Microsoft Viva: Empowering Your Workforce in Economic Uncertainty Event Recap

The way we work has gone through massive changes in the past few years. Employees are placing a high value on work-life balance, and as a result, more organizations are adapting to a hybrid workplace model rather than a traditional one. Even though remote work has its flexibility and benefits, it is not always easy to manage and sometimes may even seem to be counterproductive. It’s no secret that there’s a general sense of uncertainty in the business world (heck, the whole world). In response, Microsoft hosted an event all about empowering your team during these trying times. 

Here, we break down Microsoft’s new event, Empowering Your Workforce in Economic Uncertainty, all the insights you need to ensure your organization is on a path to success and built to thrive. We’ll also provide a Roadmap of Microsoft Viva, an employee platform designed to assist organizations with defining their culture in the remote work era. Plus, discover new features and products our team is most excited to go live. So, grab a bucket of popcorn, and let’s get started!   

The Three Urgent Pivots 

First, let’s begin with three major trends within the workplace that you as a leader need to adapt to for a healthy work culture and a proficient team of knowledge workers loyal to the organization and its values. 

Productivity Paranoia 

The first trend that Microsoft discovered after surveying 20,000 workers worldwide — data is now available at Work Trend Index — is what they refer to as productivity paranoia. People nowadays are more productive and work harder than ever before, but somehow leaders still believe that their team is not working as efficiently as they could and that a lot more could be done. 

However, it is not the amount of work that leaders need to be concerned about, but rather establishing a clearer communication system throughout the organization. What do we mean by this? 

This means establishing goals that matter the most to your organization and communicating these priorities with your team. Creating clarity may sound like a very simple task, but you’d be surprised by the amount of ambiguity within your organization’s core.   

So, make sure the story you tell your stakeholders is consistent and you clearly define their role within it. This is your first step towards creating a more unified workforce and increasing the productivity of your organization. 

Culture is Key 

Humans are social creations. Throughout history, we’ve stuck together as a means to survive, but this strategy has taken us beyond survival and has taught us how to thrive as a species.  

We still work better together, but maybe we work because we want to be together? “73% of employees have said they need a better reason to come into the office than policy alone, and 85% said they are motivated by rebuilding team bonds”. 

This shows that if you expect your team to commute to work every day, you must be willing to provide them with some value that makes their efforts worthwhile. For your business to succeed, you must ensure that human interactions and values remain within the core of your organization’s culture.  

So, ask yourself if your workplace has an inviting atmosphere and if you are providing your team with the right tools and reasons to bring them together. Is it possible for these interactions to take place in a virtual environment? 

Learning and Development 

Last but not least, workers nowadays care about self-development. Employees no longer come to work only to provide value to your organization but also to develop their own skills. And if you don’t provide them with the right resources for self-improvement, they’ll leave. 

So, to ensure you have a loyal workforce who is committed and enthusiastic about working at your company, provide them with opportunities to grow and the right resources. This will also help your company excel in its industry and become a thought leader.  

Microsoft Viva 

But what does all this stuff have to do with Microsoft Viva? I’m glad you asked! 

Viva is an employee experience platform that supports connection, insight, purpose, and growth, while empowering individuals and teams to perform at their highest level. Microsoft has designed this platform to assist leaders with providing their employees with transparency while communicating, building a culture that is people-oriented, and the necessary tools required for external and internal learning opportunities. 

So, you ask me why should I care about Viva? Well, because it is your golden ticket to building the ultimate hybrid workplace culture, that indirectly provides value to your customers. 

Microsoft Viva Roadmap 

But how? A valid question! 

Think of software such as; Viva Goals, this app helps you to establish clarity throughout your organization and provide your team with a singular point of focus. Communicate with your employees which tasks must be prioritized and tackle them one at a time.  

Viva helps you be more productive, without the need to acquire more resources! 

Viva Pulse  

Viva Pulse enables leaders like you to receive employee feedback and easily discover underlying concerns and issues by asking the right questions. 

A screenshot of Viva Pulse's homescreen.

