Early in February, as a direct result of the global, pandemic-induced move to remote working, Microsoft launched Microsoft Viva, the first employee experience platform. Viva, MS says, brings tools for engagement, learning, wellbeing and knowledge discovery directly into the flow of people’s work and is designed to help people grow and thrive.
With our long-standing focus on building solutions to enable our customers’ employees to Work Happy this was a well-received announcement at The Reef and we have wasted no time in diving under the surface and discovering Viva for ourselves.
What’s an ‘employee engagement platform’?
Building on the existing capabilities of Teams and Microsoft 365 (M365) Viva is creating an even more integrated experience. Essentially Viva pulls together the best of Teams and M365 capabilities and overlays a unique, intelligent view to guide and support using all the content in your organisation – augmented with trusted third parties – at an individual, manager and leadership level. This saves you time, provides focus and opens up collaboration and learning opportunities.
Using AI to automatically trawl, organise and search content across your organisation Microsoft Viva Topics is able to surface information quickly. By recognising themes across both structured content and conversations, Topics is able to pull together a wide range of relevant information against a search. Employees don’t need to use separate applications to search as Viva Topics finds the content they need in the apps they already use.
Viva also provides businesses with the capability to create a cross platform knowledge library that can be accessed from any M365 application. Your business experts can curate search results and share knowledge through customisable web ‘topic pages’ and ‘topic cards’ to build knowledge bases. Topics can be automatically displayed within M365 apps to tap into expert content in the context of your work.
Like a personal gateway to your M365 workplace, Viva Connections gives everyone a curated, company-branded view of relevant news, personal conversation threads and other apps. You can view this hub in any of the M365 apps you use every day, such as Teams.
With a familiar and intuitive design, the Viva Connections multi-device experience (currently desktop only but mobile coming in summer 2021) allows you to read articles, connect with colleagues, and access widgets and tools from within a single interface.
Viva Insights uses MyAnalytics and Workplace Analytics views of your M365 applications to provide personalised recommendations to help you build better habits (such as following up actions in a timely fashion or setting aside focus time for work or de-stress). Insights for individuals are personal and private – not even your manager can see them – and are based on your Exchange Online email and calendar data. Among its many benefits, Insights saves you trawling through your mail and calendar to see what actions you have taken or commitments you need to fulfil.
Managers can use Viva Insights to track work norms and help their teams work smarter, more efficiently and with less risk of burnout. Leaders, too, have a unique Viva Insights view which allows them to see organisation level opportunities to improve wellbeing and engagement, based on aggregated company data overlayed with research-based best practices.
Viva Learning aggregates all your organisation’s learning resources into one place, including LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn and third-parties such as Skillsoft, Coursera and more, alongside your own learning library. Discover, share, assign and track your learning in this app which is currently available in private preview, and look forward to future third party integrations with leading learning systems, including Cornerstone OnDemand, Saba and SAP Success Factors.
“Microsoft Viva is a ground-breaking Employee Experience Platform, ushering in a new enterprise software category that focuses entirely on the daily needs of employees at work,” says Josh Bersin, research analyst and noted expert on employee experience technology. “Viva will enable companies to integrate their fragmented workplace tools and provide them in the flow of work.”
If you want to learn more about MS Viva and how it can help you to work happy, get in touch.