Microsoft Viva: What is and How Does it Work?

In today’s ever-changing workplace, organisations are on a relentless mission to discover the best tools, methodologies, and applications to nurture growth and enhance the employee experience. Prioritising employee development and satisfaction is gaining momentum, recognising its crucial role in achieving organisational success.

However, implementing this progressive approach presents its own set of challenges. Teams tasked with leading this change often feel overwhelmed or ill-equipped, encountering obstacles in change management, training, and efficient document handling. These challenges can result in a cluttered and disorganised work environment, with valuable resources spread across different platforms, making them hard to access and manage.

This is where Microsoft Viva steps in, offering a robust solution to these common issues. Seamlessly integrated within Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Viva is an employee experience platform crafted to unify communications, knowledge sharing, learning opportunities, and insights. It provides an accessible and cohesive experience for employees, accessible anytime, anywhere.

This Microsoft Viva overview reveals everything you need to know to get started and make the most out of this tool.

What is Microsoft Viva?

Microsoft Viva employee experience builds on the power of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 to unify the employee experience in an integrated experience that empowers people and teams to be their best.

Microsoft Viva brings together the tools and applications your business needs for communication and feedback, analytics, goals, and learning all in one unified solution. It was created to help organisations navigate the cultural shift towards remote work, a change that has become increasingly significant in the current corporate landscape. In this modern work environment, applications like SharePoint and Teams have become essential in the day-to-day operations of many businesses.

Building on this base, Microsoft introduced Viva as a comprehensive solution to tackle the challenges of remote work while preserving its benefits. Remote work brings advantages such as reduced commuting times, location independence, and increased opportunities for family involvement.

That said, it also presents challenges like increased distractions and reduced communication among team members. The Microsoft Viva employee experience platform aims to ease the transition to a work-from-home environment, addressing these issues. Although mainly aimed at HR and Internal Communications, Viva provides versatile applications for different management styles. It seamlessly integrates with key tools like Microsoft Teams and Outlook, allowing organisations to make the most of existing applications with minimal training needed.

Employee Time

Benefits of Implementing Microsoft Viva

Implementing Microsoft Viva within an organization offers myriad benefits, from enhancing workforce connectivity to transforming the learning ecosystem.

Protects Employee Time

One of the primary advantages of Microsoft Viva is the protection and better management of employee time. It achieves this by utilizing a feature that automatically schedules “Focus time” slots within an employee’s Outlook calendar. This function allocates up to two focus periods each day of varying lengths, ensuring there is adequate space between meetings.

Automatically, a “Focusing” status is applied to the user’s Microsoft Teams status, eliminating the need for manually setting “Do Not Disturb.” This feature encourages employees to dedicate their attention to single tasks and helps colleagues be mindful of not disrupting each other unnecessarily.

Encourages Leaving On Time

A unique offering of Microsoft Viva is the “Virtual Commute.” This tool is especially beneficial for remote workers, promoting a healthy work-life balance by signaling the end of the workday with a structured routine. The virtual commute guides employees through a series of steps—reviewing meetings, tasks for the next day, and a wind down process, including relaxation and day reflection.  This helps in clearly delineating work time from personal time, aiding employees in disconnecting and preparing for the following day without work bleeding into personal life.

Shows Recognition to Colleagues

Microsoft Viva integrates a “Praise” function within Teams to foster a culture of appreciation and acknowledgment among colleagues. This function enables employees to commend one another for a range of contributions that go beyond mere performance metrics, covering aspects such as leadership, team spirit, optimism, and inclusivity. Highlighting these accomplishments encourages a positive office atmosphere and acknowledges the smaller, yet significant, achievements.

Prioritises Mental Health

The importance of mental health is emphasized through Viva Insights, accessible through both the Teams app and web version. Viva Insights offers crucial data concerning work-life balance, such as monitoring quiet hour interruptions and evaluating if employees have adequate uninterrupted work time. This focus on mental wellness stresses the value of maintaining a healthy work environment and ensuring employees’ well-being.

Inspires Better Working Habits

Viva Insights doesn’t just stop at monitoring; it goes a step further by analyzing employees’ working habits and offering constructive feedback. By identifying patterns such as multitasking during meetings or scheduling last-minute catch-ups, the tool suggests improvements for more efficient work practices. Recommendations might include altering or eliminating unnecessary meetings, promoting a more focused and productive work ethic.

