WFH boom makes ‘employee experience’ a C-suite priority, says Chuck Friedman,
Corporate Vice President at Microsoft.
2021 continues to transform the way we work and live. With a sudden and critical transition to working from home to a hybrid workplace- the shift has been dramatic and breathtaking.
Leaders like Satya Nadella, CEO – Microsoft, asserted that
we have participated in the largest at-scale remote work experiment the world has seen. It has had a dramatic impact on the employee experience.
While the world is adjusting to the tides of uncertainty, there are some interesting equations businesses have drawn from their experiences.
A modern hybrid working required new technology adoption for the current workforce of virtual and in-person experiences. The second wave of digital transformation challenges the digitization of time and space, necessitating a whole new experience specially designed for employees.
Reliance on technology is the paradigm shift pandemic has forced us to adopt. This dependency has tested the digital workplace capabilities and made them mission-critical overnight.
Businesses quickly realized the reality that while some technologies benefit the workforce, many do not.
This situation has highlighted the significance of historically overlooked employee experience (EX). EX has taken a back seat owing to different priorities like enhancing customer experience or modernizing legacy technology.
Against this backdrop, Microsoft has fast-tracked its launch of the first-ever employee experience platform – Viva. As a Microsoft gold partner, we are excited about the announcement and looking forward to unlocking powerful ways to transform the employee experience and persist in coming up with innovative features benefiting businesses.
Viva comes with a suite of features covering people, connections, documents, and knowledge. Microsoft is reimagining employee experience with these four exclusive modules: connections, insights, topics, and learning.
Each of the modules is intended to address a pivotal aspect of employee experience. Connections include internal communication aspects or resources like company policies, company news, town halls, or employee resource groups and communities. Viva Insights holds data for managers and leaders to monitor work patterns and trends with adequate privacy protection. Viva Learning is all about employee learning and development. Viva topics involve organizing content and generate topic cards with documents, videos, and related people.
Connections provides an opportunity to the employees to access internal communications and resources like company policies, benefits, news, events, and communities, etc. from a single customized app in Microsoft Teams. It is designed in such a way that even a newcomer would find it easy to use and collaborate on the platform. The connections app will be available in the first half of 2021 for desktops, and it will come later for mobiles
Provides personalized and actionable insights to individuals, managers, and leaders that will help them to thrive at work. Personal experiences and insights are only visible to the employees that will help individuals save time for regular breaks, focus on work and learning, as well as strengthen relationships with their colleagues. Managers and leaders can see trends at the team and organization level, as well as get recommendations to enhance productivity and wellbeing. It drills down the employee’s data based on the individual’s activity, calendar details, and gives the managers insights on their productivity, keeping information of the employees confidential and secure. It is built on the privacy-focused insights of both managers and employees. Additionally, a new dashboard facilitates employees to give feedback on LinkedIn’s Glint that will be combined with the data gathered from Viva Insights enabling leaders to identify their team’s problems, so that they can work on improving employee experience. Customers will also be able to use data from third-party services like Zoom, Slack, Workday, and SAP SuccessFactors. The Viva Insights is now available for public preview
provides a wide variety of training and professional development opportunities. All the learning-related resources will be available at one location and it includes content from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, third-party providers including Skillsoft, Coursera, Pluralsight and, edX. It facilitates employees to discover, share, assign and track a variety of learning as a part of daily activity. The Viva learning will offer integration with LMS including cornerstone OnDemand, SAP SuccessFactors, etc.
delivers a knowledge discovery experience that helps employees connect to information, experts, and relevant articles across the company. Viva Topic uses code that crawls through mails and documents and finds “topics” and “topic experts” that surfaces within conversations and documents across Office 365 applications. Users can explore the topic card upon clicking on it and they will be directed to relevant information, videos, experts, etc. Viva Topics is now available as an add-on to Microsoft 365 commercial plans.
Therefore, Viva provides a unified employee experience right from their joining process to continuous learning and growth. It brings everything integrated on a single platform to rally the needs of an employee. Companies that have invested a significant amount of funds in their infrastructure, services, and multiple tools go unnoticed and underutilized by their employees. Viva will cover all these fragmented pieces into one unified system.
Microsoft Viva complements Acuvate’s Mesh – A digital experience accelerator framework. It blends perfectly to achieve a common goal of enhancing the employee experience.
It easily integrates into the new employee experience platform to help people learn and grow at work.
Mesh provides a centralized hub to deliver information, resources, updates, announcements and offers employees unified access for their convenience. It empowers organizations to deliver the right content at the right time to the right set of people. Personalization and recommendation feature enables users to access information tailored based on their interests, activities, teams, etc. and it facilitates smart recommendation ranging from documents to videos in response to the user profile, interactions, activities, etc. The cognitive enterprise search feature leverages AI to improve the discoverability of information and get more relevant results. We are equally excited and enthusiastic about innovating features using Microsoft Viva and ensure a delightful employee experience.
Every organization calls for a different set of goals based on its futuristic roadmap. Mesh is built on a core belief of customization. After all, every company and its culture are unique in its way.
Whether it is a box of features like that of traditional intranet or personalized features like an experience platform – Mesh covers it all.
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