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23 Aug 2021

Boost employee engagement with new Microsoft communities experience

Hybrid working is now the ‘new normal’ and keeping employees at the centre of this couldn’t be more important. The new working era requires businesses to support employee engagement and wellbeing.


Centralising employee engagement with Microsoft Viva

The employee experience platform Microsoft Viva was introduced back in February. The platform combines employee engagement, learning, training and wellbeing experiences. It allows leaders to keep employees up to date with company news, access resources and connect across the business to create communities and share knowledge.

Microsoft’s enterprise social networking service Yammer will now integrate with Viva, pulling in new integration and capabilities to bring in community experiences. Yammer’s key capabilities, inclusive of communities, open conversations and discovery experiences will be brought into Viva. Microsoft uses can expect to see a number of communities come to light in multiple ways across Microsoft 365 and Viva.

Viva Connections

Community conversations and announcements will be seen in the feed as interactive discussions. Users can comment on news articles and switch to communities right from the Connections app.

 Viva Topics

Conversations that take place in Yammer pull knowledge for Viva Topics, these conversation topics can be used to seed Viva’s understanding of topics in your business.

Topic pages is also where users can find experts which are identified by engagement in Yammer discussions. This is also where conversations and Q&As from communities can be found. Users will soon be able to ask a question and Viva Topics will highlight key experts to answer the question.

Communities were first born from Yammer, but now the community experiences are being brought across everyday Microsoft 365 apps like Teams, Outlook and SharePoint. It’s a great way to develop a community, build culture and keep employees engaged with one another, as well as the company.


Community app improvements for Microsoft Teams

The Communities app for Microsoft Teams keeps users up to date with what’s happening in your communities and access knowledge across Teams and departments. The app will also be updated later to adapt to the style of Microsoft teams and include notifications, deep-linking and suggested communities.


Communities for Outlook for the web

Microsoft previously introduced the new update to Outlook which made it easier for users to navigate Outlook for the web with your favourite apps. They’re now introducing the new Communities app for Outlook which includes the full Yammer experience inside Outlook for the web. Soon users will also be able to engage in communities, join in conversations and live events, and share knowledge with their colleagues all in the Outlook app.


Q&A in Microsoft Teams meetings

A handy new experience for organisers and presenters will soon be released, allowing them to add open or moderated Q&As to Teams meetings. Attendees will be able to ask and reply to questions both before and during a meeting. Organisers and presenters can even pin the best answers, filter responses and moderate questions by dismissing them. All responses will be threaded in a conversation to the original questions and presenters can act as co-moderators to aid in screening questions.

The latest feature is helpful for large and structured meetings, especially when it comes to leadership presentations, webinars, classroom training and events. The app is expected to roll out soon but can currently be seen in private preview.


New features for conversations and topics

Follow conversations by topic

Users will now be able to ‘follow’ topics in Yammers and see who else is following the topic, allowing them to stay updated with conversations around topics of interest. This will enable them to locate experts and collaborators. Currently the feature is being tested, but is looking to be brought out in the near future.

Post on behalf of another user

Once approval has been arranged, users will be able to post on another user’s behalf in Yammer. Internal communicators can make use of the feature to share news, updates and reply to comments on behalf of leaders and their teams. The new feature works for anyone in the company and not just Yammer admins.

Interested to learn more about Yammer and Microsoft Viva? Contact our experts today for more information.



By OryxAlign