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Microsoft this morning published its Work Trend Index Pulse Report titled “Hybrid Work Is Just Work. Are We Doing It Wrong?” In this report, the company highlights how hybrid work continues to transform the workplace. But there are challenges, including “a growing disconnect between employees and leaders.” To address these challenges, Microsoft is rolling out new abilities on its Microsoft Viva platform.

Microsoft has been expanding its Viva employee experience platform over the last couple of use. Based in Microsoft 365, the service is compiled of various components. It is designed to provide a suite of employee tools encompassing knowledge, learning, resources, communications, and insights.

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Viva already has a number of components available. Today, Microsoft is expanding the capabilities of those apps while also introducing new apps to the Microsoft Viva ecosystem. According to CEO Satya Nadella, the new services will increase the connection between employees and organizations:

“Thriving employees are what will give organizations a competitive advantage in today’s dynamic economic environment,” says Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “Today, we’re announcing new innovations across our employee experience platform Microsoft Viva to help leaders end productivity paranoia, rebuild social capital, and re-recruit and re-energize their employees.”

Microsoft is covering its Viva platform with new announcements:

Viva Pulse

An entirely new application, Viva Pulse provides managers and team leaders with a solution for getting confidential feedback from their teams. This plug directly into Microsoft Teams and provides templates, analytics, and research questions leaders can put to employees.

On the employee side, Viva Pulse provides an efficient way for teams to give their opinion. Managers can use feedback to make changes to workflows and productivity focus. Furthermore, the app offers learning actions for relevant topics.

Viva Amplify

Another new experience, Microsoft Viva Amplify aims to streamline communication between teams and leaders. The core of this app is a central hub for communication, while also providing structure for energizing connections. For example, Amplify provides writing guidance to employees, HR, corporate communications, and more.

When ready, users can publish the communication to multiple channels. Other tools within Viva Amplify include managing communications from a single location, checking metrics to make future changes, and accessing data.

Answers in Viva

Microsoft wants to empower businesses to gain knowledge from their employee base and spur growth internally. Answers in Viva is the company’s attempt to achieve this goal. Answers plugs into Microsoft Viva components to match employee questions to the correct experts and answers within their organization.

Microsoft leverages its AI technology to provide similar questions that have previously been answered. Moreover, Answers for Viva also recommends topics and experts that can help the employee. At the moment, the tool is available in Viva Topics and Viva Engage but could eventually come to other Viva components.  

People in Viva

As the name suggests, People in Viva puts a focus on the people who are essential to the employee experience. It will help users engage with their colleagues by providing discovery for experts and connections. Available in Microsoft 365 profile cards or as a separate app, People in Viva leverages AI to connects colleagues based on knowledge, goals, and interests.

Microsoft points out the tool is designed to improve collaboration and promote team building. In a hybrid environment, remote workers are often disconnected from their in-office colleagues. A tool like People in Viva aims to bridge that disconnection.

Viva Engage

Microsoft-Viva-Engage-Official

You may remember Microsoft introduced Viva Engage last month in preview. Well, today the app is graduating to general availability. Viva Engage is essentially a social media platform for workplaces. Think Facebook but locked into an internal organization. It allows users to post content and create communities.

Microsoft is today adding new capabilities to Engage. Leadership Corner is a new tool that encourages leaders to start communications within communities. Ask Me Anything (AMA) events, surveys, and other options are available to connect leaders with employees.

Viva Goals

Microsoft-Viva-Goals-Dashboard

Another new Viva component that launched last month is Viva Goals. The provides a management suite for the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) framework. OKR is popular with major corporations, and Viva Goals will help admins track goals and progress on OKR. Today, Microsoft is providing new integrations within Goals.

For example, there is now an enhanced version of Microsoft Teams that allows users to check and collaborate on OKRs with the activity feed on Teams. There is also a new extension within Azure DevOps, a direct link to Power BI datasets, and integration with Microsoft Project and Microsoft Planner.

Viva Sales

As well as making announcements for the present, Microsoft also had news for the – not so distant – future. Specifically, the company says that Viva Sales will become generally available on October 3. Initially launched in June, Sales has been in preview since.

The app serves sellers by providing a hub for them to connect customer relationship management (CRM) solutions in a single place. Microsoft Viva Sales is available in Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, allowing users to collect CRMs together and enhance their selling experience through AI tools.

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