Modernize your digital employee experience with Microsoft Viva


Every morning you open your laptop in your home office, browse email, prepare for meetings, and test your camera (don’t forget to blur your Teams video background).  You go through the day in and out of virtual meetings while trying to stay focused working remotely.  There is no question that how we work has changed forever. Digital employee experience needs to be reimagined in this new world of hybrid working.  

2020 has brought a new set of challenges in a hybrid workplace in a short amount of time. 

  • 60% of people say they feel less connected to their team 
  • 56% of employees say job demands have increased 
  • 79% of global corporate leaders feel that lack of essential skills in the workforce is a barrier to future growth 
  • 85% of employees feel a higher level of burnout 

This blog post will firstly, cover the importance of making a digital employee experience in a hybrid workplace a priority.  Then secondly, learn how the digital employee experience platform, Microsoft Viva, works by putting your people at the center.  Viva can empower people to be their best no matter where or when they are.  

What is employee experience? 

Employee experience is everything that an employee does, sees, learns, and feels throughout their career.  This experience will play a large role in an employee’s wellbeing, feeling of connection, or ability to focus.  In addition to, a sense of empowerment, the ability to grow, and to have a purpose.  Businesses thrive when people can be their best.  Therefore, investing in employee experience is important for growth and success.  

  • Businesses see 21% greater profitability with highly engaged employees 
  • 94% of employees would stay if companies invested in learning and development 
  • Highly engaged employees are 12X less likely to leave their company  

Traditional employee experience strategies largely depend on employees being in person.  Organizations are investing millions in employee experience.  They face new challenges with part or all their workforce working remotely due to the rapid changes of a hybrid workplace. 

Microsoft provides a digital employee experience platform built on top of Microsoft 365 called Microsoft Viva.  Viva addresses employee experience challenges by making use of existing data, infrastructure, and tools, together with AI.  We will explore the four main areas where viva creates a modern digital employee experience all within your natural flow of work. 

  • Viva Connections 
  • Viva Learning 
  • Viva Topics 
  • Viva Insights 

 RELATED CONTENT: Microsoft Viva Blog 

Build culture by inspiring and engaging employees 

In a hybrid workplace building a culture that connects, engages, and inspires employees is difficult more now than ever.  The opportunities that come with being in a physical workplace can be lost.  People need to feel they are connected to their peers, colleagues, and managers.  They need to feel they are a part of a greater purpose to make an impact that makes a difference.   

Microsoft VIVA Connections presents a modern unified feed to deliver a tailored experience to fill this gap. 

  • Inspiration:  Discover relevant news and communications to keep up to date with the strategic priorities and vision of the organization 
  • Purpose: Make a difference by easily sharing ideas, thoughts, and feedback 
  • Connection: Discover and participate in relevant conversations and communities 

Cognizant MBG can help amplify your culture and communications. We make sure your existing data and infrastructure is set up to take advantage of Viva Connections. 

  • Extend your SharePoint intranet content, including your home site, into Microsoft Teams 
  • Target your content based on your existing Azure Active Directory groups 
  • Customize your branded dashboards with Power Apps, SPFx, and the third-party solutions you have already deployed throughout your organization 
  • Gather news and conversations from SharePoint and Yammer 
  • Drive engagement in employee communities in Yammer to support employee resource groups, knowledge sharing, and leadership initiatives 
  • Pin files and videos from Microsoft OneDrive and Microsoft Stream 

 RELATED CONTENT:  Technical Review of Viva Connections 

Promote a growth mindset culture 

A growth mindset culture is where individuals believe their talents can grow through hard work, learning, and input from others.  Statistics show that a culture that promotes a growth mindset tends to achieve more than those with a fixed mindset. 

Employees typically spend 1% of their workweek focused on learning new skills.  Many organizations have challenges providing quality learning materials.  Learning paths may be unclear or unorganized.  This makes integrating learning into the culture difficult.  Viva Learning delivers learning within the natural flow of work inside of Microsoft Teams.  

  • Integrate with a variety of learning platforms such as LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, Pluralsight, Udemy and more 
  • Discover and recommend learning to others directly through Teams through social learning 
  • Track and establish learning paths  
  • Consolidate personalized learning content in one place 
  • Easily discover learning content across the Microsoft 365 suite with Microsoft Search 

 RELATED CONTENT: Announcing new Viva Learning Partnerships 

Viva Learning promotes learning, employee retention, and skilling up internally through your existing Microsoft 365 licenses.  Make learning a natural part of your culture by making learning content more accessible and organized no matter where you are.  Cognizant MBG can help you develop a growth mindset culture through the Microsoft 365 suite. 

