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    Microsoft Viva enhancements address employee disconnect in hybrid work environments

    For the vast majority of office-based staff, working outdoors the workplace has been the brand new regular for shut to 2 and a half years. Hybrid work, nevertheless, has created a rising disconnect between staff and leaders, in keeping with new analysis from Microsoft’s newest Work Trend Index Pulse Report, revealed at the side of the most recent product upgrades to its worker expertise platform, Viva.The report, “Hybrid Work Is Just Work. Are We Doing It Wrong?,” is predicated on information from 20,000 folks in 11 nations, along with trillions of Microsoft 365 productiveness indicators and findings from  LinkedIn and Glint People Science.Organizations have reached a important turning level within the evolution of hybrid work, with Microsoft’s findings clearly demonstrating {that a} new method is required from corporations, mentioned Sunita Khatri, a senior director of product advertising at Microsoft.“Now more than ever, leaders need to balance employee interest with what it takes for the business to be successful moving forward,” Khatri mentioned. “This means aligning people’s tasks with work that matters or has an impact and creating an employee experience that meets employee expectations.”These tensions are significantly acute in the case of problems with productiveness. Dubbed “productivity paranoia” by Microsoft, analysis exhibits that 85% of leaders say the shift to hybrid work has made it difficult to trust their staff are being productive, whereas 87% of staff surveyed for the report mentioned they’re productive at work.Managers miss visible cues of productivityMany leaders and managers are lacking the outdated visible cues of what it means to be productive as a result of they will’t bodily “see” who is tough at work, in keeping with Microsoft,. The report discovered that 49% of hybrid-work managers mentioned they battle to belief that their staff are doing their greatest work, compared to 36% of in-person managers. Furthermore, 54% of hybrid-work managers reported having much less visibility into the work their staff do, whereas solely 38% of in-person managers reported having the identical drawback. As a consequence, staff are actually feeling the strain to “prove” they’re working, inflicting so-called “digital overwhelm” to soar.Consequently, until leaders cease worrying about whether or not their staff are working, amd as an alternative deal with serving to them prioritize the work that’s most vital, Microsoft hypothesizes that hybrid work will turn out to be unsustainable. This problem is additional illustrated by the very fact 81% of staff surveyed mentioned it was vital that their managers helped them prioritize their workload, however solely 31% mentioned their managers had ever given clear steering throughout one-on-ones. The report additionally highlighted the necessity for organizations to have a greater understanding of what motivates their staff to come back into the workplace. Seventy-three p.c of staff and 78% of enterprise determination makers surveyed mentioned they want a greater cause to enter the workplace than firm expectations, with 84% saying they might be motivated to go in if they might socialize with coworkers, and 85% citing the flexibility rebuild group bonds.To retain staff, the Microsoft analysis highlights the significance of re-skilling and up-skilling your staff. Of these surveyed, 55% of staff mentioned one of the simplest ways to develop their expertise is to alter corporations. However, 68% mentioned they might keep longer at their firm if it was simpler to alter jobs internally, a determine that rose to 76% in the event that they knew they might be provided studying and improvement assist.To attempt to handle the challenges outlined by the report, Microsoft have launched a slew of latest additions to its Viva platform.Microsoft Viva addresses hybrid-work challengesKhatri mentioned that alongside trying to bridge the worker/supervisor disconnect, all of the updates to the Viva platform are targeted on unifying the worker expertise. These embrace two new apps, Viva Pulse and Viva Amplify. Viva Pulse is designed to allow managers and group leaders to hunt common and confidential suggestions on their group’s expertise, utilizing sensible templates and research-backed questions to assist managers pinpoint what’s working properly, the place to focus, and what actions might be undertaken to deal with group wants.“This [product] is really focused on empowering managers to regularly seek feedback from their teams and then be able to take action on those confidential responses,” Khatri mentioned.In comparability, Viva Amplify is supposed to enhance communication between leaders and staff. The app centralizes communications campaigns, affords writing steering to enhance message resonance, allows publishing throughout a number of channels and distribution teams in Microsoft 365, and supplies metrics for enchancment.In addition to the app launches, Microsoft can be introducing a slew of latest capabilities to Viva, together with Answers in Viva, Leadership Corner in Viva Engage, and People in Viva. Answers in Viva makes use of AI to match worker inquiries to solutions and specialists throughout the group to assist put collective data to work for all staff, whereas Leadership Corner supplies an area the place staff can work together straight with management, share concepts and views, take part in group initiatives, and extra.People in Viva can be an AI-driven functionality that creates profile playing cards with particulars on an worker’s pursuits, data and group objectives to assist colleagues simply uncover connections, specialists and insights throughout the group.Viva integrations improve ease of useViva Goals, which was launched over the summer time, can have upgraded capabilities too, together with a deeper integration with Microsoft Teams to verify in on OKRs (aims and key outcomes), new integrations with Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Project, and an Azure DevOps extension.The integrations improve ease of use, mentioned J. P. Gownder, vp and principal analyst at Forrester.“The indisputable fact that a whole lot of the employee-facing experiences can be utilized proper within Teams is useful at decreasing a number of the complexity of the quite a few options,”  Gownder mentioned.In addition, enhanced integrations between Viva Learning and LinkedIn Learning will make it easer for customers to entry content material from LinkedIn Learning Hub, all of which will probably be synched straight in Viva. A brand new dwelling expertise in Viva Connections will carry all of the Viva apps collectively in a single place, and updates to the Viva briefing e mail will present extra customized productiveness suggestions to assist staff atone for work, conferences and studying.

    Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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