What is Microsoft Viva? A Complete Guide.

This article answers the question, what is Microsoft Viva?

Employee engagement has resided in the background of corporate priorities for decades. Consultants discussed the cost of disengaged employees and recommended strategies for keeping workers engaged. Then, working remotely became the norm, and a new set of challenges for employee engagement appeared that needed technology to address.

Viva is Microsoft’s answer to employee engagement post-COVID. Viva improves employee experience in four areas:

  • Engagement
  • Wellbeing
  • Learning
  • Knowledge

The platform integrates with Microsoft 365 and MS Teams to deliver a seamless experience. But what is Microsoft’s Viva exactly?


What is Microsoft Viva?

Viva is an employee experience platform that integrates with Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams to address the challenges of employee engagement. It addresses the four areas of employee experience through the following components:

  • Viva Connections for Communication
  • Viva Topics for Knowledge Sharing
  • Viva Insights for Employee Wellbeing
  • Viva Learning for Training

These tools were created to keep employees focused on their roles, such as sales, and to ensure they can achieve their purpose or goals. Let’s take a closer look at how these components improve the employee experience.


Microsoft Viva Connections

As more people gravitated to Teams, they moved away from a company’s intranet on SharePoint. As employees did more and more work through Teams, there were days – even weeks – when they didn’t access their intranet. This behavior change saw employees losing touch with their company. They didn’t receive important updates or company news.

Microsoft Viva Connection addresses that problem. It allows users to access a SharePoint intranet through Microsoft Teams. The customized framework lets organizations create an “app” within Teams to connect with SharePoint. Employees no longer have to log onto the intranet to receive information.

Employees seamlessly interact with various internal communication channels without leaving Teams. They can also stay connected when away from the office. Viva is mobile-enabled to deliver a scaled-down version on a smartphone. The application ensures employee engagement across platforms and applications.


Viva Engage

A recent addition to Viva’s employee engagement is Viva Engage. It’s designed to mimic social media platforms such as Facebook, where employees can share images and videos unrelated to a task in Teams. Profile pages allow users to post status updates and connect with other employees through shared interests and conversations.

Microsoft Viva Engage enables employees to connect at work on a social level. It builds community through shared interests that go beyond work. Companies can use the tool to shape their culture and encourage connections.

Viva Engage will replace Communities in Microsoft Teams; Yammer will continue outside the Teams platform. Yammer conversations can be viewed through Engage, so existing connections are maintained. The idea behind Viva Engage is to provide enhanced capabilities to help people feel more connected.


Viva Engage Leadership Corner

The Leadership Corner is a space for employees to connect with management. Company leaders create personalized profiles that show their interests and their experiences.
The latest release facilitates two-way communications. Leaders can schedule events and conduct surveys. Dashboards are available to track employee responses in real time.


Microsoft Viva Topics

Knowledge sharing not only builds community but also mitigates the cost of knowledge loss. Microsoft Viva Topic is an AI-based solution that works behind the scenes to organize knowledge. Using machine learning and natural language processing, Topics continuously looks at content to determine connections between people and content.

When Topics finds similarities in content and conversations, it generates a topic page. The suggested topic page contains a list of sources such as internal conversations, employee expertise, and content that pertain to the summarized topic. Topic cards display in a Microsoft 365 environment. The cards increase the reach of internal expertise.

Viva Topics provides curating capabilities. Internal resources review suggested topics to help refine or reject recommended pages. AI-based software maintains existing permissions and assesses sensitivity when a topic page is published. This component of the Viva solution helps organizations structure their knowledge for better accessibility while maintaining security controls.


Microsoft Viva  Insights

A study published in Harvard Business Review found that 85% of survey participants said their well-being has declined. Over half of employees feel overworked; for many, the exhaustion is more than just burnout. Over 40% of those surveyed said they considered leaving their job within a year.   As one of the four components of Microsoft’s Viva, Microsoft Viva Insight delivers data-driven recommendations to improve employee well-being.

