After The Great Reshuffle, you are probably in the throes of navigating the “The Great Relearning Revolution”. Well, don’t fret – Microsoft Viva Learning is here to usher you into the future of learning. Spoiler alert: it’s flowing.

How to win employees and influence culture

Are you struggling to keep your employees engaged and inspired in today’s fast-paced, digital work environment? You’re not alone. According to Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index, 55% of global employees think the best way for them to develop their skills is to change companies. 94% say they would stay at their company longer if they could benefit from more learning and development support. In fact, employees consider opportunities to learn and grow as the #1 driver of great work culture – a jump from 2019 when it was ranked #9. So, if employee retention is a key strategic priority for you this year, it’s time to review your organisation’s approach to learning and development.

Companies that prioritise learning and development are not just more likely to attract and retain top talent, they are also better positioned to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change. World Economic Forum’s research suggests that 50% of employees will need reskilling by 2025. Companies that invest in learning and development are better equipped to adapt to changes and remain competitive. In fact, high performing learning organisations are 92% more likely to innovate. It’s no surprise that learning and development helps foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. When employees are encouraged to learn and develop their skills, they are more likely to take risks, try new things, and come up with innovative solutions to problems.

Why your organisation’s learning and development efforts are failing 

I’m sure you already have some form of a learning and development programme in your organisation. How successful has it been in embedding a growth mindset in your workplace culture?

As a change practitioner, I am privy to the perspectives of a range of different stakeholders. Whether it’s leaders, field staff, corporate staff, or champions – on the subject of learning and development they tend to share the same frustrations:

  • Steals time: It’s hard to feel happy about formal training when it takes us away from work for hours or days at a stretch. The dread of playing catch-up on return, and the inevitable disruption to deadlines, makes attending training more stressful than empowering.
  • Feels cookie-cutter: We all have different learning styles, preferences and needs. Applying a one-size-fits-all approach by getting everyone to attend the same training delivered the same way is unlikely to lead to successful learning outcomes.
  • Is irrelevant: It doesn’t take long for eyes to glaze over or the mind to wander, when training doesn’t align with our roles, responsibilities, required competencies, or areas of interest. If it isn’t relevant to people’s performance, career progression, or passion, then it’s pointless.
  • Slips like sand: Sometimes the training is valuable, yet the learning won’t stick. It’s not us, it’s the ‘forgetting curve’ – Ebbinghaus expounded upon it all the way back in 1885! Without immediate application or reinforcement, people fail to make the most of the time and energy they invested in upskilling.
  • Turns into a scavenger hunt: Too often finding self-help resources can turn into the search for a needle across multiple haystacks of content repositories. There may be too many needles – which one are you meant to use? Even if we get lucky, what we find may turn out to be outdated, leading to further search attempts at the expense of productivity.

Elevate your employee experience with Viva Learning

So, it’s clear traditional training tactics are missing the mark. Employees are spending less than 1% of their work week on formal training. The modern learner structures their workday around their lifestyle – which means they look for answers just-in-time, prefer on-demand resources, and rely on on-the-job interactions with their network of peers, teammates and managers for professional and personal development.

Lucky for us all, Viva Learning has been built with all this in mind. Part of Microsoft’s employee experience offering – Viva Learning is centered around the employee’s wants and needs.

With a personalised, adaptive learning experience that is natively integrated into platforms that employees already work in, Microsoft intends to empower employees to take ownership of their individual growth and development. Through meaningful, timely, and relevant resources and recommendations, employees get the training they want, the training they need, and even the training they didn’t know they needed! Even better, it’s available in context – allowing employees to discover, consume, and converse about content, and return to their tasks in a cadence that works for them.

How other organisations are using Viva Learning today

When adopted along with the full Viva suite, Forrester’s 2022 Total Economic Impact study found that organisations could reduce onboarding time to full productivity by 50%, discovery effort by 75%, and employee attrition by up to 20%!  With the help of the Viva suite Human Resources (HR), Learning and Development (L&D), Employee Experience (EX), and Information Technology (IT) teams are spending less time on operational tasks like creating, curating and disseminating content or integrating and managing multiple systems, freeing them up to focus on more strategic endeavours.

