Described by Microsoft as an “employee experience platform”, Viva is one in a long line of Microsoft tools designed to make our working lives easier.
If you’re using Teams, the chances are you’ve already got access to Viva at some level.
Here, we share a little more about what exactly Microsoft Viva is, why it might be useful, and what you need to do enable it.
What exactly is Microsoft Viva and how does it work?
You could think of it as an ‘add-on’ to Microsoft Teams. It’s a platform that uses insights and intelligence to enrich your experience.
If you head to your Teams now and click on the ellipsis on the left-hand side, search ‘viva’ – you should see a list of Microsoft Viva apps that you can install (just like it’s shown below).
What you’re able to then do in each of the apps will depend on your licensing. But we’ll come on to that in more detail a little further down in this blog.
What can I do with Microsoft Viva?
Microsoft Viva is made up 5 modules, and each has their own app to install:
- Goals (coming in Q3 2022)
Let’s look at each of them in a bit more detail
If you have a SharePoint intranet, this one should be on your list to set up.
With Viva Connections you can add your SharePoint intranet so that everything sits in the same place, on Teams.
You’ll also be able to see your own customisable dashboard that can hold information and quickly access things such as, your pay slips, holiday requests, your upcoming tasks etc.
It’s an elevated intranet, in the space you’re most familiar with.
Learning & development is shown to be a huge contributor to how fulfilled an employee feels in their role.
Viva learning can be an easy way to help with this.
When you install the Viva learning app on Teams, you’ll see that you can pick out your interests and Microsoft will make learning recommendations based on this.
There are tons of free Microsoft courses that you can view, but you can also integrate Viva Learning with your LinkedIn to make the most of any learning courses you have access to on there. Similarly, if your company uses another learning provider, you might find that they’re already linked in with Viva Learning, meaning you can have everything sitting in your Teams app.
Viva Insights is made up of three levels: personal insights, manager insights and organisation insights. Personal is included in your usual M365 licensing, but manager and organisation do require an additional licence.
Insights is all about wellbeing, how we can make better work habits and processes to protect our own wellbeing, and that of our team.
With personal insights you can see how much time you’re spending in meetings, colleagues you haven’t connected with in a while, and set aside focus time where you won’t be distracted by messages or emails.
Manager insights is a handy tool to help you pick up on potential signs of burnout (are my employees spending too much time in long meetings, are they having to log on before/after-hours etc). Viva insights will give you handy tips on how to manage this to help protect your team from burnout.
The final level, organisational insights, is really a tool for stakeholders to see overall stats to give them reliable insights to make informed decisions.
The data is aggregated, meaning it’s completely anonymous. It’s not about picking out certain employees, and watching when they log on, it’s about recognising patterns and making improvements based on what you learn from them.
Viva topics, one we think is probably best suited to companies with a high number of employees – for now anyway.
It does require an additional licence, so it’s an investment, but one worthwhile if you’re running a large organisation with lots of team members working remotely.
Viva topics, as explained here by Microsoft, is a knowledge management tool. It creates topic cards related to projects, keeping information all in one centralised place for everyone who needs it.
You’ll need to hang on tight for this one as it’s not quite ready yet. But what we know about it so far sounds interesting.
This new module will let you set and manage goals. Within Teams, you’ll be able to track progress against goals (individually and on a team level), assign owners to goals, and celebrate team wins
A lot of us work to objectives, but usually they’re either saved on a Word Doc or tracked on a costly HR application.
Integrating your employees’ objectives into a tool you’re already comfortable with seems like a logical step.
We’ll let you know when the official release is announced, later this year.
Do I have access to Microsoft Viva?
As Microsoft explain here, you’ll need these licenses to get access to Viva:
Microsoft 365 F1, F3, E3, A3, E5, and A5; Office 365 F3, E1, A1, E3, A3, E5, and A5; Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Business Standard, and Business Premium; or SharePoint K, Plan 1, or Plan 2
If you’re unsure if you have access and would like us to take a look at how Viva might work for you, let us know here.