By now, you must’ve heard all the buzz around Microsoft’s new Employee Experience Platform (EXP) that’ll innovate how your employees work. However, if you haven’t, check out the official Microsoft Viva announcement here.
At Imaginet, we’re testing and learning all we can about Microsoft Viva to help you provide the best experience for your employees.
In this article, we give you an overview of Microsoft Viva, why it should matter for your business, and when to expect to use it.
What is Microsoft Viva?
The demands of a hybrid work environment drastically change how we work alone and together. Microsoft Viva enables employees to learn, grow, and thrive in the modern workplace.
How does Microsoft Viva work?
Microsoft Viva comprises of four modules: Topics, Connections, Insights, and Learning.
Topics focuses on knowledge and expertise. It applies AI to identify knowledge and experts and organize them into shared topics. AI automatically creates a topic page for each topic. In other words, Topics acts like a Wikipedia for the enterprise where AI does the first draft. And what’s great is that these topic pages are surfaced as Topic Cards right in the flow of work in Office and Teams.
Connections is a company-branded app in Teams for desktop and mobile. Employees can access personalized news, communications, tasks, people, and resources all curated to their specific role. Leaders can communicate and engage their employees, and employees can get easy access to everything they need from one place. Connections builds on other tools, like SharePoint and Yammer, and pulls your communications together into a pre-configured app which also acts as a launching pad to other Viva modules.
Insights brings together Workplace Analytics, MyAnalytics, and Glint into a unified Teams app. It provides data-driven and privacy-protected insights for individuals, managers, and leaders. For example, employees get personalized insights only they can see. Their insights help protect their time for breaks, focused work, and learning to promote improved productivity and wellbeing.
Learning allows employees to easily discover informal and formal learning in the flow of work. It aggregates content from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, 3rd party training content, and your own organization’s content—all in one place. Also, it allows managers to assign and track training, as well as report on training within and across teams.
Why should Microsoft Viva matter for your business?
Your people are the key to success. When you meet their evolving needs, you directly impact employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and overall company success. On the other hand, when you fail to meet their needs, you run into challenges that could’ve been prevented early on.
Here are some stats that show the impact of investing in your people:
- Organizations with highly engaged employees have 21% greater profitability. 4
- 86% of top-performing companies reported that digital training programs boosted employee engagement and performance. 2
- 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. 3
- Highly engaged employees are 12x less likely to leave their company than those who are not engaged. 1
Six key elements of a great employee experience: wellbeing, empowerment, connection, growth, focus, and purpose.
Employees want to feel more connected to their company’s purpose and mission. They want to grow and make a difference. Your leaders need a modern and efficient way to engage and meet their employees’ needs. And your IT needs to enable this modern employee experience quickly with ease.
When can you start using Microsoft Viva?
Topics is generally available now and the other modules will be available later this year. Microsoft just announced their new Spring availabilities at their Ignite conference on March 2-4.
Here are some dates to look forward to:
- Connections for desktop is now generally available.
- Insights is available for public preview now in the Teams app store and will begin rolling out in April.
- Learning will be available for public preview in April.
What can you do now?
People spend about an hour a day—or up to seven weeks a year—searching for or recreating information.
In a previous blog post, we show how you can begin preparing for next-level knowledge management with Project Cortex. And with Topics generally available now, businesses can explore its powerful search capabilities in their environment today.
Topics applies AI to identify knowledge and experts from across your organization and categorize them into shared topics. The AI not only organizes knowledge into topics, it also automatically creates topic pages for each topic. These topic pages are edited and approved by experts and then kept up to date by AI.
What’s also powerful is that AI surfaces these topics as Topic Cards right within Teams, SharePoint, and Office. For instance, if you hover over an acronym or a project name, you get an immersive topic card that you can click on to get more details.
In short, Topics automatically organizes content across your teams and systems to connect projects, products, processes, and customers to be ready when and where you need it.
Ready to get started in Topics?
As a Microsoft Content Services Charter Member, we get first-hand participation in Microsoft’s latest AI technology. Imaginet has explored Topics for several weeks now and can help your business fast track its use today.
As we anxiously await the release dates for the other Viva modules, you can get started in Topics now with the help of Imaginet’s Microsoft 365 experts.