How do you empower today’s digitally connected, distributed workforce?

  • Posted on April 11, 2023
  • Estimated reading time 5 minutes
How to empower a digitally connected workforce

The pandemic has fundamentally changed the labour market. The normalisation of hybrid and flexible working has empowered employees to shop around for the right role. In this competitive climate, organisations are battling to hire and retain the best talent. One of the biggest challenges for employers, leaders and HR teams is to keep their employees motivated, productive and happy in their roles.

According to a report published in May this year, employee turnover in Ireland more than doubled from 2020 to 2021, with expectations that it would increase further, reaching up to 18.2% - that’s up from just 8% in 2020. With more than half of full-time workers in Ireland experiencing burnout, and the impact of Covid-19 being blamed for raising stress levels, employee well-being must be a top priority for business leaders and decision makers. This is supported by a study carried out by Laya Healthcare which revealed that one in three people aged 18 to 34 are more likely to move to an employer that provides mental health resources.

The challenge is: employee expectations have changed. There’s now a huge difference between what the traditional work environment had to offer versus what employees now want. People now expect flexibility and autonomy around how, when and where they work. 73% of employees and 78% of business decision makers say they need a better reason to go into the office than just company expectations.

So, if just going back to the office is not the answer, how do organisations keep their teams motivated, performing and happy? How do they achieve the balance of performance and productivity in such a disconnected and potentially isolated workplace environment?

The solution lies in mastering the Employee Experience (EX).

Driving productivity and engagement with an EX Platform
Technology plays a critical role in creating connection wherever, whenever and however people work. The virtual workplace is where people spend most of their day - and that's the focus of the EX platform. It may just sound like a new buzzword, but it is so much more than that. The EX platform is an online space that combines engagement, wellbeing, productivity, collaboration and communication.

It’s a personalised platform that encompasses all aspects of an individual’s daily work life, from improving productivity to ensuring physical and mental well-being, whilst at the same time bringing together the company culture and the organisation as a whole to enable people to focus on doing what matters.

The problem has been that historically, mastering EX has not been easy. The space has been fragmented, duplicative and quite frankly, overwhelming. Creating a holistic EX platform has required business leaders to appoint and bring together individual tools, platforms and services that each address separate elements of the employee experience ecosystem. Not only does this drive up cost, but it leads to a disparate environment and experience for users, which can create friction and actually constrain productivity and engagement – the opposite of what an EX platform sets out to achieve.

Enter Microsoft Viva
Microsoft Viva is an EX platform that puts people at the centre, connecting them to company information, workplace insights, knowledge and topics, as well as learning, while staying within the familiar flow of the Microsoft workplace. It’s available as part of Microsoft 365, integrated with third-party solutions and experienced primarily through Microsoft Teams. For organisations already utilising Microsoft 365 and Teams, integrating Viva is a complete game changer.

Viva is perfect for organisations that have found themselves seeking new ways of improving the employee experience and boosting well-being, connecting disparate teams and providing the content and information they need, when and where they need it.

Viva’s original core modules have recently been expanded. Viva Topics, Insights, Learning and Connections have been further enhanced with a new set of apps and services including Viva Goals and Pulse, as well as a new centralised communications management and publishing tool, Viva Amplify. Viva Sales has also been introduced to bring together the power of CRM and Microsoft 365 data to deliver insights and enables automatic content creation by harnessing the power of generative AI. And just a couple of weeks ago, Microsoft announced Microsoft 365 Copilot - the next evolution of productivity.

This incredibly powerful suite doesn’t just provide tools to help employees better manage their work-life, it provides valuable data and insights to help managers shape and improve the employee experience, as well as business outcomes.

It’s clear that investing in the employee experience is not only beneficial to individuals, but to the business as a whole. According to Forrester, those organisations that sit in the top quartile of employee engagement are elevating profitability by 23%. Recruitment effort and associated costs can also be dramatically reduced, with 94% of employees saying they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development.

Leveraging Microsoft 365 and Viva allows you to do more with less, with organisations saving more than 60% compared to those with a patchwork of point solutions, so elevating the Microsoft product suite and experience to include Viva as a hub for productivity, collaboration, well-being and learning, in an environment that users are already immersed in and familiar with, is an absolute no brainer.

We can help you build the foundations for your Viva employee experience transformation with our exclusive Microsoft Viva Envisioning Accelerator, grounded on our holistic Workplace Experience approach and market-leading and unmatched Microsoft capabilities.

Are you ready to elevate your employee experience to the next level? Get in touch today to find out more.

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