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The Great Reshuffle and how Microsoft Viva is helping reimagine the employee experience

Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index found that 41 percent of the global workforce is considering leaving their employer this year due to burnout and a lack of workplace flexibility—this is what industry experts are referring to as The Great Reshuffle1. While this figure is staggering, there are actions organizations can take to help attract and retain employees. We believe adopting new flexible workplace approaches, working models, and employee experience platforms are critical to improving engagement, employee wellbeing, and helping people succeed. As companies adapt to hybrid work environments and re-open their physical offices, the time is right to rethink your employee experience strategies. Today, we are releasing new resources, research, and tools to help companies accelerate their employee experience (EX) strategies to meet the ever-changing needs of employees.

We’re also excited to announce that Microsoft has been recognized by Forrester in its report, The Forrester Wave™: Content Platforms, Q2 2021, as an innovator in employee experience and intelligent content services. You can learn more about how we are expanding our capabilities to meet the needs of hybrid work in our blog. And in a case study released today, we shine a light on the journey of developing our employee experience platform, Microsoft Viva, which brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights, to help employees stay connected—whenever and wherever they are working.

How Microsoft developed Microsoft Viva to transform its employee experience

Microsoft, with over 175 offices around the globe, offers a unique case study as a company that adopted its own solutions to fuel its next phase of growth.

Before launching Microsoft Viva earlier this year, our team was responsible for rethinking the employee experience at Microsoft and had already begun examining the role technology can play in promoting employee wellbeing and a more connected employee experience for a distributed workforce. Through that work, we found that while employee experience platforms can play a significant role, there must also be a shift in workplace culture to enact real change.

Earlier this month, we shared internal findings that the number of people who report feeling included at Microsoft is at an all-time high of 90 percent. And that’s in a year when 160,000 people went home to work and we remotely onboarded 25,000 new employees.

While there is still so much more we can do in our culture journey at Microsoft, this data shows that we don’t have to be physically together to feel like we’re in it together.

Explore our EX transformation journey at Microsoft in the new case study released today and learn about how Microsoft Viva can help your organization.  

New interactive Employee Experience Maturity Assessment Tool by The Josh Bersin Company and Microsoft

Today, we are also excited to share a new online assessment tool to help company leaders identify strengths and opportunities in their employee experience practices and technologies. A recent study by The Josh Bersin Company, commissioned by Microsoft, showed that companies who implement employee experience and technology best practices are 5.1 times more likely to engage and retain their workforce, 4.3 times more likely to innovate effectively, and 2.2 times more likely to exceed financial targets.

The Josh Bersin Company, in collaboration with Microsoft, created this new assessment tool to help organizations examine EX practices that have the biggest impact on outcomes. We invite leaders interested in assessing the maturity of their EX technologies to take this interactive questionnaire.

Respondents will receive a customized report providing an overview of their company’s organizational maturity in key practices compared to industry benchmarks derived from a survey across 950 organizations spanning 16 industries across the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC), and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Results are broken down into four EX maturity levels, and respondents will get tailored recommendations of practices and technologies they can consider implementing to advance their organizations to the next EX maturity level. Access the assessment tool now.

Learn about the rise of EX in a new multimedia series for HR professionals

The demand for employee experience solutions is growing, but companies around the globe have questions about how to get started. Today, to help demystify EX, we are launching a new on-demand video series that helps organizations ready themselves with additional information about this emerging category of software solutions.

Driving Toward EX Excellence is a new presentation by Josh Bersin, Global Industry Analyst, and Kathi Enderes, Vice President Research, at The Josh Bersin Company. Josh and Kathi provide their unique Josh Bersin Company analysis for how the workplace is evolving. The rise of hybrid work solidifies the importance of employee experience. And to further help plan for your own workplace transformation, they guide you through their new maturity assessment tool, plus highlight key resources like the new knowledge management report and other available materials on The Josh Bersin Company website.

How Microsoft Uses Technology to Accelerate Employee Experiences is a new presentation by Joseph Jassey, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft. Joseph provides an overview of Microsoft HR then and now in the context of hybrid work. This includes new listening strategies with managers and employees, both leading to process and technology change outcomes. It, too, provided early, direct feedback to the engineering team building and designing Microsoft Viva. See and hear how IT supports driving culture change across the entire employee experience.

To continue learning, listen to a special episode of The Intrazone podcast, HR in the cloud, where we talk to Kerry Olin, Corporate Vice President, HR Services, and Jay Clem, General Manager, Employee Experience and Platforms, at Microsoft about how Microsoft is adjusting practices and technology to improve the employee experience for 160,000 full-time Microsoft employees around the world. The episode includes introductory thoughts from Kathleen Hogan, Chief People Officer and EVP at Microsoft.

Discover how knowledge is a key differentiating factor in employee experience

Knowledge management (KM) is a key piece of the employee experience, allowing employees to contribute and find topics and experts in the flow of work. Today, we are releasing a new report in collaboration with The Josh Bersin Company about how KM provides opportunities for AI and machine learning to improve how information is accessed and shared across an organization. Microsoft Viva Topics empowers companies to shift from manual content management to human-centered KM approaches. Read The New World of Knowledge Management to learn more about how human-centered knowledge management can improve the employee experience and the organization.

Amid what’s known as The Great Reshuffle, organizations that prioritize the employee experience will help attract talent while also increasing innovation and profitability. We are learning more as the industry advances, and we hope this new set of research and resources helps accelerate your EX planning and adoption strategies. We wholeheartedly believe employees should be at the center of your organization and are your greatest asset. Companies and leaders that invest in the employee experience become stronger organizations, with increased engagement, innovation, and profitability. In our new world of hybrid work, now more than ever, it’s time to ensure your employees can be their absolute best from anywhere.

173%: The Hybrid Work Paradox, Elise Hu, Jared Spataro, Microsoft Worklab. 08 September 2021.

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