The unveiling of Microsoft’s new employee experience platform Viva has been welcomed by organizations everywhere. The suite of tools is designed to boost employee learning, wellbeing, knowledge discovery and engagement at a time when staff can easily become disconnected from their work and personal development due to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this blog, we’ll explore the business benefits of Microsoft Viva and show why you too should be thinking about making the most of it for the good of your organization.
Digitally Connected but Mentally Disconnected
There’s a wealth of research out there that shows the toll the coronavirus crisis has taken on workers. Research from FlexJobs and Mental Health America published mid-2020 found that 75% of those surveyed had experienced burnout at work, with 40% stating it was specifically due to the pandemic.
Some of that may be due to the nature of life at the time of COVID-19, which hasn’t exactly been a fun-filled picnic by anyone’s reckoning. However, it could also be a result of adjusting and coping with what is an entirely new way of working for many people.
With offices emptying en masse and remote working becoming the new normal, many people are feeling disconnected, isolated, and a little lost. But now Microsoft has developed a solution.
Viva: The Hero Work Needs Right Now
With Viva, Microsoft has met a very real and widespread need with characteristic insight and decisive action. CEO Satya Nadella puts it best: “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”.
He continues: “Every organization will require a unified employee experience from onboarding 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.”
Stirring words from the Microsoft chief and sentiments we can all get behind. But what does that all mean in concrete, specific terms? What are the actual business benefits of Microsoft Viva themselves?
Another Major Step Forward for Remote Working
Microsoft 365 and Teams have long supported flexible, powerful collaboration and productivity for distributed workforces. But with Viva, Microsoft has solved more of the remote working puzzle. After all, productivity is only one (albeit very important) aspect of an employee, and one which is ultimately highly dependent on a range of other factors such as:
- Their sense of job satisfaction
- Learning new skills and knowledge
- The organization’s corporate culture
- How engaged employees are with work
- Their access to the information they need
Whether or not your organization is succeeding in these departments doesn’t just play a large part in productivity. It’s also a key factor for things like employee retention rates, likelihood of burnout, and a host of other wellbeing-related issues that are looming larger than ever before.
So, it’s a mistake to think that Microsoft Viva benefits only your employees. By providing this crucial support for them, Viva gives a vital injection of life to your business as a whole.
Introducing the Big Four
Although Microsoft plans to expand Viva with further modules in time, an initial set of four core modules have been announced to start with. Let’s take a look:
The Connections module facilitates access to internal communications and company resources such as benefits and policies information. It also allows employees to participate in internal communities such as employee resource groups.
Benefits include: Strengthening company culture and teamwork.
The Insights module provides personalized insights on employees’ own working patterns and experiences, visible only to them. This helps them to protect their time, ensure they’re taking breaks, and dedicate time to learning.
Benefits include: Preventing burnout and increasing effectiveness.
Learning makes training and professional development opportunities more discoverable and accessible within the flow of an employee’s work. It aggregates learning resources such as LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn in one place.
Benefits include: Encouraging upskilling and employee development.
The Topics module provides AI-powered knowledge discovery assistance that connects information and experts throughout the organization. Topics can also integrate third-party services such as Salesforce and ServiceNow, bringing together all your data.
Benefits include: More effective use of in-house knowledge and expertise.
Ready to Harness the Business Benefits of Microsoft Viva?
We’ve outlined some of the core current functionality and business benefits of Microsoft Viva, but these are still early days for the new employee experience platform. We don’t yet know all the valuable new modules and capabilities that will be rolled out in the coming months, but we’re eager to find out – and share them with you.
For now, make sure you check Microsoft Viva out for yourself. It could be the game-changer your organization is looking for. And if you need a little help getting the hang of it, and ensuring it delivers everything it can for your business, we’ll be happy to assist.
If you’d like to learn more about what Microsoft Viva can do for your business, get in touch with the team at Worksighted today.