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Microsoft Viva is billed as an “employee experience platform”. But what exactly does this mean!?
Well, powered by Microsoft 365 and experienced via Microsoft Teams – Viva aims to foster a culture where people and teams are empowered to be their best. It was built specifically with long-term remote working in mind, as a way to bring teams together and solve many issues associated with the modern “virtual” workplace.
From continuing professional development, to heightening staff engagement, predicting burnout and promoting wellbeing, it has much to offer small businesses.
If you’re thinking about introducing Microsoft Viva into your workplace, make sure you understand the key elements of this innovative software offering.
What is Microsoft Viva?
Microsoft Viva is a unique platform that brings together communications, knowledge, learning and employee insights. It’s a complete workforce management tool, aiming to achieve that crucial balance between business performance and employee wellbeing.
Microsoft Viva is comprised of four clearly defined elements:
Viva Connections – Enhancing internal company communications and information sharing.
Viva Insights – Providing employee wellbeing metrics and advice for individuals and managers.
Viva Learning – An online learning hub, including integrations with leading eLearning providers.
Viva Topics – Summarising business terms and topics, linking to internal expertise and resources.
Let’s take a look at the key features of each element in a bit more detail…
Whilst there have been great benefits associated with the rise of remote working, many employees have reported feeling less connected with their teams. Engagement has been shown to drive both job satisfaction and productivity, so this is a vital issue for any business.
Viva Connections seeks to improve just this, allowing employees to stay informed and connected no matter where they are working. Key features include:
- Curated access to company news, resources and announcements.
- Personalised feeds including workplace groups and Yammer communities.
- Custom dashboard connecting employees to tools and resources.
- Company branded SharePoint portal accessible via the Teams toolbar.
- The ability to pin files and videos from Microsoft OneDrive and Microsoft Stream.
Now more than ever, managers are concerned about employee burnout. Given the lack of physical separation between work and home, improving our health and mental wellbeing is essential.
With a view to lessening staff turnover, increasing productivity and employee happiness, Viva Insights incorporates:
- Manager insights into employee productivity and burnout markers.
- Visibility of team patterns and potential areas of concern.
- Employee resources and actionable advice on finding work-life balance. For instance, recommendations to stay connected with colleagues or take a break from screen-time.
- Partnerships with wellbeing and meditation apps such as Headspace.
- Calendar integration to warn of potential “meeting-overload”.
Any manager will tell you that employee onboarding and training are two of the most time-consuming (but crucial!) activities. So what if training, learning and onboarding activities could be centralised and standardised?
Ensuring a consistent employee experience (and reinforcing continuing professional development) is even more important if teams are separated geographically. To ensure this is the case, Viva Learning features:
- A centralised learning hub, accessible across the organisation.
- Integrations with providers such as LinkedIn Learning, Skillsoft, Coursera and Microsoft Learn.
- Personalised education modules, allowing employees to organise lessons and learn at their own pace.
- Groups and departments can create individual learning tabs with customised content.
- Managers can assign courses and view the completion status of specific individuals.
We’ve already seen how Microsoft Viva empowers employees and managers to take control of their learning and wellbeing. Viva Topics focuses more on information-sharing. It ensures relevant knowledge and expertise is readily accessible across the entire business.
Viva Topics provides company-specific definitions of commonly used business jargon, acronyms and terms. Key features encompass:
- Bespoke hover feature: jargons and acronyms are defined when users hover over the word.
- A large internal library that users can search, supplemented with information and definitions pulled from third-party providers.
- Recommended staff members and documents to consult for more information.
- Suggested related sites, teams and topics (integrating with Viva Learning).
- The ability to update and edit information/definitions as required.
How can Microsoft Viva help my business?
Microsoft Viva is a software bundle designed with businesses in mind. With engagement, learning and wellbeing at its core – it helps teams feel connected, improves productivity and ultimately business performance.
Some of the main benefits include:
- Higher employee engagement: Greater engagement equates to higher productivity. With an engaged workforce, you can be sure your employees are performing to their best potential.
- Lower staff turnover: Improving employee wellbeing means that businesses will have to deal with lower rates of turnover and associated hiring costs, as well as fewer staff absence days. It’s a win, win.
- Improved communication: It’s no secret that communication and collaboration is essential to business success. With increased access to information and learning as well, staff will feel valued and empowered to invest in their own performance.
- Manager insights: Say goodbye to guesswork and lengthy appraisals. Managers now have direct insights into employee wellbeing, productivity and commitment to professional development.