Microsoft Viva Connections and daily briefing email enhancements to unify the employee experience
Published Sep 22 2022 06:00 AM 16.2K Views

Work can be hard, but how you work shouldn't be.


Employees struggle with the adoption of multiple employee experience tools. Half of the employee respondents in a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Microsoft indicated that their organization offers too many separate tools, apps, and resources to navigate; and 90% indicated a comprehensive employee platform would be valuable or extremely valuable[1]. Given how prevalent and cognitively taxing excessive toggling has become in today’s digital workplaces, this is not surprising. A study featured in the Harvard Business Review found that workers toggled roughly 1,200 times each day between apps and websites to do their jobs. This adds up to just under four hours each week reorienting after toggling — roughly 9% of annual time at work.[2]


To streamline work and meet employees where they are, with what they need and when they need it, we’re introducing several enhancements in Microsoft Viva - an integrated employee experience platform that brings together tools and applications employees need into one unified solution aligned across four key experience areas: Connection, Insight, Purpose, and Growth.


Simplification of the employee experience starts with new home experience in Viva Connections. We’re evolving Connections to become the central launch pad for every employee with this new streamlined experience incorporating valuable insights and data from across Viva, to include easy navigation to all the Viva apps from one destination.

The new Viva home experience.png


We’re also enhancing the daily briefing email from Microsoft Viva to highlight key information from Viva apps directly in your inbox. The briefing email provides a summary of important insights to help you make the most of the day and week ahead. Soon, briefing will also surface personalized employee experience data, including learning reminders, suggested topics, and meeting recaps. Read on for more details.

Briefing email with learning reminders, suggested topics, meeting recaps, and recurring time booking.gif

From early adopters such as Avanade, we've heard that the power of Viva is that it's helped give employees information at their fingertips when they need it. With enhancements focused on bringing information from across the company to where employees already are, we’ll continue on our journey to unlock the true potential of an employee experience platform. 


New home experience in Viva Connections

The new home experience in Viva will provide employees with five key areas, all with minimal involvement from IT:

  • Relevant information at-a-glance

    The new Viva home experience in Connections shows employees relevant information at-a-glance right at the top of the page. Information could range from a critical, required or recommended, learning course, important company information, or other pertinent information from across Viva or Microsoft 365.
    Access key personal content and informationAccess key personal content and information

  • Rich feed

    Integrating content from across Microsoft 365, including the newly released Stories, the feed in the Viva home experience uses AI to provide personalized content to each employee.  Corporate communications teams and other key partners can boost critical news to the top of the feed for all employees, or a select group of employees. 
    Rich feed from across Microsoft 365Rich feed from across Microsoft 365

  • Dashboard for key company tasks

    The dashboard allows employees to quickly see information at a glance, and interact with other apps and services without ever leaving the home experience.  You can customize every employee’s dashboard with adaptive cards from Microsoft, 3rd party providers like UKG, Qualtrics, and more, or you can custom develop cards for your internal systems.

    Employees can view real time information on the cards and if they need to do a quick action, like logging time off or checking in on their OKRs, they can do that from within the home experience. The quick view allows interaction with the underlying system directly from within the home experience.
    Target cards to groups in your organization to make each employee’s experience personal and relevant to themTarget cards to groups in your organization to make each employee’s experience personal and relevant to them

  • Find the resources you need

    The resource section provides access to both company-specific resources, as well as frequently used resources for each employee.
    Quick access to company provided and frequently used resourcesQuick access to company provided and frequently used resources

  • Customizable to fit your company's brand

    Customization options allow the home experience to have a look and feel that matches your brand to provide a sense of familiarity to employees.  Customize the colors, name, and icon to match your corporate identity.

What's coming soon for briefing emails from Microsoft Viva

Here’s a preview of what’s coming soon in the briefing email to provide a more unified experience for users with a Viva subscription:

  • Personalized learning reminders to set aside time to complete mandatory assignments or trainings from your organization in Viva Learning. With one click, you can add time to your calendar for completing assigned courses that are upcoming or overdue.
    Learning reminders for assigned coursesLearning reminders for assigned courses
  • AI-based suggested topics for you to review and confirm your connection to in Viva Topics. This is a great way to make it easier for colleagues to discover your expertise or other subject matter experts across your organization. Microsoft 365 profile cards will showcase each person’s confirmed topics and topic pages will list confirmed people.
    Suggested topics to confirm your connection toSuggested topics to confirm your connection to
  • Automatic time scheduling with Viva Insights. These recurring time booking plans make it easier to set time aside for catching up on emails and chats, taking regular breaks during the workday, and meeting weekly learning objectives.
    Automatic scheduling of daily breaksAutomatic scheduling of daily breaks

With future updates, the briefing email will also include recaps for key meetings you missed along with an option to book time to catch up on recordings. And as we introduce new cards in the briefing email, we’ll include options to favorite and snooze specific cards. Your favorite cards will be prioritized, and snoozed cards will be deprioritized in your future briefing emails.

Favorite preference in briefing emailFavorite preference in briefing email

Learn more

Viva Connections and the briefing email are included in Microsoft 365 plans with SharePoint Online and Exchange Online. Learn more about how to install, customize, and deploy Viva Connections and how to configure Briefing for your organization at the user or tenant level.


Stay tuned to the roadmap for Connections and Briefing for more on the updates announced today. We look forward to hearing about your experience with the new centralized digital home experience for Viva in Microsoft Teams, and enhanced briefing emails.


To learn more about other Microsoft Viva innovations announced today, read the Microsoft 365 blog by Seth Patton, check out the Microsoft Viva website, and explore the Viva Innovation Brochure.


And in case you missed it, watch the Empowering Your Workforce in Economic Uncertainty event and hear from Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft, Ryan Roslansky, CEO of LinkedIn, and Jared Spataro, Microsoft's CVP of Modern Work, for urgent insights every leader needs to know in a rapidly changing economic environment.


[1] Based on 606 knowledge and frontline workers surveyed for a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Microsoft, Nov. 2021.

[2] Based on a study of 20 teams, totaling 137 users, across three Fortune 500 companies for up to five weeks.







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