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Microsoft Announces Enhancement to Employee Experience Platform: Viva Engage

New Microsoft Viva Module Focuses on Community and Connection

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At last week’s Microsoft Inspire, the company announced a sizeable number of products and enhancements. One of particular interest to the employee experience (EX) segment is the introduction of the social app Microsoft Viva Engage. Microsoft has been adding modules to its Microsoft Viva platform, which runs on top of Teams, and consists of Viva Learn, Viva Insights, Viva Topics, Viva Connections, and Viva Goals. Microsoft has said it plans to add the Glint HR tools to the Viva suite in 2023.

Dash Research’s conversations with technology vendors supporting the EX space suggest that companies are looking for tools that help support employee communication and community. Viva Engage is aimed squarely at this issue, with Microsoft describing it as a tool to help employees:

  • Build communities and professional networks
  • Share their work and perspective
  • Find answers to their questions
  • Leverage personal expression tools such as the ability to create and share video posts through a new Stories feature

Further, for managers, it is a place to share news and strategy, model culture, speak with employees, and contribute to conversations. Features include virtual events, pinned conversations, and announcements with notifications across Teams, Outlook, and Viva Connections.

Source: Microsoft

Content can be shared via posts or Stories. The posts can be seen and engaged with via Microsoft Viva Connections, Outlook, Teams, and Yammer. The Stories feature allows for short videos or photos that employees can post to their Storylines. Storylines is a tab in Viva Engage that will generate an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven feed of storyline posts from people in the employee’s network.

Viva Engage can be used by employees wherever they work, with the capability of being viewed via web, desktop, and mobile versions of Microsoft Teams.

Source: Microsoft

Viva Engage will be available to all current Microsoft 365 commercial customers at no additional charge, but users must have a Yammer license to use the app. In late August, the Communities app for Teams will be rebranded Viva Engage.

According to Microsoft’s own research, 43% of leaders believe that relationship building is the greatest challenge of hybrid and remote work. As employers look for tools to retain employees, tools that help to build a feeling of community in an environment that is growing increasingly disconnected will be attractive.

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