Driving our Microsoft Viva Goals usage with Microsoft Viva Engage

Apr 8, 2024   |  

Microsoft Digital storiesEmployees worldwide are embracing flexible work, seeking work-life balance, and pursuing purpose and fulfillment in careers. Employers want to support their team and maximize efficiency as much as possible—particularly around key objectives.

Here at Microsoft, we’re using objectives and key results (OKRs) in Microsoft Viva Goals to align our team priorities with our overarching business goals, which is helping our employees find a greater sense of purpose and drive more impact.

While OKRs and the goals we create with them are powerful, they don’t directly translate to motivation or progress. Successfully integrating an OKR framework hinges on ensuring companywide goal alignment among teams, and motivating employees to genuinely invest in them.

— Don Campbell, senior director, Microsoft Digital

OKRs serve as a measure of key objectives, tracking progress across various domains. At Microsoft, we use the resulting data sets to inform our decision-making and align on our goals.

“While OKRs and the goals we create with them are powerful, they don’t directly translate to motivation or progress,” says Don Campbell, a senior director in Microsoft Digital, the company’s IT organization, and lead of the team that deployed Microsoft Viva Goals across the company. “Successfully integrating an OKR framework hinges on ensuring companywide goal alignment among teams, and motivating employees to genuinely invest in them.”

A screen capture of the Viva Goals use interface.
Viva Goals works as an effective way to incorporate an OKR framework while engaging employees.

This is where Viva Goals, which integrates goal tracking and engagement, provides an opportunity for new success within teams.

Viva Goals is a goal alignment solution that uses OKR frameworks to improve goal alignment across teams. Shared OKR dashboards and seamless integration with other tools streamline collaboration and enhance visibility into progress and priorities.

Viva Engage became our central hub, a premier destination for all things Viva Goals. It offered a unified platform amidst the disparate resources scattered across SharePoint and doc sites.

— Heather Layne, director of Viva Goals, Microsoft Digital

In June 2023, Campbell and our Viva Goals OKR Enterprise Accelerator team set out to deploy Viva Goals internally at Microsoft as part of our customer zero philosophy to test products internally and optimize them before releasing them externally. The team decided to use Microsoft Viva Engage, our knowledge-sharing and communication platform, as a launch pad to boost awareness and adoption.

[Learn how we’re powering purpose-driven employee engagement and driving efficiency internally at Microsoft with OKRs and Microsoft Viva Goals.]

Results of deploying Viva Goals internally

By October 2023, Viva Goals reached steady levels of engagement, with user activity showing more than 300 impressions per day. Our team in Microsoft Digital found the Viva Engage platform to be an indispensable way to spread the word about our new tool.

“Viva Engage became our central hub, a premier destination for all things Viva Goals,” says Heather Layne, a director of Viva Goals in Microsoft Digital. “It offered a unified platform amidst the disparate resources scattered across SharePoint and doc sites.”

We created this one central place for a broad enterprise community from all different teams, levels, and personae to work together,” Campbell says. “We used Viva Engage as a vehicle to drive Viva Goals adoption for over 200,000 employees.

— Don Campbell, senior director, Microsoft Digital

The beauty of using Viva Engage to get the word out about Viva Goals is that it’s fostering a culture of knowledge sharing and support, which is enriching the journey to adopt Viva Goals for all of us at the company.

Photos of Campbell and Layne that have been joined together in a composite image.
Don Campbell and Heather Layne are on the team that used Microsoft Viva Engage to help them roll out Microsoft Viva Goals across Microsoft.

“We created this one central place for a broad enterprise community from all different teams, levels, and personae to work together,” Campbell says. “We used Viva Engage as a vehicle to drive Viva Goals adoption for over 200,000 employees.”

Despite serving a couple hundred thousand employees, the trio of Campbell, Layne, and Scott Blackwell, a principal product manager who has since moved to a different team, were able to scale their Viva Goals efforts to match the needs of our internal customers. This was thanks to Viva Engage acting as a community library and discussion center, with features like hashtags to make information discoverable and evergreen.

“The Viva Engage community is nearly self-sufficient and serves as a one-stop-shop, crowd-sourcing center of information,” Campbell says. “I would say that the majority, up to 80 percent, of internal customers did not have to return to us with additional questions.”

The four goals we set for successful internal product adoption

Internal adoption is challenging under the best circumstances. Our Microsoft Digital team set out with the following goals in mind to guide them and optimize results:

  • Engage with internal users before deployment to drive adoption and learnings across Viva Goals and Viva Engage. By fostering a community within Viva Engage prior to the rollout of Viva Goals, the team successfully amplified internal awareness and ensured a strong launching point for the product’s deployment.
  • Identify new Customer Zero Viva Goals by harnessing data and user feedback from Viva Engage communities, resources, and campaigns.
  • Drive adoption by providing centralized learning resources through Viva Engage communities, syncing regularly with the product group and other Viva Goals users, and offering scalable support.
  • Use Viva Engage to grow synergy between Viva Goals and Engage product groups.

Key factors to internal adoption success

There were multiple aspects of Viva Engage that enabled our team to reach its adoption goals:

  • Viva Engage acted as a centralized, consolidated platform for resources and communication channels between existing Viva Goals and OKR users.
  • The Viva Goals community acted as a sort of self-sustaining ecosystem, enabling the team to scale and meet internal needs.
  • Supporting multiple community use cases—our team identified several community use cases that were satisfied by Viva Engage including learning, practice, and support.
  • Connect across Microsoft—Viva Engage has features like topics and hashtags to increase discoverability of Viva Goals.

We’re building a module in Viva Engage Communities that allows community managers to connect the community with a specific Viva Goals team. And includes the ability to select goals to be pinned within the community, allowing managers to promote visibility of goals and collaboration within communities.

— Ayana Chen, product manager, Microsoft Digital

Improving product integration

It’s only up from here—our team is committed to further enhancing the features of Viva Goals and Viva Engage, with a specific focus on optimizing integration between the products.

“We’re building a module in Viva Engage Communities that allows community managers to connect the community with a specific Viva Goals team,” says Ayana Chen, a product manager in Microsoft Digital. “And includes the ability to select goals to be pinned within the community, allowing managers to promote visibility of goals and collaboration within communities.”

Use the links that follow to find out more about how to unlock the potential of collaboration and drive impactful results with OKRs in Viva Goals with the help of Viva Engage.

Key Takeaways

Here are some tips for using Viva Engage to deploy and drive adoption of Viva Goals at your company:

  • Viva Engage can be used as a launchpad for boosting awareness and adoption within your organization. This platform acts as a centralized hub for resources and communication channels, fostering a culture of knowledge-sharing and support.
  • Engage early with internal users before deployment to drive adoption and awareness.
  • Continuously sync with product groups and users to provide centralized learning resources and scalable support.
  • Even with a small team, you can scale adoption efforts effectively by using Viva Engage. Foster a self-sustaining ecosystem to meet internal needs and minimize additional support requests.

Try it out

Try Microsoft Viva Goals at your company.

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