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The way we work has changed dramatically since the outbreak of COVID-19. With the majority of the workforce working from home or in a hybrid environment, many businesses are relying on their CRM system to help them navigate through the challenges of this global pandemic. The valuable data insights contained in CRM technology like Microsoft 365 or Salesforce has helped dozens of organizations across the globe stay afloat despite these difficult times.
However, while your CRM system is perfect for collaboration, data analytics, customer service, and identifying potential sales opportunities, there is one area that it can’t completely fill: employee experience.
COVID-19 has completely upended the employee experience. With most of us working from home, there’s no town hall meetings, company outings, or conversations around the water cooler. Instead, we’re relying on digital tools like Zoom, Slack, and others to communicate and collaborate with each other. While these tools are great for getting work done, they can increase frustration and leave employees feeling isolated—especially new hires.
To give businesses an employee experience platform (EXP) that truly empowers and inspires, Microsoft has created Viva.
What is Microsoft Viva?
Microsoft Viva is an EXP platform that bundles together new and existing Microsoft 365 tools and capabilities that are specifically designed to support and improve employee experience. It’s designed to put employees first, driving better business decisions and amplifying culture.
Jared Spataro, Microsoft 365 corporate vice president, had this to say about the new platform: “As the world of work changes, the next horizon of innovation will come from a focus on creativity, engagement, and well being so organizations can build cultures of resilience and ingenuity. Our vision is to deliver a platform for the employee experience that helps organizations create a thriving culture with engaged employees and inspiring leaders.”
Viva integrates directly into Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 to unify and improve employee experience across four different areas (or modules as they’re called by Microsoft): Insights, Topics, Learning, and Connections.
As the pandemic continues to drag on and we adjust to this “new normal”, it’s not uncommon to feel burnt out. In fact, one survey from PR Newswire found that 58% of employees are feeling burnt out from higher workloads, uncertainty, or work-life balance. As remote work continues, executives are searching for ways to boost productivity, save time, and protect employee well being. That’s where Viva Insights comes in.
This module provides leaders, managers, and individuals with personalized, actionable insights to help employees thrive. These insights, only visible by the user, protect free time, keep work focused, and provide opportunities for learning and development. Plus, it allows users to connect and collaborate with each other.
From a manager and leadership perspective, Insights allows them to see into workplace patterns and trends to figure out where improvements can be made for a better work-life balance and to avoid burn out.
Along with integrating into Microsoft apps, Insights also accesses data from third-party services such as Workday, SAP SuccessFactors, Zoom, and Slack.
How many times have you been in a business setting and someone starts throwing out acronyms, jargon, or slang that you’re not familiar with? Worse, when everyone starts talking about a topic that you know nothing about.
To help you avoid these types of situations, Viva Topics creates topic cards that are powered by AI and pop up while you’re working. These cards contain resources like documents, videos, training materials, and more from integrated apps like SharePoint, Office, and Teams. Essentially, Topics is like a Wikipedia page that contains all the terms and definitions that you need to know, which is especially beneficial for new hires.
One thing that may not have changed with the pandemic is the desire to learn. Today’s workforce is still just as curious and anxious to learn more and grow their skill set as they were before the pandemic. With some information and knowledge available at our fingertips, it’s important that organizations are providing some of this knowledge as it will increase motivation and employee satisfaction.
With Viva Learning, learning is brought into an employee’s everyday workflow. They’ll have access to a central, AI-powered dashboard that contains thousands of pieces of content like training courses, helpful content, demos, and more. Learning contains content from Cornerstone, LinkedIn Learning, Pluralsight, SAP SuccessFactors, OnDemand, and edX and there are already plans to add more.
Before COVID-19, when we ran into someone in the break room or in the hallway, it gave us a brief chance of social interaction. It would usually end with a handshake, clap on the shoulder, or a promise to get together outside of work. Now, touching each other or socializing with those outside our immediate household is discouraged and even dangerous for some. All of this has caused millions of workers worldwide to feel isolated and alone as the pandemic continues.
Acting as a personalized gateway to your digital workplace, Viva Connections helps to keep people connected no matter where they’re working from. It includes things like internal communications, news, or updates, tools, and resources such as benefits or company policies. Connections is especially useful for new hires as it’s the one place they can go to learn more about company culture and interact with colleagues. For those who are still working remotely due to lock-downs, it’s the perfect way to keep everyone connected.
The Future of Microsoft Viva
The purpose of Microsoft Viva is to make it easier and more natural to connect with employees, access resources and knowledge, increase learning, and use private, secure insights to improve decision making company wide. Microsoft leaders have already announced that this is just an introduction to Viva and that there’s so much more to come. Microsoft leaders have stated that this is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build people-centered experiences that help our customers drive extraordinary outcomes.”
Enjoy Customized Support from JourneyTEAM
While installing Viva is very straightforward, figuring out all the capabilities and tools available within the solution can be tricky. Plus, training your IT department and employees on Viva can be time-consuming. To help make the process easier, contact JourneyTEAM. We’re a Microsoft Gold Partner with extensive knowledge and experience of Microsoft’s solutions and use their customization to tailor solutions to fit your unique needs. If you’re ready to get started with Viva, contact a representative from JourneyTEAM today. We look forward to hearing from you!
JourneyTEAM is an award-winning consulting firm with proven technology and measurable results. They take Microsoft products; Dynamics 365, SharePoint intranet, Office 365, Azure, CRM, GP, NAV, SL, AX, and modify them to work for you. The team has expert level, Microsoft Gold certified consultants that dive deep into the dynamics of your organization and solve complex issues. They have solutions for sales, marketing, productivity, collaboration, analytics, accounting, security and more. www.journeyteam.com