Organisations with highly engaged employees achieve 7x greater 5-year total shareholder returns than those with less engaged employees – The Impact of Employee Engagement, Kenexa
There is a need to make employee engagement more sustainable, integrated, and personalised. Cue Microsoft Viva Connections.
In the past year, how organisations function has rapidly evolved. Businesses have adapted to meet the needs of their customers by creating hybrid workplaces.
Employee engagement is pivotal to these new ways of working, and there has never been a greater reliance on technology for cultivating it.
But often, this engagement is over a disparate patchwork of systems, and consequently, a disjointed experience for employees. Information overload is common, and it can be easy for critical updates to get lost in the noise. Furthermore, blanket communications can feel impersonal and may only resonate with certain pockets in an organisation.
Viva Connections can address these challenges, but it relies on well-structured foundations. These include a SharePoint company intranet – not supplied – and Yammer. If either element is sub-par, then you risk transferring the issues to Viva Connections.
So, take a measured and strategic approach to Viva Connections. A well-ordered SharePoint intranet deployment can take anything from several weeks to several months and demands specialist skills. Equally, corporate social networks like Yammer call for robust user-adoption and change management experience.
What is Microsoft Viva Connections?
Responding to the natural shift towards Microsoft Teams and the increasing time people spend within its environment, Viva Connections enables you to bring your company intranet, or digital workplace, into Microsoft Teams.
It gives your employees a single destination to stay connected to your company from wherever they are and on any device.
Viva Connections is a Teams app which is built on your existing Microsoft 365 ecosystem. The intranet experience is powered by SharePoint. The result is a unified employee experience which consolidates news and content from Microsoft apps like Yammer and Stream.
This allows you to not only leverage your existing investments, but also bring the experiences together in Teams. Features and functionality surfaced by Viva Connections include:
- Custom branding. Reinforce your company’s identity by customising the dashboard and conveying information in your authentic voice.
- Personalised feed. Using audience targeting, deliver content specific to job roles, departments and regions within your organisation.
- Yammer communities. Foster an inclusive experience by making it easy for people to join the conversation within the Viva Connections app.
- Boost. Ensure critical information and updates are brought to people’s attention with properties such as ‘always on top’, ‘until read’ and ‘number of impressions’.
- Viva Connections continues the momentum of the Microsoft Teams ecosystem and extensibility framework. You can also plugin third-party partner apps.
- Analytics. Rich and responsive analytics that inform and improve employee engagement.
Viva Connections is due to come to the Microsoft Teams desktop in late March 2021 and to Teams mobile by summer 2021.
The Viva Connections app will be available as part of your existing Microsoft 365 and SharePoint licence. Any employee in your organisation licensed to use SharePoint can use Viva Connections at no additional cost.
Viva Connections and your company intranet
If your company intranet or digital workplace is built on SharePoint, e.g., Fresh, Viva Connections lets you bring it inside Microsoft Teams effortlessly, with no re-engineering.
Viva Connections allows you to extend your SharePoint intranet content, including your home site, into Teams. The app enables you to accelerate your time to value by quickly giving your workforce a holistic, user-friendly experience.
How does Viva Connections enhance the employee experience?
71% of executives say that employee engagement is critical to their company’s success. Highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability and 41% lower absenteeism. And research shows that employees who feel they are listened to are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work
Microsoft Viva Connections offers a new way for business leaders to shape an inclusive culture, where employees feel not only informed, but also heard. Seamless integration with communities like Yammer connects everyone, from people in information to workers on the front line.
A branded, professional hub for news and collaboration conveys that you are invested in your employees – and their success.
And because Viva Connections lives inside a place your people are familiar with – Microsoft Teams, it makes it easier for them to engage without interrupting their workflow to visit other applications. This ease can be particularly convenient for firstline workers, who often have only brief opportunities during their day to consume content and interact.
The Viva Connections home page can surface all the resources your company intranet offers, such as personalised feeds, a dashboard and a resources section, delivering relevant content that resonates. And the Viva Connections app enables business, HR, and internal comms leaders to engage with employees in a variety of ways, all via a single mobile or desktop pane:
- Broadcast live company-wide events to inspire a sense of belonging wherever people are
- Improve accessibility with AI-powered transcriptions in multiple languages
- Run employee satisfaction polls and integrate the results with Viva Insights
- Pin important news and announcements that keep people aligned
- Publish learning and training opportunities from Viva Learning
- Praise and reward employee participation by highlighting their contributions and giving kudos
- Allow people to discover relevant communities, widen their networks beyond their immediate circle, and foster a greater sense of belonging
In the coming months, Microsoft will be adding more functionality to transform Viva Connections into the gateway for the modern employee experience.
We can support your success with strategic consultancy on the Office 365 digital workplace and community platforms based on Office 365.