A series of changes announced by Microsoft can help your business increase digital employee engagement with SharePoint. We take a look at how this can be achieved.
Earlier this year, Microsoft unveiled upcoming enhancements to SharePoint, most of which are now up-and-running and ready for businesses to use.
These changes have been introduced as part of efforts by the tech giant to support businesses in a world transformed by hybrid working.
How SharePoint can support your hybrid working model
As businesses prepare to return or partially return to the office, ways to enhance employee experience have been in the spotlight. Focus has moved from establishing the technologies needed to enable remote working to enhancing those technologies to make people’s working days as gratifying and productive as possible.
With an appreciation for the importance of Teams in our day-to-day lives, in February Microsoft began the introduction of a new employee experience platform, Microsoft Viva.
The technology consists of four modules, Viva Learning, Viva Insights, Viva Topics and Viva Connections. The latter two are perhaps the most relevant to digital employee engagement and delivering improved employee experience in light of SharePoint’s recent updates – here’s how.
Staying social with Viva Connections
Viva Connections is a Teams app which is built on your existing Microsoft 365 ecosystem. If your businesses’ intranet is powered by SharePoint, Viva Connections allows you to bring your company intranet, or digital workplace, into Microsoft Teams.
The result is a unified employee experience which consolidates news and content from Microsoft apps like Yammer and Stream.
It also offers your people a single destination to stay connected to your company from wherever they are and on any device.
Microsoft Viva Connections features which have the potential to enhance digital employee engagement include:
- Home Site – A SharePoint Home Site is the main landing page which brings your company branded intranet directly into Teams
- Search – Search enables users to search SharePoint sites as well as content within Teams, making finding information faster and easier without leaving the app
- Personalised dashboard – Content curated for specific job roles, departments and regions can be surfaced in Teams using Viva Connections, powered by intelligent audience targeting. This places the content users find most relevant to them front and centre, reducing the time they spend searching for it. The dashboard is not yet live, but is set to be available soon.
- Yammer communities – Yammer communities and threads can be made visible in Teams through Viva Connections, making conversations, sharing knowledge and staying on top of company updates easier
Find what you need, when you need it with Viva Topics
The Microsoft Viva Topics app discovers and organises your businesses’ content from across Microsoft 365 and SharePoint. This allows users to remain in their workflow instead of breaking away to look for information.
Through their topic management dashboard, users can set up and create topics across Microsoft 365. The tool then surfaces the information most relevant to them through topic cards, topic pages and topic centres.
Viva Topics uses machine learning and AI to harvest information stored inside Microsoft 365, SharePoint and Microsoft Graph and then organise content into topics.
It also features a search function, making it easier and faster to find documents, content and colleague profiles.
Users who are assigned specific roles in Topics can accept suggested topic content or can manually adjust the topics that have been generated automatically. They can do this by amending a topic’s description and adding other resources or people’s profiles.
They can also create topics from scratch, which Viva will populate with content using AI.
Being able to surface information and documents mid-flow without breaking their concentration is likely to be a plus point for employee engagement.
Boosting digital employee engagement with SharePoint
The key benefits to emerge from these updates around employee engagement are:
- Content – Content has never been more important to businesses and these enhancements enable it to be shared more easily and safely
- Document management – A trusted single source of the truth is an increasing priority, including version control, approvals and permissions
- Immediacy – As soon as content is updated in SharePoint, it is available immediately for users to consume. Information is brought to them rather than them having to spend time looking for it
- Automation – Integration with the Power Platform now enables many manual processes to be automated, which can only be a positive for user experience
- Collaboration – Features such as co-authoring, shared links to access content and comments contribute to tackling the problems brought by siloed working
- Communication – Continues to be boosted by SharePoint updates, including getting the most relevant news and information out to users
- External sharing – Sharing sites, document libraries and documents with partners and extended teams outside your business has been made even easier
- Mobility – For those on the move, SharePoint Teams Mobile Apps allows them to stay productive any time, any place, anywhere
Introducing this enhanced functionality forms part of Microsoft’s aim to help your business achieve better digital employee engagement with SharePoint and to enhance employee experience overall.