Updated: Sep 15, 2022
James Tyer, a product specialist from Microsoft HQ, joined us yesterday for a webinar on Viva Engage. We were pleased to see around 60 participants, half of them from clients such as Heineken, ING and Philips.
James set the stage by describing how the big increase in remote and hybrid work has upended the relationship between leaders and their people. Viva Engage, an improved version of Yammer, is meant exactly for that purpose, as the name already implies.
The big news for communications professionals is the introduction of two new functionalities:
Storyline creates a personal timeline, visible on your profile page and through notifications for your followers. This was launched last week.
Stories are Instagram-like visuals, such as annotated photos or short videos. These will be launched in October.
Our own Jaap then explained how organisations can use and benefit from Viva Engage. He focused on leadership communication, as this is where many organisations are struggling. We polled the participants and found that on average:
Only 27% of leaders are present on their social platforms
Only 15% of them are actively connecting, by e.g. listening, asking questions, and responding.
But most of this second group is doing that in a structured way.
For comparison: in OrangeTrail’s Social Collaboration Maturity benchmark study, the corresponding figures where 53% of leaders present, 22% connecting, and 9% doing this in a structured way.
Jaap argued that leaders should shift from an informing to an engaging mindset in their employee communications. They should use a well-balanced mix of interventions to engage their people in the strategic narratives of the organisation.
The new Storylines and Stories in Viva Engage are ideal instruments for the more engaging interventions in the mix, such as Working Out Loud and spotlighting valuable contributions from others.
But where to start?
Rik concluded the webinar with a few tips. He recommended to look at your organisation’s Digital Employee Experience. Apart from the right tools, such as the Viva platform, this also includes a good content architecture and channel strategy.
The launch of Viva Engage is a great moment to take the next step, as it makes the engaging social layer much more accessible. A quick poll among the participants revealed that many of them agreed.
Rik did caution to make sure to get your (re)launch right first time, as nothing is more off-putting than a messy timeline, empty storylines, and few co-workers to engage with.
Download webinar presentations here:
Microsoft - James Tyer
OrangeTrail - Jaap & Rik