With the launch of Viva Engage, Microsoft has addressed the elephant in the often-abandoned room: how to create and retain human connections in an increasingly remote and hybrid-working world.
Here, we look at Microsoft’s Viva Engage module, together with five ways it can help you improve community building and social interaction for your dispersed teams.
How Viva Engage is bringing the buzz back to business
Relationships are the bread and butter of a successful organisation. From the first ‘good morning’ on a Monday to the final ‘have a great weekend!’ on a Friday, the sense of everyone pulling together can be the difference between an engaged, productive workforce and a demoralised team stuck in an outdated silo mentality.
And yet while the pandemic encouraged industries to embrace remote working, an unseen cost has been the loss of human interaction between colleagues. It may be a concern you are familiar with.
Microsoft technologies have been central to the hybrid working model that emerged, ensuring colleagues can communicate and collaborate regardless of whether they’re in the office, on the frontline or at home. Now, with Viva Engage, Microsoft is further reimagining the employee engagement experience.
What is Microsoft Viva for?
But let’s take a step back.
Back in 2021 Microsoft unveiled Viva, a comprehensive employee experience platform which brings together a holistic group of tools for employee expression and empowerment, all delivered in the familiar universe of Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.
Want to build a culture of better work habits and wellbeing? Viva Insights is the module for you. Collaboration and information sharing in need of a boost? Check out Viva Topics. Need to expand your workforce’s horizons beyond their primary focus,? That’s Viva Learning. For a more personal space, tailored to your interests and needs, Viva Connections has you covered.
For a comprehensive rundown of Viva, check out our free ebook on how to make it work for your business, watch our Microsoft Viva on-demand webinar to learn more, or visit our Viva guide.
The suite continues to expand to meet the needs of, and expand the possibilities for, the modern workplace. In Viva Engage, Microsoft promises a social media platform for business which will “build meaningful relationships and communities”.
Why is employee engagement important?
In its Work Trend Index 2022, Microsoft reported that 43% of managers believe that relationship building is the single biggest challenge presented by remote working.
Viva Engage is the place to put belonging at work back on the map, in an inclusive and engaging way. With Stories, employee profiles, employee following, and communities of all kinds, Microsoft’s latest offering allows businesses to add a much-needed social aspect to their employee engagement platform.
Ultimately, recapturing the feeling of belonging at work will encourage employees to get behind the company mission, be empowered and more productive, and embrace the values you have worked so hard to adopt.
How to engage employees remotely
You’ll be familiar with the excitement of organising the team’s annual night out, or planning the Christmas do. Everyone is excited and the office takes on a different feel – it’s social and more electric. On a day-to-day basis, office foyers, corridors and breakout spaces see connections spark and knowledge shared organically. All of this, and that increased sense of togetherness, is brought into the modern workplace with Viva Engage.
A social platform for your business, Viva Engage allows employees to have discussions with colleagues, build rapidly expanding communities, share personal stories and interests with one another, and reclaim that sense of unity that is so crucial to your organisation’s culture.
Video sharing is the future of company building
The all-new Stories feature allows for video content creation and sharing, enabling employees to express themselves freely and informally, adding some colour and liveliness to their daily colleague engagement.
Aside from the obvious benefits of being able to quickly and easily share a 30-second video with your colleagues, Viva Engage signposts to a way of working which the next workforce generation will think of as a basic requirement. Video content is a great form of knowledge sharing, and Microsoft have surged ahead to ensure the social cohesion of not just today’s workforce, but tomorrow’s as well.
Said Dan Holme, product lead for Viva Engage, in a recent interview with CNBC:
“There was a real interest in using video as a richer way to express messages and thoughts within an organisation, whether it’s something just to keep your team going, whether it’s capturing or meeting recording, or whether it’s on a broader level across an organisation because video allows people to express things in their own voice and captures much richer body language and signals there.”
Five ways Viva Engage will work for you
Viva Engage provides a community and relationship-building platform that exists right inside your already-familiar Microsoft ecosystem.
Here are our five top takeaways on how Viva Engage could bring the buzz back to your business:
- Encourage your employees to express themselves freely and confidently at work
- Help people enjoy and be inspired by a constant stream of shared ideas and emotions
- Build communities across your organisation – some for work, others just for fun
- Reconnect employees from multiple teams and enjoy the collaboration and connectedness that they did in person
- Bring back belonging to your organisation and see your productivity rocket
What Advania can do for you
At Advania, we keep pace with Microsoft’s evolution and bring you the best, most up to date innovations that can benefit your business, so you can focus on your own operations without worrying about what you’re missing out on.
What’s more, as the UK’s most awarded Microsoft Partner and winner of the 2022 Microsoft Customer Experience Award, you couldn’t be in better hands when it comes to adopting new Microsoft technologies.
We can support you in implementing Microsoft Viva and offer expert advice on whether you can benefit from the entire Viva suite or a particular module such as Engage. Better yet, if you need a quick roll out of the technology in just a few days, we can get the job done with our FastStart service.