  • Employees receive personalized recommendations and reminders to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  • Managers can look at individual and team patterns that highlight stressors such as collaboration overload or excessive work hours.
  • Business leaders can review data to understand critical work culture, performance, and productivity issues.

The information is privacy-protected and helps organizations build organizational resilience with actionable insights.


Microsoft Viva Learning

The learning component of Viva gives employees the power to direct their learning within their daily workflow. It operates as an application within Teams and integrates with almost any primary learning management system. Viva Learning interfaces with Microsoft and LinkedIn Learning, Skillsoft, and Coursera, as well as internal learning resources.

Employees who open the application see recommended courses based on their profile and learning history. The list shows courses from various providers. Using Microsoft Search, users can find content across Microsoft 365.

Flexible access makes it easier for employees to find learning opportunities. Learning allows users to send content in a Teams email, message, or chat. It enables Teams leaders to select content for their team by adding a tab to the Teams channel.

Viva Learning supports Teams notifications to highlight learning opportunities and schedule dates. It also displays a customized page for bookmarked items, recommendations, and assigned content. The Viva app provides a central location for employees to see what learning content is available and to track their progress.

Learning represents a growth management tool that allows employees and leaders to share an individual’s growth strategy. According to a Forbes article, 94% of respondents would stay at a company longer if it offered long-term learning. With Viva Learning, a curated learning journey can be created for each employee to ensure long-term learning.


Other Features

Microsoft’s Viva Goals and Viva Sales are two added modules designed to help employees understand their roles and purpose within an organization. Having clear goals illustrating how their roles help companies achieve their business objectives gives employees the purpose they need to stay engaged and productive.


Viva Goals

Microsoft uses objectives and key results (OKRs) to organize and track goals through Viva. It’s designed to align employees to business goals and strategic priorities. It keeps an organization’s mission and purpose in its daily workflow.

Viva Goals provides reminders and status updates on goals that can be shared across an enterprise. It integrates with a range of Microsoft products, including Teams, Power BI, and Microsoft 365. Its integration means employees can see their goals pertain to business objectives as they go through their workday.


Microsoft Viva Sales

This Viva application is the first role-based engagement tool. It’s designed to improve productivity throughout the sales cycle. It combines the four Viva modules into an application for sales personnel.

Viva Sales integrates with CRM solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Salesforce CRM. It can access information from 365 applications such as Word or Excel and generates AI-based recommendations for improved performance.

The application works with CRM packages, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft 365 to reduce manual data entry that consumes a sales team’s time. The shared access enables salespeople to work from anywhere and focus on customer-facing tasks.

Viva Sales uses AI to automate manual sales processes and provides customized dashboards for ready access to critical information. Integrating with the other Viva modules gives sales teams the tools they need to remain engaged and productive.


What is Microsoft Viva’s Future?

Microsoft’s roadmap for Viva shows expanding capabilities for the employee experience platform. Viva Pulse enables managers and team leaders to ask for confidential feedback. It provides a library of questions to help generate responses.

It analyzes the data to provide information on what is and isn’t working. Other applications, such as Viva Amplify and Answers in Viva, are added capabilities that deliver more employee-focused data to improve employee engagement.

Viva is a comprehensive employee experience platform that integrates with Microsoft 365 and Teams for improved employee engagement. Incorporating seamless access to Microsoft applications through Viva ensures employees stay engaged throughout their workday. They do not have to interrupt their workflow to interact with another collaborative tool.

Viva exists within the Microsoft ecosystem to address employee engagement challenges in a hybrid work environment. For organizations interested in engaging employees and building a more resilient workforce, Microsoft’s Viva offers tools to help employees learn, grow, engage, and share.

IncWorx provides Microsoft consulting services to ensure clients benefit from Microsoft technologies. Whether implementing Microsoft Viva or upgrading Microsoft 365, our experts have the knowledge and experience to help.  Contact us to set up a call to discuss improving your employee experience with Microsoft Viva, or read our blog to learn more about our services.

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