Amplify Digital Employee Experience by Focusing On People

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Head of Marketing | Business & Technology Advisor

The Digital Employee Experience is all about going above and beyond to treat your employees like people, not numbers, and leveraging technology to help amplify and facilitate that objective. Since hybrid or fully remote workplaces emphasize the digital environment and de-emphasize the physical environment, there’s never been a more important time to invest in digital employee experiences.

Maybe you think looking at the Employee Experience as a people-first experience is intuitively obvious. Or maybe it’s the first time you’re taking a step back from the important distractions that come with managing and maintaining these processes and solutions, to realize and look at the human element. Regardless, helping the humans behind the machines is at the core of a great employee experience and doing right by that is crucial in today’s extremely competitive job market.

Luckily, companies are waking up to the importance of improving employee experience (EX). Why have company alarms started ringing? The people, of course! 

52% of people in North America are now more likely to choose their health and wellbeing overwork after the pandemic. Before this, organizations have had to ramp up on a trend that was already gaining momentum pre-pandemic.

Employee Experience Stats - Priorities have shifted

In this blog, we will look at the employee experience through the lens of the people and how Microsoft has reacted to the change and can help.

However, if you’re also looking for insight into where EX is headed and how to keep up effectively, join us for our virtual event with 4 internationally recognized expert-led sessions on employee communication, collaboration, and management.

The Future of Employee Experience Virtual Event
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A Look at the Bigger Picture

It can be easy to focus on strategy but that sometimes accidentally leads to tactics that don’t leave you focusing on the employees you’re supposed to enable. And if we look at the image below, we see that there are several points to consider.

People (Employee) Experience Elements

We dive deep into modern Employee Experience in our recent blog “What Is Employee Experience & Why It Matters?” which looks at a lot more than what it is, in addition to answering the question.

At the end of that blog, and in our dedicated blog on the Stage of Employee Experience, we map out the path employees take along their journey at an organization.

Improving Employee Experience by understanding the 8 stages

Make sure to put yourself in the shoes of your employees across all of the 8 various stages of the Employee Experience.

Here are some questions for your internal EX think tank:

  • Does your company match what you are saying to attract new talent?
  • Does the recruit feel welcome, or do they get left to their own devices?
  • Did you take the time to ensure they understand your organization’s goals and structure?
  • Are your managers actively engaging with employees in a way that doesn’t feel programmatic, on top of your regular meetings?
  • Are you setting employee expectations? And if so, do they find them reasonable?
  • Is the employee given the opportunity to grow in their role and inside your organization?
  • Do they feel like they are departing from a great experience?
  • Are you actively looking to understand their reasons for departure?
  • Have you created a brand ambassador that will always recommend your company?

Those were just some quick questions we hope will help get you started on your path to more unique questions, people in your organization might be experiencing.

We promise that all this work is worth it! Having people at the forefront of your Employee Experience plans is not only beneficial for your employees but for the organization itself. Research from Microsoft’s Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work proves that there are clear benefits to thriving relations within and outside your direct team.

Employee Experience Stats - the impact of strong workplace relationships.
Employee Experience Stats - the impact of strong workplace relationships 2

Strong relationships lead to a more optimistic and happier workforce. Now, it’s up to your organization to deliver. Here to help you do that is Microsoft Viva. But first a couple of short paragraphs on why this matters to Microsoft.

Microsoft Helps Put the People Experience First

Back in 2017, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, released his book titled, “Hit Refresh.” In his book, he discussed increasing synergy between the different departments and solutions at Microsoft. In addition, and among many other things, he discussed his aspirations to improve the future of digital business communication and collaboration.

Last year, on February 4th, after accomplishing many of his goals, Satya took another step forward toward his long-term aspirations. On that day, he said,

“Today, we want to talk about what this means and how we are ensuring every organization will have the technology required to support their employees and to help them thrive in this new era of flexible work.”

Satya Nadella @satyanadella

This statement was part of the Microsoft Viva announcement. The new, growing suite of applications is dedicated to improving the future of the employee experience through a more robust digital workplace.

Microsoft Viva Targets the People Behind the Experience

Microsoft offers several ways for employers to increase collaboration across the organization. There are several components to an improved employee experience.

