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What is Viva Engage?

What is Viva Engage?

Viva Engage is part of the Microsoft Viva employee experience platform, alongside apps like Viva Connections, Viva Goals and Viva Amplify.

We dive into what Viva Engage is, how to access it, key features, and how much it costs.

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What is Viva Engage?

Viva Engage is part of the Microsoft Viva employee experience platform. At its core, it’s an enterprise social network. Like social media for your employees, but with extra focus on collaboration and productivity.

According to Microsoft, “Viva Engage brings people together across the organisation to connect with leaders, co-workers, and communities.” It’s a central hub where employees can connect with each other, and the business.

Employees can join communities, share knowledge, ask questions, and stay in the loop with company updates. It’s a space for two-way communication that encourages open dialogue and conversation.

Viva Engage sits at the intersection between work and play. Employees can connect with leadership on strategy and goals, whilst also bonding with colleagues over a shared love of cats, baking or cheesy rom-coms.

For internal communicators, it’s the most familiar app within the Viva platform, having replaced comms-favourite Yammer in summer 2023. It carries a lot of the same core features as Yammer, with new and enhanced functionality layered on top.

Where to Access Viva Engage?

The Viva Engage app is available in Microsoft Teams. You can find it by clicking ‘Apps’ in the left sidebar and using the search bar. You can also pin it to the sidebar for quick and easy access.

The Teams app is a great way to engage frontline and deskless workers. Anyone with access to Microsoft Teams can access and interact with Viva Engage, on desktop or mobile devices.

But mobile users don’t have to access via the Teams app – there’s also a dedicated mobile app on iOS and Android.

Viva Engage is also available via a browser. From your homepage, you can find the web app in the ‘Apps’ section in the left sidebar.

You can also add Viva Engage into your SharePoint intranet or site using either the Conversations or Highlights web parts.

Tip: Drive engagement with your campaign site in SharePoint by adding a Viva Engage web part to encourage conversation.

Having Viva Engage accessible across multiple locations within your Microsoft 365 landscape means it caters to different employee needs and preferences. Some prefer to catch up on conversations in Teams without leaving the flow of work, whereas others would rather browse the latest highlights via SharePoint. This gives internal communicators the best chance of reaching and engaging every employee.

Viva Engage Key Features

Viva Engage Communities

Communities are one of Viva Engage’s core features. You can create communities for a mix of work or social topics, and each community has its own conversations, files and events. Employees can start a discussion, ask a question, send praise, collect answers in a poll, or share an article.

Communities are where employees can connect over shared interests that don’t relate to specific work-related projects or tasks. Some examples of communities that we have here at Silicon Reef include:

  • Professional topics, like AI, User Experience and Employee Experience. This is a great way for employees to explore and learn about areas of interest that perhaps fall outside of their day job.
  • A wellbeing community to share tips and resources, and run fun events like steps challenges.
  • Social communities for sharing pictures of our pets, daily jokes, and a book club.

Each new community has its own SharePoint site, document library, notebook in OneNote, plan in Microsoft Planner, and shows up in your global address book. So, it’s important to think about who can create communities and how they will be maintained.

Communities can be private, or public. Any employee can join and contribute to public communities, whereas admins must approve who joins private communities.

A Viva Engage dashboard showing the Communities tab. There are 5 communities under 'My Communities', and 3 communities under 'Recommended Communities'

Viva Engage Storylines & Stories

Storylines and stories are the Viva-equivalent of the typical social media features we’re all familiar with on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

Stories are where you can share off-the-cuff videos and pictures, exactly how you’d expect Stories to work on your personal social media platforms. Stories are a great way to showcase day-in-the-life content, and quick updates.

Storylines are a newsfeed of updates. Any posts you share outside of communities become part of your storyline, and are visible on your profile. You can choose to follow colleagues’ storylines to be notified when people post.

Anyone can create stories and storylines, helping employees to get to know each other outside of their immediate teams.

From an internal communications perspective, stories and storylines are a great way to help visibility and connection with leadership. Leaders can also assign delegates to post on their behalf, so internal comms teams can share agreed content without relying on leaders to post themselves.

A Viva Engage storylines dashboard, with a row of colleagues' stories along the top, and a news feed of storyline posts

Leadership Corner in Viva Engage

Leadership Corner is where employees can connect with leaders across the business.

Employees can view a leadership directory, showing the profiles of all leaders across your organisation – starting with the ones directly linked to their role. This is a great way for new starters to get to know the senior team in their department, and across the wider business.

Employees can also choose to follow the leaders they want to hear from most, perhaps to keep up to date with updates and announcements from their departmental heads.

Leadership Corner is also where Ask Me Anything (AMA) events take place. AMA events are question and answer sessions where employees and leaders can connect, ask and answer questions, and get involved in two-way communication.

AMA organisers can choose to allow any questions, or to moderate questions before they’re posted. There are also options to control who can ask and answer questions, and whether anonymous questions are allowed.

The Leadership Corner dashboard in Viva Engage, with headshots of key leaders at the top, posts from leaders displayed in a news feed, and upcoming ask me anything events displayed to the right

Answers in Viva

Answers in Viva helps facilitate knowledge sharing in large organisations. Employees can ask questions, answer questions, and connect with subject matter experts.

