Improving corporate culture to drive innovation

Employee experience

Posted by Akari Solutions

As employees’ priorities continue to shift, now focusing more on culture and personal wellbeing, I’m sure we can all agree it is vital leadership stay connected and in touch. There is a massive call to action for organisations to meet employees’ newfound expectations especially in the new way of Hybrid Working.

Since 2021, Microsoft has invested heavily in Viva - their customisable employee experience platform. Microsoft Viva integrates directly with teams to enable organisations to thrive in a new reality, create culture, empower both managers and employee whilst digitally reimagining the employee experience. It's split into 7 different modules, bringing together OKR's, communications, learning, knowledge, resources and insights into the flow of work.

Viva has been around for a while, but many organisations haven't yet integrated it into their workflow. I'll talk about our favourite modules (and some of the most under rated) as well as the key features before we look at what Akari are most looking forward to!  

Viva Connections

Viva Connections is a personalised dashboard, integrated directly with teams to ensure employees stay in the flow of work acting as the new face of the company intranet. Many organisations face a communications challenge and connections could be your answer.

Key features include: 

  • Freemium Platform - There is no additional licencing costs! All the advanced capabilities, integration and customisations are free.
  • Audience Targeting - Targeted conversations can be displayed to reach specific departments, regions, or job roles with updates, events and news relevant to them. This can be from Yammer (engage), SharePoint or stream.
  • Comprehensive view - Employee groups such as Frontline Workers often have limited time to consume content, you can configure connections to give a comprehensive view - minimising time away from tasks.
  • Company branded - Curating company culture, you can ensure the connections app is customised for you.
  • Dashboard – All tools your employees need in one place including widgets they use most often. This provides quick and simple access to all users, saving time looking for files.

  • Resources - Easily accessible and displays your intranet’s global navigation in the SharePoint app bar to enable consistent way across platforms.

Viva Goals

Viva Goals is the latest module released by Microsoft and it does not disappoint. This module helps to align company goals with employee goals in order to drive productivity and company success. Aligning teams to your company's strategic priorities helps show how an individual's work makes an impact on the prioritised goals. Viva Goals is an important part of Viva, allowing organisations to define goals and OKR's (Objectives and Key Results).  These can be continuously managed, improved and - if necessary - adjusted transparently.

 Key Features Include:

  • Custom Dashboard and Dynamic Updates - Customizable dashboard and automations help leaders keep goals a priority at team meetings and offer insight into real-time progress, enabling data driven decisions.
  • Share Links to Dashboards - Ensures progress doesn't exist in a silo. With shareable links, every employee is engaged in team goal setting and progress. 
  • Within the flow of work - Viva Goals layers into the systems of work your team is already using, like Azure Dev Ops. This keeps goals front and centre with automated reminders.
  • Message Extension - Teams chat messaging extension allows for communication, collaboration and checking in on progress creating a culture of conversation, keeping goals at the forefront. 
  • OKR Approval Workflows - All levels of the company are aligned with organisational, team and individual goal pages and chart view.
77% of employees say it’s important their employer provides a sense of purpose and meaning at work.

69% of employees say it’s important to be rewarded for impact instead of hours worked.

- Microsoft Study

Viva goals provides clarity around organization and team objectives and as a result, the business is more agile. Giving employees a view of the bigger picture enables purpose-driven work and innovation. 

Viva Insights

It’s frightening to learn that 76% of employees have experienced burnout. Throughout the pandemic we have rediscovered how vital people are to a business and achieving a work life balance post pandemic can be difficult. Viva Insights helps employees achieve balance, collaborate smartly, and find focus wherever and whenever they need it.

Key Features Include:

  • Real time analytics - Analyses your workloads and personal wellbeing in real time therefore proactively helps to prevent burnout!
  • Personal Insights - Taking an individualised approach, providing employees personalised and actionable insights based on their current way of working. What works for one employee may not work for the next.
  • Protect time - Extremely beneficial for those with a busy Calander. Scheduling focus time and eliminating distractions has never been easier.
  • Stay Connected – Using AI-based task suggestions and meeting assistance you are able to stay on top of your collaboration with colleagues.
  • Reflect – You can choose your frequency for self-reflection and take a moment to check in with yourself, this is known to improve wellbeing.
  • Headspace – Experience a guided meditation and focus music from Headspace in the background of your work
  • Virtual Commute - Leverages AI by going through your activities/conversations and suggesting relevant tasks at the end of your day, helping you to prepare for your next working day!

Viva Topics

Viva Topics helps to address a pressing business issue many companies face — providing the information to users, when they need it. The average employee spends more than an hour per day searching or recreating information that already exists within the organisation. Viva topics discovers, organises and surfaces the existing knowledge in the apps you know, love, and use every day in order to stay in the flow of work and increase productivity!

Key Features Include:

  • Automatically identify topics - AI automatically identifies, processes, organises common topics across content and conversations and generates topic pages'
  • Find related topics - Complementary topics and expertise can be collected, discovered and displayed from different sources 
  • Automatically build topic pages - AI can create topic pages and topic cards using related content, suggested definitions, relevant conversations, and expertise.
  • Curate topics - By combining AI and Human expertise knowledge can be cultivated
  • Knowledge finds you - Topic highlights and topic cards can be displayed in any M365 app
  • Microsoft Search - The topic knowledge can be found anywhere at any time using Microsoft Search

Want to improve your corporate culture and drive innovation?

If you want to find out if you qualify for Akari's fully Microsoft funded Viva workshop, book a call!

Akari are recognised as an elite Microsoft Gold Partner and enrolled in all 3 flagship programmes - including Viva Goals! .

If you're ready to boost employee engagement across the board and drive innovation, get in touch! 

What #TeamAkari are most looking forward to.

Akari are currently creating a Power App where individual users can upload content (blog, video etc) to Viva Topics. Once the content is uploaded to the power app the information will be stored in SharePoint and fed into Viva Topics where the AI Model of Viva Topics will learn to pull this content and add it to topic cards. As a result, this will increase employee engagement and allow users to stay connected by sharing their knowledge and expertise.