Hybrid work and rapidly shifting economic factors continue to create challenges for distributed teams and organizations. Leaders and communicators need new tools to scale culture and create meaningful connections among employees, and empower everyone to contribute. Viva Engage launched last year as an evolution of the Yammer Communities app for Teams, bringing communities and conversations into Microsoft Viva. Today, Microsoft announced that new experiences for leaders, communicators and knowledge sharing in Viva Engage are now rolling out to Viva suite customers. In addition, Yammer web and mobile applications will continue to evolve to be part of Microsoft Viva and be rebranded to Viva Engage over the coming months. Here’s a deeper look at what’s new:
Leadership corner brings together leadership experiences across Viva Engage, empowering leaders and employees to connect and engage directly and effectively. Leadership corner is personalized for each employee based on the audiences they belong to and the leaders they choose to follow. Leadership corner aggregates leaders’ posts and announcements across storylines and communities, so employees can catch up with what’s top-of-mind for their leaders. And employees can engage in two-way dialogue with leaders, share questions and ideas in Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) events, and participate in social campaigns to drive business initiatives.
In total, leadership corner includes:
Storyline in Viva Engage empowers employees to express themselves and follow interesting people within their organization. Now, leaders and their delegates can ensure that need-to-know updates reach the right employees with storyline announcements that reach the leader’s audience across Outlook, Teams, and Viva Engage, and surface in feeds including leadership corner and Viva Connections. Audiences can be defined using Azure AD groups and leaders requiring the broadest reach can be assigned an organization-wide audience.
Storyline announcements enable leaders and their delegates to send important updates to their audiences across Outlook, Teams and Viva Engage.
Ask Me Anything events or “AMAs” are a new type of event where employees and leaders can connect to ask and address questions. AMA’s feature moderated questions and answers, enabling a modern take on the live townhall that can span hours or days to be inclusive of employees across time zones. The Q&A centered experience lets employees share questions, concerns and ideas so leaders can hear what really matters. AMA events can drive energy and clarity around a topic, expert, or any business or cultural initiative. Any employee can create an AMA event from their storyline. Events started by leaders and through social campaigns will appear in Leadership Corner.
Organizers have moderation controls to keep the discussion focused and moving forward. Participants can ask questions, upvote questions to show priority and interest, nominate best answers, and even submit questions anonymously.
With moderation enabled, organizers can control which questions are visible, respond to questions, and seed the event with discussion topics. And employees can discover AMA events across the organization.
See a list of upcoming and current AMAs happening with leadership.
AMA Events are coming to Viva suite customers in a few weeks.
New social campaigns spark employee participation in initiatives that support business goals and objectives including diversity initiatives, cultural moments, shared learning and ideation. Campaigns are centered around a hashtag. Any employee can participate by sharing a post or question with the campaign hashtag.
A rich landing page provides a home for the campaign, featuring a cover photo, a visual goal tracker, campaign sponsors, and contributors. The campaign feed aggregates conversations across storylines and communities. Campaign owners can measure reach and engagement with analytics.
New analytics experiences add intuitive dashboards so that engagement can be deeply understood. In addition, activity from Yammer posts and communities are also included in our improved Advanced Analytics offerings, with activity from community posts accruing to Personal & Audience Analytics modules described below.
New dashboards are available to admins, leaders, and employees depending on permissions.
Advanced Analytics includes:
In response to customer feedback, Viva Engage introduces Sentiment Analysis—aggregated, privacy-protected insights that empower leaders with an understanding of sentiment and themes of conversations across Viva Engage. Sentiment Analysis uses Azure Cognitive Services to automatically surface trends across public conversations, making it easier for leaders and their teams to follow what’s happening, see top discussions and trending content, and identify opportunities to engage effectively.
Advanced Analytics is available to Viva Suite customers.
Chasing down the right answers to questions is a challenge in any organization, and has real costs in loss of productivity, redundant work, employee onboarding, and overloading experts. These costs and challenges are exacerbated by hybrid and remote work. Answers in Viva is a new space in Viva Engage that helps people ask questions, find solutions, share what they know, and save everyone time. Powered by Viva Topics, Answers uses AI to help match questions and answers and rewards experts who contribute to its knowledge base, saving time that would otherwise be spent searching for answers or duplicating information. In other words, Answers in Viva puts collective knowledge to work for everyone.
Answers in Viva
The Answers tab in Viva Engage
Begin by asking a question and see similar questions that already have answers. If you don't find the answer you need, you can ask your question by adding a Viva Topic and giving more context to help people better understand what you’re looking for. AI automatically routes your question to the right people for an answer.
See top related questions that have already been answered.
People active in the topic are notified that there is a new question they may be able to help with. And coworkers can discover questions they can help out with in their personalized Questions for You feed.
In Answers in Viva, you can:
Answers in Viva is available to Viva Suite customers and Viva Topics customers. It will come to Topic Pages later in 2023.
Note: To use Answers customer tenants will need to be in Native Mode and require Yammer topics being migrated to Viva Topics.
Admins will see a new Viva Engage Admin Center where they will be able to complete tasks such as assigning roles and responsibilities for licensed Viva Suite customers. These tasks include defining leader audiences, designating corporate communicators, appointing admins for Answers in Viva, and additional actions such as:
Admins can learn more about these changes, including how to assign licenses and roles, and define leader audiences using Azure AD in the Viva Engage Admin Center in this Admin dedicated blog or find more details in this Admin Center message.
For more details on using Azure AD, please reference this article.
These new experiences are available to customers with the Microsoft Viva suite, and begin rolling out today. Explore how Microsoft Viva – the employee experience platform within Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, supports connection, insight, purpose, and growth, empowering people and teams to be their best.
Still have questions? Listen to our Intrazone podcast that goes deeper into the Yammer rebrand and new features rolling out, and join us February 23rd for an AMA with the product leaders from the Viva Engage team.
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