In a previous blog, we visited a product from Microsoft called Viva Learning. It is a tool that is designed to help employees grow in a professional manner as it relates to their job. But in this instance, Viva Learning was more or less at the control of the manager. While the employee could choose to some degree the learning resources that they wanted to use, it is the manager that had to choose the other online tools.

But now, Microsoft has come out with a much more powerful tool that gives almost 100% freedom to the employee as to the materials they want to use in order to propel their career to newer heights. It’s called Viva Connections, and is further reviewed in this blog.

What Exactly Is Viva Connections?

It can be viewed as a tool, one which resides completely in Microsoft Teams. From here, an employee can connect with just about any other coworker, even outside contractors. This gives them a chance to see firsthand how their other colleagues work and operate, especially in different departments. This has been deemed to be especially useful for Project Management teams because it serves as a starting point to bring up different ideas for innovation from literally different walks of life.

As just stated, the employee can gather just about any kind or type of content that they want to retain to help them achieve their goals and objectives on a daily basis. They can even create their own channels in which they can engage with other coworkers, whether it be voice, video, or chat based. Viva Connections has also been designed to be added on to SharePoint, Yammer, and Stream.

The Major Components of Viva Connections

It is composed of three distinct components, which are as follows:

  • The Dashboard:

This functionality allows your employee to carefully set their experiences (primarily the materials that they have learned from the online resources) in a curated manner, using what are known as “Dashboard Cards.”  In a way, these can be viewed as sort of a mobile app which takes you where you need to go. Although it is used to bookmark useful sources, it is also typically used as a means to let the employee know what tasks need get done in a particular timeframe. Because of this, employee productivity is actually increased. The primary reason for this is that the employee does not have to scour through network directories of resources to find the materials they need access to. Rather, all of these of resources will be linked to a particular card, and the employee just needs to click on it. But it is important to keep in mind that at the present time,  this process is not automated. Before an employee is handed a project to work on, it is the duty of that particular individual to find those resources, and from there, link it to the Dashboard Card.

Currently, this component is available on iOS and Android devices, as well as desktop computers. With the latter, it can be integrated as a subset of SharePoint, thus enabling even quicker access to needed resources.

An example of the Dashboard can be seen below:

(SOURCE:  1).

Another example of a Dashboard is seen below:

(SOURCE:  1).

  • The Viva Connections Feed:

This is almost like the feeds that are used in Twitter and LinkedIn. But the only difference here is that the employee will not see events from the outside world (unless they enable this option), they only see what is happening in their company. It can also be viewed as the company Intranet, but the content is rolling in nature, and is updated on a real time basis. Upon approval with their manager, an employee can even share something personal that is happening in their life, which could have an impact to the company. This newsfeed functionality also pulls in filtered and selected content from the various SharePoint sites in the company, Yammer, and Stream.

  • The Viva Connections Resources:

This is the component where all of the links to resources are stored. This is not to be confused with the links in the Dashboard. These are the ones that you have individually selected. But from within the Resources functionality, your manager can insert links that they feel might be useful for you, as well as your coworkers. This component is available on desktops and wireless devices.

This is illustrated below:

(SOURCE:  1).


Overall, this blog has reviewed the various ways in which Viva Connections can help boost employee productivity at your company. Best of all, it is free, but you must first have a SharePoint license in order to obtain it. If you have further questions on how to use Viva Connections, contact us today.