Creates Easy Catch-Up Tasks

Leveraging machine learning and text recognition, Viva streamlines task management by auto-generating reminders for commitments mentioned in emails. This intuitive feature reduces the reliance on manual to-do lists or the fear of overlooking tasks, exemplifying an adaptive and efficient approach to managing workloads and commitments.

Quantifies Your Working Day

Lastly, Microsoft Viva offers insights into employees’ daily accomplishments by visualizing their collaborative efforts over a month. This feedback helps in understanding personal work habits, providing a clear picture of productivity and areas for improvement. The platform’s comprehensive analytics also offer a broader understanding of work habits, task completion, and opportunities for personal development.

The Components of Microsoft Viva

Microsoft Viva Connections

One of the toughest challenges of remote work is the lack of connection. The social aspect of work is not only enjoyable but also boosts productivity. Having a platform to freely converse and exchange ideas is crucial in the workspace. Viva Connections forms a community for individuals to unite and offer support.

Within Viva Connections, everyone can access a personalized hub to find relevant news, discussions, and the necessary tools for success. It provides employees with a platform to voice their opinions and share innovative ideas. Viva Connections enables members to create a tailored employee dashboard for easy access to company resources and to establish connections through communities. These communities empower employees to contribute ideas. Here are some common uses for Viva Connections:

  • Discover communities for employees to interact with each other, whether work-related or hobby-related, based on what best suits your staff and culture.
  • Provide access to employee resources such as policies and HR documents.
  • Enhance information sharing efficiency.

Microsoft  Viva Topics

The next module available in Microsoft Viva is Viva Topics. Viva Topics serves as a platform for discovering knowledge, fostering idea-sharing, finding solutions efficiently, and enhancing team cohesion. By utilizing Viva Topics, you can seamlessly access topic cards within various Microsoft 365 applications to explore relevant information within your work context. Leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) alongside robust security and compliance measures, Viva Topics uncovers expertise within daily-used apps. Let’s explore how Viva Topics can support you:

  • Boost business productivity and wellbeing by streamlining onboarding processes.
  • Harness AI to analyze organizational content, automatically categorize it, and present it in a user-friendly format.
  • Minimize redundant efforts by integrating knowledge into everyday workflows.
  • Locate information swiftly and connect with colleagues easily.
  • Safeguard against knowledge loss when employees depart.

Microsoft Viva Topics streamlines the management and protection of knowledge and skills within your organization, ensuring seamless dissemination across Microsoft 365. This facilitates quicker learning and encourages innovation through enhanced information retrieval. Collaborating and sharing knowledge enables greater achievements. In remote work settings, Viva Topics serves as a valuable platform for knowledge sharing. Utilize AI to transform content into knowledge, create topic pages and cards, and simplify the exploration of new insights.

Microsoft Viva Learning

Viva Learning is a standout learning hub, bringing together educational resources from various platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and respected third-party providers such as Skillsoft and Coursera. Nestled within Microsoft Teams, it creates a vibrant learning space where individuals can exchange, suggest, and interact with a vast array of content. This functionality encourages the seamless integration of learning into daily work routines, providing direct access to courses, detailed insights, and the ability to save courses for future exploration.

Viva Learning democratises knowledge access across Microsoft 365, underscoring the value of ongoing education. Whether working in an office or remotely, fostering a culture of learning and development is crucial. Viva Learning embodies this ethos, motivating employees to unleash their full potential through various advantages.

It offers a comprehensive view of educational content from diverse origins, ensures accessible learning opportunities, embeds learning into everyday tasks, emphasises the significance of the digital employee experience, and empowers employees to steer their educational journeys. With Viva Learning, discovering and sharing new skills, recommending and monitoring educational content, and accessing a unified platform for all learning resources is now simpler than ever.

Microsoft Viva Insights

Viva Insights plays a crucial role within Microsoft Viva, aiming to boost productivity and well-being by providing privacy-protected insights. This feature includes various analytical tools, from Personal Analytics to Manager and Leader Insights, to help refine work practices and encourage a healthier work-life balance.

