Business is better when people can be their best. To help their business succeed, organizations can create a more meaningful employee experience that enables and empowers employees to do their best work—and bring their best selves to work. This requires leaders to put people at the center of everything they do.
It starts with the needs of individuals and teams, empowering them to take ownership of their fulfillment, growth, and success. Empowerment is one of the key pillars of what constitutes a more meaningful employee experience. What it means is that employees can easily find information, people, tools, and resources they need to make decisions about how to best direct their talent and effort. They feel empowered to innovate and utilize organizational knowledge effectively when required.
Kavita Kurup, Global Head - Talent and Organizational Transformation, UST shares, “Learning is key success enabler, especially in these challenging times. People are realizing the value of ensuring constant updating of skills – the new currency! Learning is quickly becoming a ‘social’ activity as much as it is a ‘personal’ activity. Technological expertise/mastery has always been critical, what has gained significant prominence is the humanness element – whether it is in problem-solving, managerial capability, or leadership competencies – “Care” as a virtue has gained prominence.”
And this is a key factor in any company’s success. However, organizations are facing another set of challenges in this area. Today’s organizations are faced with a massive volume of communication and content generated in the course of daily work. But surfacing and revealing this knowledge to the right employees at the right time is an ongoing challenge—made even worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and the digital fatigue it has brought along with it.
So while the knowledge exists, but the hours required to find it—or to find internal experts to help—can create a costly drain in productivity. With fewer in-person opportunities for impromptu meetings and hallway conversations on account of the pandemic, there’s a new urgency for getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time, wherever they work.
Priyank Parakh, Director HR, GSK Consumer Healthcare, India aptly puts this in perspective when he says, “Employees are the building blocks that enable every organization to run itself efficiently. The productivity of an employee is directly proportional to the productivity of the organization. Hence, it is important for an organization to cater to their needs especially in the time of difficulties. Employees today are looking for work-life balance, better harmony even when they are working remotely, and the need for personalized employee support.”
This becomes even more important in a world going hybrid and remote. In fact, ensuring that remote workers have fast, secure access to actionable insights is driving many organizations to make knowledge-sharing tools and employee experience platforms (EXPs) a priority over the next 12 to 24 months.
M Lakshmanan, CHRO, L&T Technology Services (LTTS) confirms the same when he shares, “We believe that the pandemic has impacted companies positively in their ability to deliver skill development and training to employees at a faster, customized and in a byte-sized learning mode, where employees can learn and consume on the go. On the flip side, virtual learning solutions can reduce the face-to-face interactions and therefore organizations are finding newer ways to bridge the absence of physical learning and engage learners more effectively.”
Empowering everyone to put knowledge to work: Introducing Microsoft Viva Topics
This is exactly the gap that Microsoft Viva, an EXP that empowers people and teams to be their best, no matter where they’re working wants to fill by helping elevate each employee’s experience— how they engage, find knowledge, learn, and work.
The Viva Topics feature of Microsoft Viva helps to address a key business issue in many companies — providing the information to users when they need it. For example, new employees need to learn a lot of new information quickly, and encounter terms they know nothing about when reading through company information. To learn more, the user might need to step away from what they are doing and spend valuable time searching for details, such as information about what the term is, who in the organization is a subject matter expert, and maybe sites and documents that are related to the term.
Viva Topics aims to -free up time by making it easy for people to find information and experts and put knowledge to work. It uses AI to automatically search for and identify topics in your organization such as projects, products, processes, and customers. It compiles information about them, such as a short description, people working on the topic, and sites, files, and pages that are related to it. A knowledge manager or contributor can choose to update the topic information as needed. The topics are available to your employees, which means that for every instance of the topic that appears in a modern SharePoint site in news and pages, the text will be highlighted. Employees can choose to select the topic to learn more about it through the topic details.
Thus experts can rapidly curate and share knowledge through simple, highly customizable web pages. Similarly, managers can recommend content and experts, review topics before publishing, and filter to see which get the most and least engagement and thereby shape the flow of knowledge through their organization.
Hence it connects people with knowledge and experts, enables faster learning, connections, and innovation by making information easier to find.
Summing up, here are three ways in which Viva Topics helps in building an ecosystem where knowledge powers people and business success as a natural part of the company culture and each person’s daily habit-
• Turn content into usable knowledge: Use AI to reason over your organization’s data and automatically identify processes, and organize content.
• Organize knowledge into topic pages: Share and refine knowledge through curated topic pages that are automatically generated and updated by AI.
• Make knowledge easy to discover and use: Deliver timely, relevant topic cards in the apps people use every day.
Ultimately, people need to have the right knowledge at the requisite time for taking the right decisions for theirs as well as the organization’s success. Similarly, businesses need to empower their people with a knowledge-sharing experience that is aligned with business outcomes and also leads to a more meaningful employee experience. This is where Microsoft Viva Topics aims to help by making it easy for people to find information and put knowledge to work and empowering them to learn faster and innovate faster.
For further information on how Microsoft Viva can empower your employees, click here.