  • Integrate Viva Learning with SharePoint 
  • Customize and deliver your own Learning Management System using the Viva API 
  • Deploy and configure Viva Learning for your employees 

Focus on wellbeing and productivity with data that matters 

Expectations of productivity and availability of hybrid employees are higher than ever in today’s fast-paced world.  Often, a person’s wellbeing might be overlooked due to the higher expectations.  Remote workers are exchanging commute times with longer workdays.  This can result in more burnout.  Focusing on the mental health and wellbeing of employees is important to the success and productivity of any organization.  Companies need to have greater insight to get ahead of work patterns and problems that lead to a decline in mental health and wellbeing. 

Microsoft Viva Insights provides recommendations and tools to improve productivity and wellbeing through AI and data-driven analytics.   Employees and managers can be more mindful to improve how and when to work by enabling Viva Insights on your existing Microsoft 365 licenses. 

Individual access personalized and actionable insights 

  • Stay connected – Stay on top of your collaboration with colleagues through features such as AI-based task suggestions and meeting assistance 
  • Protect time – Find more time to eliminate distractions, stop multi-tasking, and focus on your core priorities
  • Send praise – Send acclaim to your employees and coworkers, either in a private chat or in a Teams channel conversation
  • Reflect – Take a moment to check in with yourself, to reflect on how you’re feeling
  • Headspace – Experience a guided meditation from Headspace
  • Take a break – During your workday, take an occasional one-minute “breathing break” 
  • Start a virtual commute – Mindfully close out your workday
  • Use Microsoft To-Do – Act on a task in your to-do list

 RELATED CONTENT: Introducing Headspace with Microsoft Viva Insights 

Leaders and management can get a snapshot of how your company is doing with Insights.  The following areas focus on company-wide outcomes. 

  • Organizational resiliency 
  • Employee engagement 
  • Improve agility 
  • Foster innovation 
  • Effective managers 
  • Operational effectiveness 
  • Accelerate change 
  • Transform meeting culture 
  • Increase Customer Focus 

Cognizant MBG can help your organization deploy and customize Viva Insights. 

  • Implement integration with other data sources to perform deeper analysis to address complex changes and challenges 
  • Customize and expand Insights into other apps such as SharePoint using the API when available 
  • Set up and configure Viva Insights 

Cultivate knowledge and expertise 

People spend at least an hour or more per day searching or recreating information.  Larger organizations may have experts that may be hard to find.  A hybrid workplace creates the challenge of not being able to pop into someone’s office to get help.  Take back the time wasted.  Add Viva Topics to your Microsoft 365 subscription to easily find existing information and experts. 

Viva Topics uses Microsoft’s AI technology to surfaces organized content in the context of your work through topic pages and topic cards. 

  • Topic Pages – include the people, files, and sites relevant to the topic, as well as related topics and a comments section 
  • Topic Cards – quick summaries of the associated topic page. These appear when users hover over topic page words or phrases and include a link to related topic pages 
  • Content is suggested using Microsoft Graph and AI 
  • Easy collaboration and contribution from experts and administrators 

Cognizant MBG can help set up, configure, and extend Viva Topic to make it work best for you. 

  • Deploy Viva Topics 
  • Configure and optimize data in other apps to surface relevant information in Viva Topics 
  • Apply security and compliance on organization data 
  • Roll out and adoption 

There is a gap in the employee experience in this fast-paced digital world, especially for organizations new to hybrid workplaces. Cognizant MBG can help you bridge that gap. We can help bring people to the center, empowering your organization to be their best no matter where and when they are working with Microsoft Viva.  

Cognizant MBG is here to help 

  • Jumpstart your modernization with Viva workshops we offer to get you started 
  • We understand your journey being successful as a global Microsoft Gold Partner striving with a hybrid workplace 
  • Partner with experts from the Intelligent Workplace practice specializing in the Microsoft 365 Platform 

 CASE STUDY: Microsoft 365 & Teams Enablement 

Register here for our Modernize Your Digital Employee Experience with Microsoft Viva event.

 Where are you at with transitioning to a hybrid workplace? Contact Cognizant MBG toda

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