There have been several changes to the employee environment over the last year. Many people have gone from working in the office to working from home, which brought both benefits and some challenges.
The top challenges for employees adjusting to a remote working situation include:
- Unplugging after work (22%)
- Feeling lonely and isolated (19%)
- Collaboration & communication (17%)
- Distractions at home (10%)
- Staying motivated (8%)
A question many employers have is, “How do we keep employees nurtured, engaged, and productive in this new virtual working environment?”
Championing business technology solutions for office productivity and remote teams for years has been Microsoft. Its MS Teams online collaboration app has seen a surge of 475% in users between November 2019 and October 2020.
And the software powerhouse has an answer for how to better manage employee empowerment for remote teams. It’s in the form of a new employee experience tool called Microsoft Viva.
What Is Microsoft Viva?
Jumping off from the popularity of Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Viva is a set of Teams add-ins designed to bring several areas of employee wellbeing and engagement into one place.
Viva has four tools each with a distinct purpose:
- Viva Topics: Make information finding easier and automatically categorize a company’s corporate knowledge.
- Viva Connections: Use the familiarity of social media to create a company-branded portal where people can be served up personalized content.
- Viva Learning: Make ongoing training and skills enrichment a natural part of the week by bringing learning modules into Teams.
- Viva Insights: Ward off burnout and overwork through insights for employees and managers on wellbeing and work/life balance.
Each of these separate areas of Viva are designed to foster a better employee experience and empower teams to be their best, no matter where they are working from.
How Viva Can Fit Into Your Human Resources Strategy
As an employee experience tool, Microsoft Viva addresses multiple layers that all impact things like how engaged someone is about their work, how easy it is to do their work, how connected they feel, and ongoing career development.
Microsoft notes that Viva is designed to address six core elements of the employee experience, which are:
Here are ways that this Teams add-in can improve your company’s employee experience, and through that, efficiency and profitability.
Capture & Automate Your Collective Company Knowledge
There are many different types of articles, documents, manuals, tip sheets, etc. that companies create over the years to facilitate employees.
For example, a sales team may put together a handy list of key value phrases for salespeople to use.
But often, these resources can get forgotten, lost, or just really hard to find. What Viva Topics does is look for company knowledge documents and create automatic topic pages for them. It then can intuitively link mentions of certain topics or documents in a Teams conversion to that topic page. Serving up company knowledge automatically!
Image credit: Microsoft
Inform & Empower Through Personalized Company News
Only 26% of employees feel they are up to date on company news and information. Companies don’t always have an easy way to communicate timely information. Some may just rely on managers telling everyone, but the message can get lost or muddled along the way.
News and helpful resources can be served up inside Teams through Viva Connections. This personalized portal makes it easy to push out timely information to everyone as well as serve up relevant links, conversations, and other information.
Make Training Easier & More Natural
The thought of putting together an employee training plan for all your employees can make any small business owner feel overwhelmed. Often employees aren’t getting ongoing skills development due to the time involvement needed.
Viva Topics connects to multiple learning systems, like Coursera and LinkedIn Learning, to serve up relevant training courses and make them easy to access without having to go to a completely different interface.
Foster Better Work-Life Balance
When people go from working at the office, with clearer work/home boundaries, to working at home, they can often end up working later than they should and not taking lunch and breaks.
This can lead to burnout and lower productivity instead of higher.
Viva Insights is made to address employee wellbeing through helpful daily reminders about taking breaks, “clocking out” after work, and adopting good productivity habits.
The tool also has a manager insight area where supervisors can gain an understanding of how to better empower productivity and ward off burnout.
Image credit: Microsoft
Do You Have the Right Tools for a Productive Remote Team?
Texas I.T. Pros has expert cloud consultants that can work with your Denton or Wise County business to help you put tools in place that empower a productive team, no matter where they are working.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.