of work.”

Get Started with Viva with Help from JourneyTEAM

Whether you’re interested in the actionable insights or the continuous learning provided by Viva, JourneyTEAM, a Microsoft Gold Partner is here to help. We have all the knowledge, experience, and skills necessary to not only implement Viva, but make it work for your organization’s unique needs. Don’t wait! Contact a JourneyTEAM representative today to get started.

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Article by: Dave Bollard – Head of Marketing | 801-436-6636

JourneyTEAM is an award-winning consulting firm with proven technology and measurable results. They take Microsoft products; Dynamics 365, SharePoint intranet, Office 365, Azure, CRM, GP, NAV, SL, AX, and modify them to work for you. The team has expert level, Microsoft Gold certified consultants that dive deep into the dynamics of your organization and solve complex issues. They have solutions for sales, marketing, productivity, collaboration, analytics, accounting, security and more. www.journeyteam.com

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