Here’s six scenarios organisations have started using Viva Learning for already:

  • Accessing self-paced learning for Microsoft certifications: IT staff who need to complete Microsoft Learning Pathways content for certification purposes are enjoying the convenience of locating and jumping into their learning modules directly from the Viva Learning tab in Microsoft Teams.
  • Curating learning to support enterprise M365 roll-outs: We all know how hectic enterprise-wide roll-outs can be, and how important it is to cater for a variety of learning styles to embed the change. With Viva Learning, change and training managers involved in such projects are using curated collections as a quick additional resource to supplement planned change and adoption activities, particularly to cater to staff who prefer on-demand bite-sized learning which they can dip in and out of without disrupting their flow of work.
  • Surfacing organisation-generated learning content for onboarding: Teams responsible for Human Resources, Health, Safety and Wellbeing or Learning and Development are helping new staff onboard quicker by enabling organisation-generated training content to be discoverable, accessible, and sharable via Viva Learning. This ensures new starters are not grappling with multiple systems and struggling to locate what they need – they can stay in the context of Microsoft Teams to get up to speed on key subjects. They can also discover additional useful resources in the process to bookmark and consume later.
  • Supporting in-context learning for teams and individuals: Leaders looking to assist their team in upskilling on core competencies are starting to infuse Viva Learning content into everyday chats and conversations in Teams to direct people to self-help. Leaders are also taking a more structured approach to learning by adding Viva Learning tabs to their team channels…making content available within the workspace where everyone is working helps set the expectations for what employees need to know, supports just-in-time learning for the specific tasks, and ensures any new team members that join know what learning to get up to speed with. Viva Learning supplements this structured learning effort by providing additional personalised suggestions of relevant training content to each staff member through the Viva Learning Home tab.
  • Aggregating all learning content for discoverability and consumption: Executives who can see the value of using Viva Learning as the cornerstone for driving a culture of everyday learning in their organisations are taking things a step further. By investing in a Viva Learning subscription their organisation is increasing the visibility, reach, and impact of content from their third-party training providers. Organisations are configuring providers such as SAP SuccessFactors, EdCast, Go1, Skillsoft, Udacity, Udemy, Coursera, edX, and Pluralsight as content sources in Viva Learning, so everyone can confidently discover and access all learning content that they are interested in from one central hub directly in Microsoft Teams.
  • Integrating with learning management systems to track progress: There is also an increasing interest in making Viva Learning the front-end layer for the organisation’s entire learning ecosystem. By using Viva Learning as a full employee learning solution organisations are connecting their learning management systems with Viva Learning to track and manage assignment and course completion records for each learner. SAP SuccessFactors, Cornerstone OnDemand, Saba and Workday are some of the learning management systems being connected, but the list will no doubt increase as more systems join the club.
Viva Learning

Ready to level up your enterprise learning experience?

Do you have pain points similar to the scenarios we discussed above? At Engage Squared, we’ve helped a range of businesses implement the Viva suite to supercharge their employee experience. If you are considering a capability uplift programme, we’ll show you how to do more with less by using what’s already available to you through your Microsoft license. If you already have an existing learning management system or third-party training content providers, we can help you leverage more from those investments through integration with Viva Learning for a more streamlined employee experience.

But more importantly, we know just ‘turning on the tech’ doesn’t change work culture! It’s clear that, when implemented well, Viva Learning is successfully helping organisations engage their modern learners with a culture of everyday microlearning opportunities that are contextual, convenient, personalised and social.

If you want continuous learning to become a core capability for your people too, we want to help you implement Viva Learning with strategic intent and enterprise-wide adoption in mind. To kick start your journey towards a more modern digital employee experience that facilitates a culture of learning, growing and achievement, get in touch via the button below!

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About the author

Parul Sharma is a senior consultant with the Change and Transformation practice at Engage Squared. Parul is passionate about facilitating change in ways that enhance the employee experience and positively influence company culture. If she was to be reincarnated as a Microsoft emoji, it would probably be the earnest heart-eyed one 😍