For leaders, Viva Insights offers a glimpse into team dynamics, highlighting trends like working overtime and packed meeting schedules. It operates on the principle that a harmonious blend of productivity and personal well-being is key for employee success. Suggestions to enhance this equilibrium include setting aside uninterrupted work time, promoting regular breaks, and embracing mindfulness techniques.

Additionally, it utilises sophisticated tools and data analysis to identify areas of concern and offer tailored advice for enhancement. The insights are divided into Personal, for individual well-being; Manager, for team health and confidential insights; and Leader, for bolstering organisational culture. Personal Insights are accessible with any Microsoft 365 licence, while Manager and Leader Insights require a Viva Insights subscription. It’s important to note that your personal data and insights based on work patterns are only viewable to you.

Microsoft Viva Goals

Microsoft Viva Goals Viva Goals brings business goals into the flow, aiming to enhance the employee experience by offering clear visibility and accountability for individual, team, and organisational goals. This feature supports the establishment, monitoring, and alignment of goals with organization’s strategic priorities through the utilisation of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).

It streamlines goal management by allowing the creation of goals, assigning owners, and using metrics to monitor progress. Viva Goals cultivates a culture of shared responsibility, ensuring everyone remains aligned and focused on key goals. By empowering employees and uniting them towards a common purpose, Viva Goals contributes to driving sustained organisational success and improving  employee engagement and performance.

employee relationships

Microsoft Viva Engage and Viva Engage Leadership Corner

Viva Engage is a social platform that promotes stronger employee relationships, aiming to cultivate involvement in today’s hybrid and remote work setups. With a primary focus on nurturing human connections, Viva Engage addresses the challenges posed by reduced in-person interactions post-Covid.

By facilitating a sense of belonging and purpose within the organization, Viva Engage enables users to connect through open sharing, discussions, community-building, and sharing stories and interests. These features empower employees, leading to improved work quality and a more positive workplace contribution.

Viva Engage features are available to all Microsoft 365 or Office 365 enterprise and frontline plan users without requiring a separate license, encouraging engagement across the organization to address feelings of isolation and disconnection. By offering a user-friendly approach, the platform supports employees in getting involved and stepping out of their comfort zones.

Microsoft Viva Sales

Microsoft Viva Sales is a dynamic seller-experience application designed to optimize the sales process. It significantly reduces the complexity and tedious aspects of sales activities, freeing up sales teams to concentrate on what truly matters—building relationships and closing deals.

Not limited to sales departments, Viva Sales also offers insightful data for marketing, operations, and beyond, making it a versatile tool for understanding business performance across the board. Powered by AI, this platform streamlines tasks with features like automatic call summaries, follow-up reminders, and comprehensive status reports.

By enhancing efficiency and the quality of interactions, Viva Sales not only aids in accelerating the sales cycle but also ensures customer satisfaction and stronger relationships. Its automation capabilities promise a smoother sales process, encouraging faster deal closures and happier customers. Viva Sales emerges as an essential tool for any business aiming to simplify transactions and elevate overall productivity.

Microsoft Viva Amplify

Microsoft Viva Amplify significantly enhances the corporate communication landscape by simplifying the process of reaching broader audiences. This innovative module acts as a central communication hub, aiding not only in broadcasting messages but also in establishing deeper connections within and across teams.

It is designed to alleviate the complexities of communicating with large groups. Viva Amplify offers essential writing guidance, transforming basic messages into comprehensive campaigns capable of capturing widespread attention and engagement. These campaigns subsequently lead to the development of new, enduring connections.

Another outstanding feature is the ability to monitor employee engagement, reach, and overall impact of your campaigns, providing insights into their performance. Messages can be distributed across various channels, including SharePoint and Outlook, ensuring broad dissemination of content. While accessible to all employees, Viva Amplify is particularly revolutionary for those in corporate communications, who struggle to amplify their voice and effectively convey their messages to large groups.

Microsoft Viva Pulse

Microsoft Viva Pulse is now available worldwide, serving as a crucial tool in the Viva suite to enhance the employee experience. This app is all about delving into employees’ emotions and thoughts through regular check-ins while keeping things anonymous for honest feedback. It provides leaders with real insights into team morale, helping them make informed decisions to improve the workplace.

