Microsoft 365

Microsoft Viva - Employee Experience and Engagement Platform

Since the pandemic has thrown a spanner in the office environment and company culture, Microsoft took it upon themselves to create a centre where, as Microsoft would say ‘people and teams are empowered’ to be their best from anywhere. The beauty of such online technology means you can now connect, learn, communicate and innovate remotely.

Microsoft Viva - Employee Experience and Engagement Platform

What is Microsoft Viva?

Microsoft Viva is an employee experience platform that brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights. The platform is made up of 4 strands; Viva Connections, Viva Topics, Viva Insights and Viva Learning. It is a personalised resource centre that can now fully function in Microsoft Teams. 

Viva Connections is a personalised gateway to this experience. It allows you to stay engaged and informed. Connections is customised for your organisation and personalised for you by showing a feed of relevant news, announcements, and conversations with a dashboard connecting you to company resources and tools from Viva and across your digital workplace. You can tailor viva connections for every role from top to the bottom of the company to keep everyone connected and “engaged”. 

Viva Insights help you work on your productivity by working smarter with personalised reminders. These are similar to what we all know and love as Microsoft Insights and Cortana in our Outlook. These are to prioritise on focus work, learning and coaching. You can see the performance of yourself, your team and employees depending if you’re manager or a leader. If you are a manager, you can report on the number of meetings, workload and overtime as well as compare with other teams workloads. This helps maintain the work-life balance and reduces the risk of employee burn out. 

Rather than using multiple learning centres and resource hubs for training, coaching and learning, Viva Learning enables you to have all our learning in one space. It even shows recommendations and custom content from top learning management systems and content providers such as LinkedIn learning and Microsoft learn. You can easily find, share and discuss learning with other team mates and managers, as well as organise the resources to different teams fostering a learning culture. Managers can assign and track completion on learning topics that are applicable to a role. This is coming out in the summer, so keep your eyes peeled we’ll also be doing a webinar on this in the next couple of months. 

Viva Topics uses AI to find answers to your questions within your organisation, think of it as a Wikipedia for your company, it can even suggest certain employees who will know more about a topic from previous shared work in the digital workplace. Viva Topics was once part of "Project Syntex" - a previous Microsoft buzzword that you may have heard of if you're familiar with Microsoft.

Why should you care about it?

  1. Your view will never be spammed with different department news or communications that are not relevant to you because Connections is personalised to you as an individual. 
  2. Before you would have to come out of Microsoft Teams and into your SharePoint Intranet in order to get news from your marketing and communications teams. Now, that can all be pushed to you in one hub – Teams. 
  3. Foster the learning culture in your organisation to allow your employees to continue developing their skills and growing into their role. Having a learning hub that connects all the relevant learning management systems means that learning becomes part of your daily tasks.  
  4. Especially as a new employee, their may be times when you come across a new buzzword, topic or acronym that you are unsure about. This is where Topics uses AI to show more information about that topic or acronym so you have all your information provided, and even if you’re still unsure, it even recommends people to speak to for more detail. Suddenly your overwhelming first week, has been put at ease with Viva Topics telling you who best to speak to on that relevant topic to find out more. 
  5. Manage your team smarter, and effectively avoiding employee burn out with Insights. Individually manage your day to day activities and be able to prioritise your time to learning, focused work and meetings. This allows you to be better organised and prioritise your day better. 

What are the drawbacks?

  1. First drawback. You can’t comment or like articles in Viva Connections like you can in SharePoint, which is actually a bit annoying for the communications team.
  2. Second drawback. You don’t get alerts for Viva Connections. So, for those of you who use Teams currently, you know that if someone drops you a message or tags you in a post, you get a big red notification here. Viva Connections doesn’t promote new activity so its difficult to know when new content has been updated in the corporate intranet, which is a bit of a drawback. However, this can be fixed with a low code solution using the Power Platform. We’ve put this in place for one of our clients, as it was really important for them that employees get alerts when new content is added to the intranet.
  3. And the final drawback. Viva Connections is great but it’s only great if you work in Teams. And many people don’t. Lots of people are still living in Outlook. So, while Viva Connections is a great way of getting your corporate news to people who work in Teams, it does leave behind those who still live in Outlook. But again, this can be fixed with a low code Power Platform solution. Using the platform, the comms team can send any Viva Connections corporate comms content directly into Outlook to reach those who haven’t quite transitioned into Teams.

How do you get set up?

First of all, you need to set up an engaging and branded intranet in Modern SharePoint. It should have all the information your employees need to do their jobs well.

With a Modern SharePoint intranet in place, you next need to configure SharePoint personalisation capabilities to enable content targeting based on the information you have in Active Directory. It’s a little tricky to set up initially, but once it’s up and running, it runs like a dream. Mike here has set up personalisation for more SharePoint clients than he can probably count, so he’s your guy if you’d like to make sure the right content is getting to the right users.

With this in place, it’s time to install Viva Connections and Viva Insights, so your company can get all the information they need in Teams.

And the final and crucial step - train and engage your employees on the new tools. Just a simple webinar for all staff would do the trick! And then as Viva Learning and Topics progresses, you can start rolling those out to your staff too.

Get in touch

If you're looking to add Microsoft Viva into your platform but don't know where to start, contact us today.

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