Here are a few are examples: 

  • More learning opportunities
  • Meaningful work
  • Employee recognition 
  • Improved communication 
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Supportive leadership teams
  • Growth opportunities 

Microsoft Viva is a comprehensive employee experience platform that helps employers improve several of the above points.

The following are the four Viva applications:

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

Discover more about each feature application. 

Viva Learning

Microsoft Viva Learning

Viva Learning combines learning opportunities into everyday workflows. It allows employers to include learning and development throughout established processes. 

It also allows for personalized recommendations. This means employees get a more customized experience and opportunities are based on career path goals, A personal touch can really elevate the employee experience, so try to find the best ways to leverage them.

Viva Learning also allows employers to use content from other sources. You can centralize your entire learning and development process in one hub. This leads to more efficiency and a more organizated digital workplace. 

Viva Insights

Microsoft Viva Insights

Viva Insights is focused on promoting productivity and well-being. It uses data-driven insights to make recommendations directly on the platform. 

This feature also gives managers and employees a look into personal metrics. Employees can learn better and more effective ways of working with the recommendations. This capability also allows managers to improve the company culture.

It gives insights about teams that provide valuable guidance in decisions. 

Viva Topics

Microsoft Viva Topics

Viva Topics is fundamentally a knowledge base for employees, but can do so much with that information. This application organizes content and expertise across the entire company. It makes finding the answer to a question or getting help a fast and easy process. 

Viva Topics uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically identify, sort, and organize content. The employee experience would benefit greatly from this information source. 

Viva Connections

Microsoft Viva Connections

Viva Connections promotes transparent communications across the organization. It consolidates news, topics, and conversations into existing technology. Open communications empower, inspire, and engage employees. 

Viva Connections is especially beneficial for hybrid or remote work environments. Employees can feel disconnected from team members in a remote setting. By enabling an easy communication platform, the employee experience levels up. 

Benefits of Using Microsoft Viva as an Employee Experience Platform 

An employee experience platform can connect teams virtually. This is a great solution for companies with hybrid or remote working models. This type of platform integrates many tools and activities. 

Viva streamlines employee engagement and processes. The platform offers many features and benefits for employees. Those include: 

  • Enhanced communication
  • More productivity
  • Transparent insights
  • Employee feedback 
  • Goal tracking 
  • Recognize team members
  • Mindfulness Breaks 
  • Meetings and reminders
  • Do not disturb

Learn more about each feature below. 

Enhanced Communication

Streamlined communications with employees improved the digital employee experience. As discussed above, Microsoft Viva makes communicating with team members easy. 

More Productivity

Viva offers actionable and personalized insights. It uses data about how employees work and recommends ways to do it better. This leads to more efficiency and productivity among team members. 

Transparent Insights

Employees can see insight into where how they perform. And what areas need improvement. This is especially important when combined with goal tracking. 

Employee Feedback

Employee experience platforms enable businesses to gain feedback from employees. This not only helps businesses create a better experience but also increases satisfaction. Stop trying to guess what employees need or want and go directly to the source with this feature. 

Goal Tracking

An organization can align its goals and vision with this platform. The insights feature allows companies an inside look at how employees perform. And the relation with overarching goals. 

Recognize Team Members

Viva allows others to send praise about other employees. This option is through communication channels or can be sent in a private message. Sending regular praise and recognition will make employees feel more valued and appreciated. 

Mindfulness Breaks

Microsoft Viva has mindfulness features. There is an animated breathing break. This allows employees to take a brief moment to reset and refocus. 

Viva also has a partnership with Headspace. Headspace offers guided meditations. When people apply mindfulness techniques, the experience will be more memorable. 

Meetings and Reminders

Microsoft Viva enables in-app scheduling and reminders. Having lots of different applications or systems to use can impact the experience. Employees can get overwhelmed. Companies can make employee functions streamlined and more efficient with one comprehensive platform. 

Do Not Disturb

Viva has a feature for employees to set their status as do not disturb. This will allow them to focus without any distractions. This can be beneficial when there are many emails and chats to respond to throughout the day. 

Take the Reins on the Future of Employee Experience

We would love to see you at our upcoming event dedicated to the Future of Employee Experience. Join us for 3 expert-led sessions on the future of employee communication, collaboration, and management. Find out what you need to know and how to future-proof your organization.

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