May 17 2023

Better Together: The Value of Microsoft Viva

Employee engagement and experience play a critical role in retention. With Microsoft Viva, companies get the tools they need to keep staff satisfied and keep teams together.

In the ongoing wake of the “great resignation,” employee retention is essential. When employees leave for greener pastures, it can be difficult to replace them, putting businesses behind the curve as customer expectations evolve.

The biggest challenge is employee engagement. According to data from Gallup, "Overall wellbeing influences life at work. Employees who are engaged at work but not thriving have a 61% higher likelihood of ongoing burnout than those who are engaged and thriving." The report goes on to note that that disengaged workers are more likely to look for other jobs.

Microsoft Viva can help. This artificial intelligence-driven engagement and experience platform brings together the tools, applications and services that businesses need to keep staff satisfied and business objectives on track.

DISCOVER: How Microsoft's tools can help you reach your digital workspace goals.

The Benefits of Microsoft Viva

According to CDW Technical Architect Ryan Bandel, “Viva is a suite of tools designed to help companies build communities and foster learning.” The Viva experience includes the modernization of familiar tools such as SharePoint and Yammer, while AI insights make it possible for companies to better onboard, engage and retain staff.

The numbers speak for themselves: As noted by a Forrester study, Viva can help improve onboarding, enhance productivity and increase employee retention. Over a three-year period, this amounts to an approximate savings of $10.5 million in onboarding, $9.3 million in productivity and $13.1 million in retention.

In other words, Viva makes it easier for staff to get up to speed, for employees to do their jobs and to keep workforces engaged.

$10.5 million

The amount of money companies can save over three years by using Microsoft Viva

Source: Forrester Report, The Total Economic Impact Of Microsoft Viva, 2022

The Core Components of Microsoft Viva

Each of Viva’s six pillars is designed to meet a specific business need. Depending on current company culture and the experience organizations are trying to build, different pillars may be applicable. Viva is built on the following pillars:

  • Engage. “Engage is an enterprise social suite,” Bandel says. “It provides an open forum to help large groups communicate.” This pillar makes it possible for staff to connect with coworkers in communities that are built around job types, departments or custom criteria to help employees find where they belong at work. 
  • Connections. Connections provides publishing functions that help companies shape culture and foster communities. “It takes the content navigation experience and brings it into Teams,” Bandel says. “This makes it a value resource for users.” Businesses can create personalized employee feeds that provide news and connection opportunities and ensure that the right content reaches the right audience with targeting based on department, region, job title or custom criteria.
  • Goals. Goals is all about objectives and key results. These can be individual, team-based, or companywide. No matter the objective, Goals helps companies measure their progress and steer the operational ship.
  • Topics. Topics is Microsoft’s AI-based tool that can comb through company communications and files to help users discover and share information within their own teams and to the company overall. The AI process can be enhanced by IT by using custom metadata to support the AI tool and can be governed by carefully managing organizational permissions and the discovery scope of the tool.
  • Learning. Learning operates as a landing page for various learning management systems, including Microsoft Learn and LinkedIn Learning content. It enables social learning using Teams-based collaboration functions, making finding and sharing learning opportunities easier.
  • Insights. Insights is focused on providing insights on how individuals and teams are working. Trends collected by this tool allow for data-driven decision-making and recommendations to leaders about working patterns, collaboration time and more.

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Capturing the Value of Viva

While Viva offers value right out of the box, it’s also possible for companies to customize Viva deployments to suit their specific needs. For example, Viva Topics makes it possible for businesses to create their own topic sets, which are then populated by AI and curated by topic experts, providing a prescriptive approach to information and pattern discovery.

Viva Insights (formerly Workplace Analytics) allows businesses to track how long staff spend searching for specific information and how much time they’re spending each week in meetings. "Information for individual consumption is available in the free version, Personal Insights,” Bandel says.

DISCOVER: Learn why creating culture is essential to a successful digital workspace.

“Once you purchase the paid license, you can build your own queries to discover leadership-level insights.” Are staff consistently working after hours? Are they engaged in their work? Do they have concerns about current management practices? Customized insights can help companies get ahead of employee churn before it becomes a line-of-business issue.

Keeping staff satisfied and keeping teams together are critical components of business success. With Viva, companies get the apps, tools and services they need to retain their most important asset: skilled workers.

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