For those following the wider Viva journey, Answers, with the help of Copilot, is replacing Viva Topics.

Anyone can ask a question, and Answers in Viva uses natural language processing and AI to source where that question may have been asked before. It’s a powerful tool that searches for answers across your organisation, pulling from data across your Microsoft 365 landscape – not just in Viva Engage.

Answers also groups questions into topics, combining similar questions and making it easier to find the answer you’re looking for. Employees can choose to follow topics they’re interested in.

Answers in Viva also adds a layer of gamification. Employees can earn badges by regularly answering questions and sharing their knowledge with colleagues.

Answers helps employees to self-serve, encourages a culture of knowledge sharing, and allows employees to get to the information they need quicker.

Answers dashboard in Viva Engage, with previously asked questions and answers in a feed, trending topics to the right, and badges earned.

Viva Engage Campaigns

Campaigns are where employees can get involved and share their voice on company initiatives.

Each campaign has a dedicated landing page, and hashtag. A green check mark means a hashtag is officially verified by the organisation.

There are two types of campaigns – Official campaigns and Community campaigns. Official campaigns are set at admin level and available to everyone in the organisation. Community campaigns are only available to community members.

Employees can take part in campaigns by adding the official hashtag to their post. All posts relating to a campaign will be grouped together on the campaign landing page.

Campaigns are a great way for IC teams to engage employees in internal campaigns, and encourage employees to get involved.

A Viva Engage campaigns page showing a campaign called '#Give#. There is a newsfeed of posts linked to the campaign, a goal tracker showing the campaign's progress to a $10,000 target, and space for pinned files.

Viva Engage Use Cases

1. Connect Global Teams

For large organisations with employees spread across multiple locations, silos are a huge problem. It can be difficult to feel connected to people you don’t regularly see or work with.

Viva Engage Communities can help break down silos and build connections across shared interests. Regardless of geographical location or job role, there are always common interests to be found. A few suggestions could be:

  • Book Club
  • Running Club
  • DEI Groups
  • Foodie Groups
  • Pet Pictures

The opportunities are endless. The important part is not to force groups. Let your communities grow organically, or do your research before setting them up. There’s nothing worse than a bunch of empty, neglected communities with no posts or engagement.

But if you get it right, Viva Engage is a fantastic way to get to know colleagues beyond their job title. And, if employees feel a sense of camaraderie beyond their immediate team, that can only mean good things for overall engagement, productivity and happiness at work.

2. Leadership Q&As

Using the Ask Me Anything (AMA) feature in Leadership Corner, leaders can host live Q&A sessions. Rather than live video broadcast events, these are moderated question and answer sessions that are the perfect opportunity for two-way comms.

It’s a great way for leaders to spend an hour or two directly engaging with employees, without them feeling ‘put on the spot’ by live face-to-face questions. Employees don’t need to commit to the entire event, either. They can drop in between meetings, leave once their question has been answered, or catch up on questions asked over a coffee break.

Employees can upvote questions, making it easy for internal communicators to spot trends and identify where additional messaging or clarity is needed. There’s also the option to enable anonymous questions.

A screenshot of the Ask Me Anything feature in Viva Engage. It shows the event name, time and date at the top. The news feed shows questions asked by employees, along with the responses from leaders.

3. Self-Serve Knowledge Library

A self-serve Knowledge Library hosted in Viva Engage will provide the framework for employees to find the information they need themselves, without needing to ask, or be passed from person to person

Answers in Viva allows any employee to ask any question they may have. For example, where to find the flexible working policy, or what learning resources are available to them. Using AI, Answers will find where that question may have been asked and answered in the past and serve the answer up in seconds.

Employees who answer questions are rewarded with badges, adding a layer of gamification to the knowledge sharing process.

Answers in Viva will also show trending topics, so internal communicators can easily see what’s top of people’s minds, and which topics need further clarity.

As a starting point, internal comms teams can populate the Answers tab with FAQs to help reduce the time spent answering repeated questions.

How Much Does Viva Engage Cost?

The Communities and Conversations features are included with Microsoft 365 Enterprise Licenses. This means if you’re already using Microsoft 365 tools like Teams and SharePoint, you can use the basic features at no extra cost.

Premium features, like Leadership Corner, Answers and Campaigns, do come at an extra cost.

To use premium features, Viva Engage is available as part of the Microsoft Viva Employee Communications and Communities license, which is priced at £1.64 user/month. This package also includes Viva Connections and Viva Amplify. The Communications and Communities license is great for internal communications teams looking to home in on Viva’s IC tools, without committing to the full suite.

For organisations ready to dive in to all that Viva has to offer, the full range of Viva Engage features are also included in the Microsoft Viva Suite license, priced at £9.90 user/month.

An Internal Communicator’s Guide to Microsoft Viva

For a more in-depth look at Viva Engage, Viva Connections, Viva Amplify and Viva Goals, including key features and real life use-cases, download our guide to Microsoft Viva especially for internal communicators.

Front cover of the Internal Comms Guide to Microsoft Viva

Silicon Reef are people-first Microsoft 365 experts. We help organisations make the most of M365 to elevate the employee experience. Get in touch to learn how we can help with Viva Suite, including Engage, or other Microsoft tools like SharePoint or Power Platform.

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