Key features include requesting feedback on areas like team success and well-being, exploring question topics with tailored suggestions, and getting practical advice to meet team needs. Results can be shared company-wide to encourage openness and collective progress. Viva Pulse is perfect for any leader looking to understand their team better, creating an environment where employees feel valued, listened to, and motivated to share their thoughts for mutual development and better workplace culture.

Microsoft Viva Glint

Viva and Glint link employees with resources and learning opportunities in Microsoft Teams. It boosts team unity, fights burnout, and supports well-being, helping teams tackle digital challenges. Here’s how it helps:

  • Gathering Feedback: Running surveys for ongoing insights.
  • Seamless Integration: Using insights to enhance the flow of work.
  • Advanced Analysis: AI, predictions, and analytics for smart moves.
  • Comprehensive Data: Combining feedback with insights from Microsoft Viva Insights.
  • Actionable Insights: Focusing on key areas, including LinkedIn Learning content.

Viva and Glint transform the employee experience for a more connected, aligned workspace, shaping organizational decisions. By integrating Glint into Viva, feedback is part of the workflow, improving understanding of employee experiences.

4 Steps for Set up Viva Connections in The Microsoft 365

Setting up Viva Connections within Microsoft 365 is a straightforward process that empowers your organization with a unified employee experience.

Discover what app to use and when

To make the most of the Microsoft Viva suite in your organisation, it’s vital to grasp the unique use cases and benefits of each Viva app. By examining the features and functionalities, you can match each app’s capabilities with your organisation’s aims and obstacles. This insight helps you choose the most suitable tools to improve employee experience, productivity, and workplace culture overall.

Learn more about requirements and roles

For a successful deployment of Viva apps, it’s crucial to grasp the technical requirements and roles in the planning and implementation process. By getting thorough guidance on these prerequisites, your organisation can seamlessly integrate Viva apps into your current infrastructure. This step is key to guarantee compatibility and maximise the benefits of the Viva suite.

Prepare your organization for your instance of Viva

Before rolling out the Viva suite, it’s crucial to carry out a comprehensive audit across the entire organization to ascertain the optimal ways each app can meet your requirements. This groundwork involves defining potential use cases, pinpointing target audiences within your organisation, and outlining desired outcomes. Thorough preparation sets the stage for a personalised and impactful deployment of Viva apps.

Get started deploying

With a clear strategy and a good grasp of your organisation’s requirements, the next step is to progress with deploying your chosen Viva apps. Seek precise advice on the setup process, factors to consider for adoption, and recommended methods for introducing these new tools to your team. This focused approach guarantees a seamless introduction and promotes staff involvement with the new technology, leading to a more connected and efficient work environment.

FAQs

Why is Microsoft investing so much in Microsoft Viva?

Microsoft is making significant investments in the Viva platform to meet the changing needs of the contemporary workplace. The shift towards hybrid working models has underlined the importance of nurturing a connected and resilient workplace culture that promotes employee wellbeing, engagement, and productivity.

By providing tools to streamline communication, enrich learning opportunities, and offer insights into workplace analytics and staff sentiment, Microsoft Viva aims to bridge the gap between physical and digital workspaces. This commitment to investment by Microsoft is a testament to their dedication to enhancing organizational health, ensuring businesses can flourish in an increasingly digital world while keeping a focus on the human elements that spur success.

What is the pricing for Microsoft Viva?

Pricing for Microsoft Viva is carefully designed to be adaptable, catering to the varied needs of businesses, whether they’re budding start-ups or established conglomerates. Microsoft understands that each organisation has unique requirements and budgets, and so offers a range of plans that can be customised to meet specific needs.

For detailed information, including tailored options that may suit your organisation, it’s advisable to engage directly with Microsoft or an authorised partner like Vantage 365, which can offer insights tailored to your specific circumstances.

Is there a demo video that covers the full Microsoft Viva suite?

Yes, there’s a comprehensive demo video available that covers the full Microsoft Viva suite. This demonstration is crafted to give a detailed overview of all the features and benefits that Viva offers, including insights into how each component of the suite can be utilised to enhance employee experience and organisational productivity.

It showcases practical applications of Viva Amplify, Viva Pulse, Viva Glint, and other elements within the Microsoft Viva ecosystem. To access this informative video, you can visit the Microsoft Viva webpage or the Microsoft 365 YouTube channel, where you’ll find this and other resources aimed at helping you get the most out of Microsoft Viva’s capabilities.

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