Employee retention is a critical part of every business. Employees and business leaders need time together to understand the nuances of their work and to become productive at it. Without this time, quality suffers, output decreases, and it becomes difficult to remain competitive even with a great human resource team.
It is very hard to attract new teammates, but it’s even harder to retain them for the long term. It is a fight to earn this time together. The company must fight to make the employee experience attractive to its team members and the employee must fight to prove to the company that they are worth this attention. It’s a relationship, and like any relationship, it requires attention, effort, and communication to be successful across the entire employee journey.
Readers who are interested in understanding the employee experience across the entire digital workplace should download our definitive guide to EX with Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Viva!
The great reshuffle of the pandemic is all too fresh in our memories. 2020 and 2021 were hard years. Last year, 1-in-4 employees quit their jobs to pursue better employment elsewhere. This could have been from a desire for improved pay but also from the friction of poor operations.
So how can companies make employees enjoy their work more? What steps can be taken to improve company culture and an employee’s experience? How can employers engage hard-to-reach teams?
As a Microsoft service provider, we have several recommendations that I hope can help guide you in building a great EX (employee experience) and to answer these questions.
An employee experience platform is a single application or a suite of software apps used by a company. The company leverages these tools to create better DEX (digital employee experience). The goal is to create a happier and more efficient work environment with high collaboration, engagement and productivity.
Many digital employee experience platforms automate manual tasks for employees and include options for more transparent communications. Other common features include feedback capability, recognition and praise, performance insights, mindfulness sessions.
An employee measures their experience with a company from the beginning. It’s important for companies to consider the employee experience holistically. Starting with the employee’s application, to securing them as a team member, to them being fully integrated with the organization, and if it occurs, their departure.
Microsoft 365 offers a suite of tools (4 Microsoft Applications that Improve Business Collaboration) and capabilities for all of the employee experience touchpoints. Here are five reasons why we recommend Microsoft 365 to build an positive employee experience at your organization:
Microsoft 365 enables companies to create a digital workplace. Its suite of applications allows teams to communicate and collaborate from anywhere. It gives companies the ability to modernize the employee experience.
Having mobility within your employee experience is a must. The COVID-19 pandemic proved many companies must be ready to work from anywhere and that employees may actually prefer hybrid or fully remote arrangements. Likewise, employees may be at their most productive in a mobile arrangement. Depending on the nature of the business, a mobile work environment can also provide significant cost savings to the organization.
Reason #2: Automation
The platform has many options for automation. Automated tasks lead to higher efficiency and productivity of team members. Microsoft 365 also provides comprehensive insights into teams, their operations, and their usage of these automation tools.
The insights can be used to improve processes. And create personalized improvement plans for employees.
Microsoft’s capabilities also allow for employee well-being monitoring. The platform uses artificial intelligence to recommend better ways of working, suggested time off, and more efficient calendar scheduling. It also submits personalized content to increase skills and knowledge.
The platform integrates with Headspace to provide a mindfulness experience for employees. Employees can take breathing breaks, guided meditation sessions, listen to focus music, or learn about productivity hacks that could improve their day.
Speaking of wellbeing, watch our CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and Microsoft MVP, Richard Harbridge, provide an overview of the latest Employee Wellbeing Report.
Employees want to know their information is safe and secure. Microsoft applications use world-class cybersecurity processes to help make this happen. The M365 platform allows companies to consolidate information on one platform to make security seamless. Tools such as multi-factor authentication, automated information protection, and a fully integrated permissions experience make security seamless
Consistent processes and operations significantly improve productivity among teams. Using Microsoft 365 allows for consistency across the organization, as all employees use the same apps for content management, collaboration, messaging, and team engagement.
With streamlined and consistent work applications, most companies save significantly on costs as well, as there is only one license to manage.
Top applications within Microsoft 365 for employee engagement are the following:
Viva is Microsoft’s employee engagement platform. It has multiple components:
Viva Insights gives everyone a look into performance. It allows leaders to measure performance and goals. And it allows employees to monitor their individual contributions.
Viva Topics allows companies to create an internal knowledge base. This feature organizes and filters content based on topics. And recommends relevant topics to users.
Viva Connections helps teams collaborate and communicate in one location. It promotes inclusion by placing value on each member’s ideas. It also aligns vision and mission within the hub for work of the organization, Teams.
Viva Learning is a learning and development platform. It can be customized based on personal career paths. It also incorporates learning into everyday tasks and processes.
Viva Engage is a new addition to Viva’s application list. It is dedicated to elevating EX by adding the ability to have a space shaped for social interaction, including stories, that can facilitate employee connectivity between in-person, remote, and hybrid workers to create moments that matter.
Teams is an application that helps teams communicate and share knowledge. It has chat grouping capability through Teams and Channels, allows employees to conduct video meetings, supports employees with file storage, and enables direct chat.
Teams is the hub for work within the organization and acts as the window into many of the other applications of Microsoft 365.
The Power Platform is an extensive business process automation and analytics application suite. Key capabilities within the Power Platform include:
PowerApps and Power Automate enable teams to code easily. These tools allow users to create apps and workflows. Companies can streamline processes with these tools.
Power Virtual Agents work with the Teams app. It allows for easy scheduling and task management. Dataverse works with Teams to allow users to create chats and apps within the app.
Power BI is a very powerful analytics platform that allows for both data visualization as well as AI-based information insights.
SharePoint is a powerful and streamlined way for teams to share and communicate. It allows employees to house content, engage on intranets, and collaborate with external partners on extranets.
SharePoint allows users to collaborate from anywhere. It also allows them to share and create new ideas. If digital transformation is a goal of your organization, SharePoint can help achieve it.
Yammer is a social network for businesses. It allows you to engage with leadership, ask questions and promote answers, and host live events for the entire organization.
With the benefits of mobility, automation, wellbeing, security, and consistency, Microsoft 365 is a strong employee experience platform. It allows you several touchpoints to engage with your employees and make their workday more seamless. Between apps like Teams, Viva, and Power Platform you can reduce the typical frictions employees feel with their day to day.
If you’re looking to learn more about employee experience platforms and how to approach gaps, watch expert Suzie Robinson (@suzierobinson42) as she reviews both in a clip from our EX event (3 Sessions On Employee Experience From 4 Leading Industry Experts & Thought Leaders).
Do you want to work with a company that has expertise in Microsoft 365? We pride ourselves on the ability to do more with less. Find out for yourself why leveraging M365 technology helps build great EX by focusing on employee satisfaction today!
Contact us for more information about our services or if you’re looking for several Digital Employee Experience ideas, download our latest eBook.