Microsoft introduces its latest Workforce Trends Index and adds new capabilities to Microsoft Viva, its employee experience platform

  • According to data from the new Microsoft Workplace Trends Index, there are three pressing challenges every business leader should be aware of in order to address the current employment situation.
  • The report, which analyzes the most recent experience with the hybrid work model, shows that 87% of employees say they are productive, while 85% of managers find it difficult to trust it.
  • To meet the new challenges, Microsoft is adding new features to Microsoft Viva -its employee experience platform-, which will arrive in early 2023.

Microsoft has introduced its latest Labor Trends Index -Work Trend Index Pulse-, under the title “Hybrid work is just work. Are we doing it wrong?. The report highlights three urgent challenges that all business leaders should know in the current context. Along with this, the company has announced the arrival of new functionalities -which will begin to be deployed at the beginning of next year- within Microsoft Vivayour employee experience platform, designed to empower and energize workers in these times of economic uncertainty.

The results of this Microsoft Job Trends Index confirm that the hybrid work model has caused a growing disconnection between workers and organizational leaders, bringing to light that they do not agree on aspects such as how to measure productivity, how to maintain autonomy while ensuring responsibility, the benefits of flexibility or the role played by the face-to-face office. With this in mind, the question now turns to how to optimize the employee experience regardless of where they work from.

Motivated employees are what will give organizations a competitive advantage in today’s changing economic environment.”, assures Satya Nadella, President and CEO of Microsoft. “Today we are announcing new features in our employee experience platform, Microsoft Viva, to help leaders end productivity paranoia, rebuild social capital, re-engage and reinvigorate their workers.”.

Latest Labor Trends Index: current challenges of hybrid work

To help leaders deal with the new reality of the world of work, the latest report from Microsoft points out Three Urgent Challenges Every Leader Should Address:

  1. End productivity monitoring. According to the report, 87% of employees say they are productive at work, but 85% of managers say that the change to the hybrid work model has made it difficult to trust that they are really productive. In this situation, on the other hand, Leaders must create an environment of transparency consistent with company goals, eliminate work that does not support those goals, and listen to their people: 57% of companies rarely, if ever, take workers’ views into account.
  2. Accept the new motivations of the employees. 73% of these say they need a reason to come to the office in person, in addition to company expectations. However, they would be motivated to go if they could socialize with their peers (84%) or reconnect with their team (85%). For this reason, digital communication is key to keeping people connected inside and outside the office. Both workers and managers consider communication to be the most important skill for success today.
  3. Retrain employees to recruit them again. 55% of these say that the best way to develop their skills is to change companies. However, they also claim that they would stay with their organization longer if it was easier to change jobs internally (68%) or if they could get more training and development benefits (76%).

New features of Microsoft Viva

Microsoft is expanding its employee experience platform, Microsoft Viva, to address these challenges and help companies deliver an optimized experience. Since its launch last year, it has helped customers, among other things, reduce onboarding time by 50%, improve worker productivity through a 75% reduction in search time, and reduce rotation by 20%. Today, the company is announcing several new features, mostly coming in early 2023, to help business leaders tackle the latest challenges.

  • live press is a new application within the platform that will allow directors and team leaders to obtain regular and confidential information about their team’s experience. live press uses smart templates and research tools to help leaders determine what’s working well and where they need improvement. It also offers learning tips and actions to address the needs of the team.

  • Viva Amplify will improve communication between managers and employees wherever they are. This application will centralize communication campaigns, offer a writing guide to improve messages, and publication through multiple channels and distribution groups in Microsoft 365. In addition, it will incorporate metrics to know how it has worked.

  • Answers in Viva is a new feature that uses AI to match employee questions with answers and experts from across the organization. Your goal is help put collective thinking at the service of all workers.
  • People in Viva create comprehensive profile sheets that include details such as an employee’s interests, skills, or team goals, to help colleagues easily find links, contacts, and insights within the entire organization. This AI-driven information will be available both through Microsoft 365 profile pages and within a new app.
  • Viva Engage helps organizations strengthen the connection between people, and provides them with self-expression tools, such as the ability to create and share video posts through the new Stories feature (short videos or photos that users can post to their Storyline in a fun and familiar way to strengthen relationships). Within Viva Engage, Leadership Corner It is a new space that serves to employees can interact directly with leaders, share ideas and perspectives, participate in organizational initiatives, and more.

  • Live Goals helps organizations to align the work of employees with business objectives throughout the organizationincorporating them into the workflow, including deeper integration with Microsoft Teams -to check the results-, an extension in Azure DevOps -to finalize the work items-, a connection with the data sets of power BI -to track KPIs and key results-, and integrations with Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Project -for automatic project management updates-.

  • Improvements to Viva Learning and LinkedIn Learning to make it even easier to access LinkedIn Learning Hub content in your workflow within Teams. With these improvements, users will see all of their LinkedIn Learning Hub content, selected learning paths, and completed courses synced directly to Viva. For their part, administrators will be able to configure the integration directly in their settings within the LinkedIn Learning Hub, without the need to use APIs.
  • live sales is the platform’s first role-based experience app and will be available from next October 3. Viva Sales has been created to improve the user experience in the sales area: it optimizes any CRM system (both Microsoft Dynamics 365 and other solutions on the market) with customer relationship data extracted from Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teamsand, through the integrated Artificial Intelligenceaoffers personalized information and recommendations so sellers are more connected with their customers.

  • New start experience in Viva Connections to streamline access to Viva and help workers start the day off on the right foot. Is will bring all your Viva apps together in one place and Viva’s informative email updates will include more personalized productivity recommendations to help employees get on track with work, meetings and training.

click here for more information and on this link to access the latest Microsoft Employment Trends Index.

Tags: M365, Microsoft Live, teams, hybrid work, Work Trend Index

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