The employee experience is fundamental to a business’s long-term success. A positive employee experience leads to more engaged, productive employees that work hard to grow the business and deliver exceptional customer experiences. Although there has always been an understanding of the benefits of a positive employee experience, over the past 3 years, there has been a monumental shift in the way that many businesses are improving this experience. With businesses being more reliant on technology now than ever before, it is not surprising that there are technology solutions designed to improve this experience. One such example is Microsoft’s Employee Experience Platform, Viva.
What is Viva Insights?
The Microsoft Viva platform includes four modules that work together to aid the productivity, well-being and education of employees. Viva Insights is dedicated to helping employees find the balance between productivity and wellbeing. The module uses different data points from Microsoft products and services to give personalised and actionable insights to empower teams to build better work habits and improve business outcomes.
Viva Insights features to improve the employee experience
The Stay Connected features within Viva Insights help employees stay connected with their colleagues and increase productivity. Some of the insights within Stay Connected include the ability to set up reminders to schedule 1:1 meetings with important contacts, reminders to complete automatically generated task suggestions, and upcoming meetings that require an RSVP.
These features improve the employee experience as it helps employees stay connected with their collaborators, especially for those working within a large team.
With the widespread adoption of Microsoft Teams and other platforms that enable instant messaging, it is easy for employees to get distracted by constant messages, notifications and calls. These distractions can increase stress levels whilst harming productivity. The Protect Time feature within Viva Insights allows employees to select blocks of time and protect them, allowing them to focus on the task at hand, without disruptions. During this time, all calls, emails and message notifications are muted.
On the home page of the Viva Insights tab on Teams, there is a feature that allows employees to reflect on how they are feeling and assign their mood a rating. It is also possible to track emotions over time. This feature helps individuals become more aware of how they are feeling, and the act of taking a moment to reflect can also improve wellbeing.
An important component of a positive employee experience is ensuring that employees get praise and recognition for their hard work. Within Viva Insights, employees can send a praise message to their co-workers that are shown as a notification in Teams, either as a private message or in a Teams channel conversation. It is also possible to set praise reminders to build the habit of showing recognition and appreciation.
Meditation is an effective method of reducing stress, improving focus, and helping teams work together more effectively. Within Viva Insights, there is a set of guided meditations from Headspace ranging from 3 minutes to 10 minutes, as well as a selection of focus music and a short one-minute guided breathing exercise. These short content pieces allow employees to take a moment away from work to recharge, leading to more productive, happy employees.
For office-based employees, the time spent commuting to and from work is an important time to mentally unwind from a productive workday. For some remote workers, the lack of commute makes it difficult to separate their work and home life. This is where a virtual commute can be helpful. Within Viva Insights, a virtual commute reminds employees when to wrap up for the day, and gives a list of items that were completed in the day, and what is left to do tomorrow.