Microsoft is focusing on the employee experience

Microsoft just wrapped up the Inspire conference, an annual event in which Microsoft executives share the company’s strategy and vision with the large network of Microsoft partners. Since the introduction of Office 365 (now called Microsoft 365), these events are less focused on technology features and functionality announcements. With Software-as-a-Service offerings like Microsoft 365, products are always evolving and updates are made without huge fanfare. It’s more likely that you will open up your favorite application and find a new button or an improved feature without anyone telling you about it.

Microsoft did use the Inspire conference to talk about the importance of employee engagement and the first employee engagement platform, Microsoft Viva. We wrote a blog earlier this year when Microsoft announced the launch of Viva and we were excited that Microsoft was tackling a subject that was becoming more relevant during the pandemic, employee engagement.

Traditional work models were upended by the pandemic and many organizations were forced into embracing remote work. During this time, Microsoft doubled down on an idea that the company has been promoting for years. The idea that work can be done from anywhere, on any device, securely – assuming you have the right tools. Microsoft Viva was introduced at a time when organizations were just starting to weigh the pros and cons of remote work and it’s clear that Viva was aware of the gaps that exist when people start working away from a physical office.

What is Microsoft Viva?

Microsoft introduced 4 Viva applications in February -Viva Connections (news feed and content sharing), Viva Insights (employee time management), Viva Learning (employee learning libraries) and Viva Topics (organization information surfacing) — that surface within Microsoft Teams. Only Viva Topics has commercially released.

Viva connects users with information, helps keep employees connected to colleagues and what is happening within the organization (news). Viva also helps employees manage time and consider wellness. These are all important considerations, and even more significant if you consider the importance of employee engagement when you have a workforce that is fully remote or hybrid.

Banner for a free Kiefer eBook called the Indispensable Tools of the Modern Workplace

Microsoft Book of News outlines some of the major announcements related to Viva that were made at Inspire. It’s clear that employee engagement will be a priority for organizations as they embrace their new normal (in-office, remote, or hybrid) and it appears that Microsoft has recognized the need to keep employees empowered and engaged. If you are interested in leveraging the collaboration and data sharing capabilities of Microsoft 365, contact Kiefer. Our team of experts can help you in getting the most out of Microsoft 365.

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