Whether you’ve already heard of Microsoft Viva and are interested to see what it can bring to the table, or if Viva is a complete unknown to you and your organisation, keep on reading; in this blog, we will take you through why Microsoft Viva matters and why we think it’s worth the investment!
Microsoft Viva enables your business to build a central hub that empowers all employees. It places emphasis on the individuals within the organisation, and the conditions needed to better foster peak performance. Microsoft has made sure that people are placed at the heart of the application. With the overall aim of constructing a resilient workforce, they identified 6 key elements that drove employee experience, these focused upon wellbeing, empowerment, growth, purpose, focus and connection. According to Microsoft’s research, staff that are highly engaged help an organisation realise 21% greater profitability and are 12 times less likely to leave when fully engaged, whilst 94% explained they would be less inclined to leave when investment is made into their learning and growth. Microsoft Viva is divided into 4 distinct modules: Connections, Insights, Learning and Topics. When deployed efficiently, this combination of tools allows employees to realise a level of connectivity in a new world that can sometimes feel anything but connected. Although Viva is separated into distinct areas, they are much better understood as modules of a broader system, with Microsoft envisioning each playing its own role in a broader narrative of employee engagement and inclusivity across your organisation.
Why does Viva Connections matter – the benefits of Connections
Research conducted by Microsoft indicates that nearly 60% of people report that they feel less connected to their team after having shifted to a remote work setting. Viva Connections is designed to combat this feeling of ‘disconnection’. This module ensures that employees are enabled with a digital workplace that provides customised and valuable information. This can be tailored to the individual or to the organisation and ensures that relevant up to date feeds are presented to enhance their feeling of inclusion. Alongside this comes a dashboard with a conversation flow from colleagues, ensuring an employee will never feel out of the loop, even when being outside of the office.
This boasts a number of benefits around the inclusion of individuals within an organisation. As stated in the research above, the shift outwards from the office has left many individuals longing for a feeling of inclusion and involvement. Viva Connections encourages the enablement of employees to easily discover relevant communications and communities. When such communities have been discovered, the ability for any employee to contribute towards the group helps to foster a culture of inclusion, and one that welcomes feedback. This constant, encouraged feedback loop will unite and inspire your organisation to work together towards your business’ vision, mission and strategic objectives, whilst ensuring that all individuals feel part of one unit rather than a component in a bigger picture.
Why does Viva Insights matter – the benefits of Insights
One particularly unfortunate issue that many have experienced whilst working remotely is workload burnout. Colleagues have gone from enjoying small watercooler catch ups, to endless back-to-back meetings. Microsoft’s ambition behind Insights is for you to understand how your team may be spending their time, and provides ways to make meaningful changes to the way your organisation conducts itself with a view of helping prevent meeting burnout. Viva Insights encourages empowerment of individuals, teams, and organisations in their quest to achieving better work habits and routines, whilst improving business outcomes with personalised insights and recommended actions.
The module takes the pressure off the individual and empowers them with detailed impactful information regarding their work patterns. As previously mentioned, this is vital in a space where many now find themselves accountable for their professional output, due to the lack of constant supervision and office pressures. Insights enables employees to be responsible and efficient within their working hours, without the need of a superior overlooking their productivity. It is important to quantify the impact of work on your employees, whilst gaining data-driven, privacy protected visibility into how work patterns affect wellbeing, productivity, and results, and this is where Viva Insights demonstrates its value. Whilst this level of analysis may have been carried out when working in the office, it’s important for your organisation to understand that collecting data is just as important when employees are working from home. Combined with employee burnout, remote working can also trigger feelings of loneliness and disconnectedness. Finder.com, an online organisation that publishes business related statistics, has stated that during the lockdown, 5% of Brits can be categorised as ‘chronically lonely’, which amounts to roughly 2.6 million people. Another 14.3% can be described as ‘lockdown lonely’, referring to those whose wellbeing had been affected by feeling lonely in the past seven days. Insights can help identify the change in work patterns to detect opportunities to ensure that employees feel as included and as appreciated as they truly are.
Why does Viva Learning matter – the benefits of Learning
According to Microsoft’s recent research, 79% of CEOs worldwide are concerned that a lack of essential skills in their workforce is a barrier to future growth. Meanwhile, employees only have 1% of their workweek dedicated to personal training initiatives. Whilst it’s commonly agreed upon that learning is a vital component to the success of an individual and organisation, it is often vastly neglected and significantly underprioritized. In many cases this is through no fault of the individual, but down to the heavy workload. To increase the success of your organisation this simply must change. With Viva learning, harbouring new skills and key information becomes part of your everyday routine.
Similar to that of Viva Connections, great emphasis is placed upon the need to create a workspace where learning opportunities can easily be discovered, shared, and engaged with by departments. Viva Learning lives within Microsoft Teams so all the learning opportunities are available in one central domain. The ease of access for learning materials and the allocation of time to make use of them mean there is a much higher chance of uptake. Alongside the content that you have produced for you team, Viva Learning enables you to bring together some of the best content available globally, from sources such as LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn. You can offer your employees a wide range of information, empowering them to challenge their thinking patterns. It’s key to driving results that matter by empowering leaders and employees to curate, recommend and track learning aligned with business outcomes, and Viva learning helps to do just that.
Why does Viva Topics matter – the benefits of Topics
Viva Topics allows your business to harness collective knowledge and expertise to tackle many of the challenges presented to an individual when working from home, and more specifically those that new on-boarders face. Microsoft realised that adapting to this new situation can be particularly challenging and created Viva Topics to tackle the challenge of getting up to speed with information. Additionally, through extensive research, Microsoft discovered that employees spend about an hour a day or up to seven weeks a year, searching for or recreating information.
Microsoft’s development team has recognised that whilst working from home, employees can often experience information overload, whether that is reading and classifying large sets of documents, or simply uncovering the correct, applicable information in the right location. Lost, and hard to locate information results in hours of unproductive time that could have been put to better use. Viva Topics offers “Topic cards and pages” that work as follows. Through the means of AI, your organisation’s content is scanned, and automatically refined and updated through curated topic pages when new documents that relate to that particular topic are uploaded or uncovered. Just like that your content can be transformed to useable and identifiable knowledge that’s easy to discover, and available in handy Topic cards that serve as a helpful overview for people to use every day.
A feature such as this demonstrates endless benefits and functionalities for employees old and new. The time previously spent, scrolling endlessly through libraries of documents, or distracting another employee are significantly diminished, allowing new starters to get up to speed in the most efficient way possible. However, the benefits are not limited to new starters. In some cases, individuals are unable to find specific pieces of content that they have been working on. Necessity will force them to start the creation process all over again, to only find out afterwards where they saved it.
Microsoft Viva and all of its components offer endless ways to improve the effectiveness of your staff and drive organisation-wide success, whilst ensuring that everyone feels connected and part of a team. If you are interested to find out how Microsoft Viva and its modules can benefit your organisation, get in touch with our team. Intelogy has a Preferred Microsoft status, and we are only one of a handful of selected Viva Topics Launch Partners in the world. Get in touch today to find out how Microsoft Viva and our specialist consultancy could bring all these benefits to your organisation – your employees will thank you!