Microsoft Viva is Microsoft 365’s Employee Experience Platform with a goal to unite communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights in the flow of work. Viva modules are accessed through Teams so that employees are encouraged to be their best selves from anywhere! The latest module to hit the suite is Viva Engage. Many are questioning, “is this replacing Yammer?” We’re here to answer that and break down what this exciting new module is all about and how your team can reap the rewards!
What makes Microsoft Viva so special? Powered by Microsoft 365 and experienced through Microsoft Teams, Viva fosters a culture that empowers employees and teams with the necessary tools and resources without all the context switching. It’s Microsoft delivering on the holistic, interconnected digital workspace we’ve all been longing for. The Viva modules are about making people more effective at working together by addressing the mechanics of working with colleagues, whether collaborating with peers or managers acting as the intermediaries between upper management and the people who report to them.
What is Viva Engage?
Viva Engage is a social app for digital communities, conversations, and self-expression that builds on the existing capabilities of the Communities app for Teams and Microsoft 365. Viva Engage connects employees and empowers everyone to contribute and express themselves by meeting people where they are in Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365.
Viva Engage is all about connecting employees to each other and giving leaders new ways to engage in dialogue with employees. Users are using Teams, the employee experience comes to them. As an integral part of the Microsoft Viva suite, Viva Engage contributes to Viva Connections and Viva Topics and, over time, will extend community, conversation, and knowledge experiences into other areas of Viva.
Engage can build communities where leaders and employees can interact more effectively and transparently, fostering a space where people can share knowledge, ideas, and answers! It can introduce individuals to new experiences, empower team members to be more vocal, and contribute to the organization’s greater good.
Many of you may be wondering if Viva Engage will be replacing Yammer. The simple answer is no. Here is what Microsoft has to say about Yammer: “The Yammer web experience and the native Yammer mobile apps will continue to be a part of Microsoft 365 SKUs, and the same communities, storylines, and stories are made available through both Yammer, and the new Viva Engage app. We are continuing to invest in Yammer and bring the powers of Yammer to Microsoft 365 and Viva.” We dive deeper into Yammer and Engage below, keep on reading!
Viva Engage Benefits
Viva Engage is a space to share news and strategy, shape culture, converse with employees and join in conversations. Engage enhances the modern digital workplace by engaging employees, humanizing the digital experience, and building community by rallying around commonalities.
What’s in it for your clients? Your team can better serve your clients by staying more informed and making significant decisions together. With Engage, everyone can stay in the know and accomplish their goals efficiently.
Feeling like a team is key to employee satisfaction. Viva Engage empowers people to build communities and professional networks, share their work perspectives and find answers to their questions. It is a space for all to chat and connect with one another.
Reduce Meeting Fatigue
In the hybrid workplace, meetings consume your day and cause exhaustion among workers. Instead of hopping on a call, use stories to quickly create videos/posts on what you are trying to do so that people can connect/relate to you. This way, helpful information can be shared so that others can react and interact with it at their own pace. Engage keeps everyone on the same page without adding another meeting to your calendar. Who knows, maybe we’ll soon find ourselves uttering, “ugh, another meeting that could have been a story.” 😛
“Viva Engage offers a way for our customers to strengthen relationships amongst their employees, integrate into the Viva apps, and deliver a whole new variety of ways for employees to engage with each other and with leaders.” -Microsoft
Viva Engage Features
Microsoft introduced a few personal expression tools that are meant to be part of the Viva community experience:
Storyline and Stories
Storyline and Stories are built on top of OneDrive for Business and Microsoft Stream video service. Storylines are meant to create posts with links, files, photos, and videos and will be available to users in Viva Connections, Outlook, Teams, and Yammer. The feeds of these posts will be available via a new Storylines tab. Storyline gives everyone a place to express themselves, showcase the work of their team, and share personal interests and passions. The Stories features are short videos or photos that users can share and upload quickly and are a great way to capture an experience!
How do Video Clips work?
Video Clip allows users to record and send short video messages in Teams Chats very easily! It leverages Stream technology and is planned to be available in September.
Engage is accessible within the Teams mobile apps for iOS and Android, allowing people to record what they are currently working on. Users can post videos on quick tips, how it’s done, and common issues right from their phone! Easy and quick access is ideal for all people using Engage.
Engage, leaders can hold virtual events, pin conversations, and post announcements notifying others across Teams, Outlook, and Viva Connections!
Storyline and Stories, Best Answers, @mentions, and topics which help drive participation, build community and relationships with coworkers!
Microsoft MVP Insights
Wesat down with Daniel Glenn—Microsoft MVP and our Sr. Director of Hybrid Office and U.S. Operations—to get the 411 on Viva Engage.
Is Viva Engage the new Yammer? How do they differ? Is one replacing the other?
“Viva Engage is simply tapping into and modernizing the existing Yammer experience. Yammer’s not going anywhere—it powers Viva Engage just like SharePoint is the power behind Viva Connections. Think of it as the evolution of the Yammer experience, bringing the community vibe into Microsoft Teams.”
What excites you about Viva Engage?
“The workforce is moving toward hybrid work, and our requirements and relationship with our technology must be hyper-focused on engagement and connection. It’s exciting because Engage is exactly what people are looking for, bringing the community aspect of employee engagement in the flow of work and helping people feel more connected to their coworkers.”
Will Viva Engage distract people from their work?
“Without proper governance, any tool or feature can become a distraction. The key is to focus on how to embrace Viva Engage’sbenefits for your people. Viva Engage can be an outlet for workers during their workday to foster a sense of community through a more interactive communication forum. Engage captures the need for being social and connecting with others while keeping people in the environment where they spend most of their time, Microsoft Teams, minimizing context switching between apps.”
What makes Viva Engage integration with Teams so valuable?
“Teams has been positioned by Microsoft and has become a centralized place for work, a dashboard of sorts. We can communicate with employees through chats, channels, and meetings. You can also see the news on your intranet via Viva Connections, get information on how you are doing with Viva Insights, learn more with Viva Learning, and much more. Viva Engage brings community to that same space, so you don’t need to go and create content outside of Teams, post it, and consume it somewhere else. Teams is an all-in-one space for people to easily work and connect with others!”
How will my workday change while using Viva Engage?
“Viva Engage can help change the way people share information with their colleagues. For example, stories give the ability to express and communicate more than just words. They can be used to convey expressions where what is being said is not misunderstood.”
Microsoft also answered some questions that can help you understand Viva Engage better!
What is the cost for Viva Engage?
Microsoft plans to have Viva Engage available to all customers with existing subscriptions for free. Engage is available for no additional cost as long as Microsoft 365 Customers have Yammer already!
Where will Viva Engage live?
Viva Engage will be located in the Outlook App and replace where the Communities App currently resides.
Is Yammer going away?
Yammer is not going away. Microsoft is investing more deeply in Yammer services and experiences in Viva Engage and across Microsoft 365. Yammer.com and the Yammer apps for iOS, Android, Mac, and PC remain the standalone experiences for employee engagement on web, mobile and desktop. Microsoft is bringing storyline, stories, and Viva Engage innovations to the Yammer apps as well. You’ll see storyline posts and stories in the new Storylines page.
We’re extremely excited about this module and look forward to helping our clients use this to enhance their employee experience! To prepare for this new addition to Viva Suite, make sure the communities app is pinned on the sidebar of your Teams app. Once Engage takes the place of the current Communities app, you can dive right into Viva Engage! If you have any questions, reach out to us today. To learn more about the Viva modules check out these blogs…
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