May 3, 2023
Microsoft Viva: What we know about the latest employee experience platform [UPDATED: May 2023]
Hybrid work is quickly becoming the new normal, yet finding ways to engage, motivate, and grow a workforce that is increasingly dispersed and distracted can be a significant challenge. This is where Microsoft Viva comes in.
Microsoft Viva has a number of business benefits:
- Improve employee retention – marked by a 20% reduction in employee attrition*
- Faster onboarding – with a 50% reduction in time spent helping people reach full productivity*
- Increase productivity – due to 75% reduction in content and expert discovery effort*
Viva is made up of several applications, and the platform is continually evolving with new features and updates.
To make it a bit easier to make sense of this extensive platform, we've outlined a few key applications below and a bit about how they are used.
1) VIVA ENGAGE
Goal = keep everyone informed, included and inspired.
Viva Engage is a essentially a rebrand of Yammer, with bigger and better features. It keeps you and your team’ informed and plugged in with news, information and interests across the company, delivered through Microsoft Teams. It allows you to share visual stories with your teammates, post updates and ask questions. It gives you daily tools that help you connect better with managers and improve team communication.
NB/No extra cost to access this feature; it's already part of most M365/ O365 licenses.
Some of the tools include:
- Team announcements & notifications.
- Q&A’s - upvote replies and share best answers.
- Tag co-workers in comments to start discussions.
- Engagement insights - earn badges & shout-outs.
- Improves internal connections (access any time from your mobile).
- Employees keep the information they want at their fingertips.
- Prioritises more accessible communication for teams.
- Stay aware of the comings and goings within your organisation.
- Your tailored feed shows employee contributions and encourages a feeling of 'connectedness'.
2) VIVA INSIGHTS
Goal = improve productivity and well-being with actionable insights.
Viva Insights provides behaviour analytics. In Teams, select Insights (left app bar) to open the Home page for the Microsoft Viva Insights app. There are 3 strands – personal insights, manager insights and organisational insights.
a) Personal Insights
- Wellbeing recommendations help you form balanced work routines from home.
- Personalised reminders encourage you to take breaks.
- Recharge with mindfulness exercises powered by Headspace.
- Weekly task summaries allow you to feel prepared (Viva greets you at the start of each day with a brief rundown of what's to come – a bit like having a PA).
- Daily reminders to help start and end your day on the right note.
b) Manager Insights
- Access key analytics on your team, e.g. work patterns that could lead to burnout.
- Measure your goals to overcome remote work barriers.
- See what percentage of your team members feel overwhelmed, dissatisfied, or struggle to understand certain tasks.
For example, you could see who spends 30% of their time in long and large meetings (more than an hour at a time). From here, you can average the number of hours spent in meetings by your team to get a better gauge of their work capacity. You can then adjust work distribution or shorten meetings according to your team's needs.
c) Organisational Insights
- Discover how many of your employees work after hours to complete tasks. You could even see how many of those employees are at home with children who take up their mornings...
- Or quantify how many of those employees simply feel overworked and struggle to complete tasks on time.
When employees are happy, productivity usually occurs naturally. With this intel, you can tailor changes for various remote work circumstances, whether redistributing workloads, extending time frames, cutting out tasks, hiring new employees, or sending care packages... the decision is yours.
NB/ An additional license needs to be purchased to access Manager and Organisational insights, but Personal Insights are available as a part of most M365/ O365 licenses.
3) VIVA GOALS
Goal = align people’s work to team and organisation goals.
Viva Goals is a goal-setting, objectives and key results (OKR) management solution – in other words, it helps you set and stick to goals. It also helps you connect projects with tasks and align your goals with your organisation’s main objectives. This helps you understand the personal impact and importance you have within your role in your company, motivating teams to thrive, even in remote working conditions.
NB/ An additional license needs to be purchased to access Viva Goals.
- Helps you reflect on desired outcomes and set goals.
- Aligns teams with achievable and measurable objectives.
- Increases focus by sharing progress insights for improvements.
- Helps teams communicate about workload, goal status and needs for better outcomes.
4) VIVA TOPICS
Goal = help employees learn, grow, and succeed.
Viva Topics is one of the most useful tools for your organisation, like an enterprise search engine on steroids! It requires an extra license, but it's worth it for a breadth of knowledge in all areas of your work. It brings together knowledge and information across all Office 365 apps, as well as Teams and SharePoint, and it links it to the people in your organisation who are known to work on that topic.
NB/ An additional license needs to be purchased to access Viva Topics.
- Save time looking for information. Viva Topics' AI lets you hover your mouse over a word, phrase, or hashtag within your document and displays an automatic overview of all associated topics.
- Quickly see definitions, related content and even names of people who may have extended information.
5) VIVA LEARNING
Goal = make it easy to access educational resources.
Viva Learning is an educational one-stop shop where millions of resources are stored for your organisation. Upload your content or access LinkedIn Learning resources (and other third-party resources), which are all easily accessible through Teams.
NB/ An additional license needs to be purchased to access third-party learning resources. However, you can access some educational content via Microsoft Learn & LinkedIn Learning as part of most M365/ O365 licenses.
Benefits for the entire team:
- Easily search for specific learning content in your organisation's hub.
- Curate a personal playlist with all the resources you are focusing on and plan to use in the future.
- Share specific playlists or resources with others.
- Access trending content, content libraries, recommended learning, and your assigned learning from management (an additional license is needed to unlock all the management capabilities).
- Easily available from the left-hand app bar in Teams.
Benefits for managers and leaders:
- Recommend useful content.
- Assign short video courses on relevant topics.
- Track progress and completion.
- Receive intel on areas you and your team may need to work on.
Example: You could assign a short 5-video course on Marketing Optimisation, where your marketing crew would then work through each video and complete educational questionnaires at the end. You'll receive intel on how well they did and what they need to work on, all in the means to improve the practice.
Benefits for organisation:
- Centralise all of your organisation's learning and content into one zone for everyone to access - whether it be Word documents, PowerPoints, or videos.
6) VIVA SALES
Goal = give sellers more time to focus on selling.
Viva Sales is a super helpful tool for sales and marketing teams; it uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) combined with your CRM and Microsoft 365 data to help aim, push and complete sales tasks to help you land more sales conversions.
NB/ An additional license needs to be purchased to access Viva Sales.
Benefits for you:
- Offers AI-generated emails & templates.
- Automated data collection & data entry.
- Saves you a ton of sales admin time, so you focus on more valuable sales tasks.
Benefits for your organisation:
- Insights from your CRM and Microsoft 365 apps help you track progress and achieve sales goals.
- AI-generated recommendations & reminders push you to make more sale conversions, aka ‘crushing the sale’
As you can see, there's plenty of opportunities within Viva, whether you're just using one of the key applications, several, or the entire suite.
If you want to get started with your own organisational setup, talk with our Viva specialists.
*Forrester Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Viva, 2022, https://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RE56D0e