Use pre-designed templates to check in on the well-being of your team, find out the progress on a recent project, and project your team’s experiences.  

All the answers are confidential to ensure you are receiving honest feedback. Afterward, Viva Pulse provides you with the necessary insights so you can better tackle similar problems and help you grow as a manager.  

You can also share these insights with individuals throughout your organization to build a culture that inspires trust and values the voice of its members. 

Viva Amplify 

Use Viva Amplify to simplify your communications by creating, managing, publishing, and evaluating your messages in only one place.  

A screenshot of Viva Amplify's homescreen.

Whether it’s a leadership message or a project newsletter, Viva Amplify allows you to create messages that best resonate with your team by leveraging its “Guidance Writing” tool, track approval, and, if necessary, publish your message directly through multiple channels such as SharePoint or Outlook.   

.A screenshot of Viva Amplify's homescreen.

Viva Amplify allows you to track how others are interacting and engaging with your content. In addition, Viva provides your previous messages and how they have been received to help you improve your future communications.  

Viva Engage 

Furthermore, to have deeper communication with your team, you can leverage Viva Engage. Viva Engage is an evolution of the Yammer Communities app that brings new capabilities and experiences that enables you to have two-way dialogues with your employees. This software helps you to share messages and express yourself while measuring employee sentiment.  

A screenshot of Viva Engage's homescreen.

For users that already use the Communities app, this change will happen automatically! 

Use Viva Engage to post interactive stories and host “Ask me anything” events to better connect with your employees and nurture your company’s culture.  

The Updated Viva Homepage 

User interface has always been a major contributing factor to how Microsoft designs its products, and Viva is no exception!  

A screenshot of Microsoft Viva's updated homepage.

With the new Viva Homepage, users are now able to easily track important messages that require their attention and interact with the “Dashboard,” which consolidates all your employee tools in a single place. 

A screenshot of Microsoft Viva's new employee dashboard feature.

You can see how Microsoft Viva can unify your organization and empower your employees. Click here to find out more about Microsoft Viva and its capabilities.   

What Does our Team Think of This Roadmap? 

Here’s what our MVPs had to say about Microsoft’s Roadmap Event. 

Eric Overfield, our Chief Product Officer: 

“As Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, recently said, “Work as we know it as structurally changed”, and it is encouraging to see Microsoft Viva continue to evolve to meet the needs of today’s workforce. As the Viva suite continues to expand its reach into productivity and engagement, including upcoming Amplify, Pulse, and Engage, I’m looking forward to the new home experience within Microsoft Viva that will bring the suite together to help employees succeed.” 

Noorez Khamis, our Chief Technology Officer: 

“The vision for Viva Connections has finally come to light – it now feels a lot more than a Corporate Intranet and I am looking forward to seeing its evolution in the corporate world and showing organizations how to leverage the features to create an amazing employee experience.” 

Daniel Glenn, our Sr. Director of Hybrid Office & U.S. Operations: 

With so many connections and communication paths, organizations have seen an increase in employee frustration in finding news, messages, and announcements. Information is getting lost in the shuffle across email, SharePoint, and Viva Engage. Viva Amplify will bring a central place for consuming communications and give authors the ability to publish messages in the places where they know it will be consumed. Viva Amplify analytics shows how content is being received, so organizations will finally know the best ways to inform, educate, and empower employees.” 

A Quick Recap 

The definition of a workplace is continuously changing due to the rapid growth of technology and society. For better or worse, as competent leaders, we’re expected to adapt to these changes to survive.   

However, Microsoft doesn’t want you to merely survive; they would rather see you thrive. Therefore, they are regularly perfecting and designing new tools to give you and your team all the necessary tools to achieve corporate excellency.   

With Microsoft Viva, you can establish clarity within your organization and create a culture that brings employees together with the right resources to grow and learn new skills.   

Viva has many different applications within its product portfolio, like Viva Pulse, Viva Amplify, and Viva Engage. Make sure you know how to effectively use these tools to align everyone with your organization around the most impactful work to derive business outcomes.

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