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Bridging the employer-employee disconnect – The Official Microsoft Weblog

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This morning in London, I sat down with Satya Nadella and Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn’s CEO, to debate how leaders can empower staff — and drive enterprise affect — within the face of financial uncertainty. Irrespective of how your folks work, from distant to in-person to someplace in between, understanding your workforce is extra necessary than ever.

The world has modified, and anybody who thinks we’re going again to the best way we labored in 2019 is sorely mistaken. It’s change into clear to us that work is not a spot, however an expertise that binds staff and leaders throughout dwelling workplaces, firm headquarters, time zones and extra. Workers world wide have embraced flexibility and hybrid work schedules, reveling within the freedom to work the place, when and the way they need. On the identical time, many leaders nonetheless crave the familiarity of the standard workplace the place brainstorming occurred in individual and likelihood encounters within the hallways led to sudden collaboration. In brief, there’s a disconnect between employers and staff. And in an unpredictable economic system, that disconnect is simply rising wider.

The answer? A brand new method to worker engagement, one which embraces the digitally linked, distributed workforce, realigns staff to enterprise priorities and re-onboards them to the corporate tradition and mission. In our newest Work Pattern Index Pulse Report, out at present, we provide three pressing pivots leaders should make to bridge the divide — and assist staff not solely do their finest, however be their finest.

“Thriving staff are what is going to give organizations a aggressive benefit in at present’s dynamic financial atmosphere,” mentioned Satya Nadella, Microsoft Chairman and CEO. “Immediately, we’re saying new improvements throughout our worker expertise platform Microsoft Viva to assist leaders finish productiveness paranoia, rebuild social capital, and re-recruit and re-energize their staff.”

Let’s dive in.

Measure what issues

Many leaders used to depend on the visibility of the workplace to evaluate organizational productiveness, listening to the clicking of keyboards and seeing the lengthy hours at desks. Within the shift to hybrid work, 85% of leaders say they’ve a tough time figuring out for positive that their individuals are being productive. But whether or not they have been working remotely, in individual, or a mixture of each, 87% of staff say they are productive at work. That worry has led some firms to institute digital monitoring, monitoring trivial metrics to assuage their angst.

It may be hectic to belief that your individuals are working when you’ll be able to’t see them. And all staff want metrics to gauge their on-the-job efficiency. However relatively than counting on productiveness theater, leaders should deal with affect, or what staff do this issues. Giving staff readability on what work drives affect is much more important now, as practically half of staff say they’re burned out. This could alarm each chief, as burnout not solely stifles worker well-being, but in addition chokes off innovation and decimates retention.

To start out, hearken to your folks. It sounds easy, however greater than half of firms (57%) hardly ever, if ever, hear about their staff’ experiences at work. Actionable worker insights are crucial to preserving a pulse in your group — and listening to suggestions might help you catch points earlier than they attain a breaking level that prices you expertise, money and time.

At Microsoft, we’re dialing up new methods to assist leaders drive readability and alignment, eradicate time-wasting busywork, and decide what’s getting in the best way of your folks making an actual affect. Immediately we’re introducing Viva Pulse, a brand new app that can allow managers and crew results in search common and confidential suggestions on their crew’s expertise. Viva Pulse makes use of sensible templates and research-backed questions to assist managers pinpoint what’s working effectively and the place to focus, and likewise gives instructed studying and actions to handle crew wants. That is complementary and additive to strong company-wide engagement instruments like Glint, which will likely be coming to Viva subsequent 12 months.

And earlier this 12 months, we launched Viva Targets, a brand new goal-setting framework that helps organizations align worker work to enterprise outcomes. New integrations in Viva Targets assist deliver targets into the move of labor, together with an enhanced Microsoft Groups app to test in and collaborate on Aims and Key Outcomes (OKRs), an integration with Azure DevOps to mechanically replace work objects, a connection to Energy BI datasets to trace Key Efficiency Indicators (KPIs) and Key Outcomes, and integrations with Microsoft Planner and Undertaking for computerized mission administration updates.

Keep linked out and in of the workplace

The variety of organizations which have rolled again their return-to-office mandates is proof that folks want a greater motive to return into the workplace than coverage alone. The info reveals that the explanation they will are available truly advantages organizations: Individuals, we discovered, are available for one another. Eighty-four p.c of staff say they’d be motivated to go to the workplace to socialize with coworkers, whereas 85% are motivated by rebuilding crew bonds. The info underscores we’ve a deep human want to attach with the folks we affiliate with, and that spending time collectively might help us construct stronger relationships — that are key to doing our greatest work.

Corporations desperately must rebuild that social capital. Half of staff say their relationships outdoors their speedy groups have frayed, and 43% say they really feel disconnected from their firm. In a hybrid world, leaders must assume past the workplace, too: Irrespective of the place your staff work, constant communication and connection is crucial to assist them really feel like they’re a part of a group.

Along with optimizing workplace house for time collectively, a digital worker expertise ensures staff can keep linked and engaged when working aside. We’re introducing Viva Amplify, a brand new app that empowers worker communications groups and leaders to raise their messages and attain staff the place they’re with consistency and affect. The app centralizes communications campaigns, presents writing steering to enhance message resonance, permits publishing throughout a number of channels and distribution teams in Microsoft 365 and gives metrics for enchancment.

We additionally lately launched Viva Have interaction, an app that fosters digital group constructing by means of conversations and self-expression instruments. And inside Viva Have interaction, we’re excited to announce Management Nook, an area the place staff can work together straight with management, share concepts and views, host “ask me something” (AMA) occasions and extra. Leaders can use intuitive dashboards to trace metrics and worker sentiment in actual time.

To assist colleagues simply uncover connections and collaborate throughout the group, we’re introducing Individuals in Viva, a brand new functionality that makes use of AI to unlock insights throughout pursuits, information and crew targets. This expertise will likely be out there by means of Microsoft 365 profile playing cards and as a brand new app.

To retain expertise, prioritize studying

Seventy-six p.c of staff say that if they might profit extra from studying and growth, they’d keep at their firm longer. The need for coaching on the job has exploded over the previous couple of years: Workers take into account alternatives to be taught and develop because the No. 1 driver of nice work tradition, a bounce from 2019 when it ranked ninth. It’s undoubtedly more cost effective to upskill staff than rent model new folks. These findings make it clear that when you don’t put money into the expertise you have already got, they will go away. In a good labor market, re-recruiting your folks — and investing of their careers for the long term — might be the distinction between a profitable and a struggling group.

With Viva, your workforce can grasp these abilities proper within the move of labor. The Viva Studying app makes it straightforward for workers to find, share and observe the most recent studying content material in Microsoft Groups, so an organization’s complete workforce can keep updated on required and really helpful coaching. Enhanced integrations between Viva Studying and LinkedIn Studying will make it even simpler for folks to entry content material from LinkedIn Studying Hub proper within the move of labor in Groups. Learners will see all of their LinkedIn Studying Hub content material synced, together with customized content material, curated studying paths and the programs they’ve already accomplished, all mirrored straight inside Viva. And admins will have the ability to set the mixing up straight inside their settings on LinkedIn Studying Hub – no APIs wanted.

And to assist put collective information to work for all staff, we’re introducing Solutions in Viva, a brand new chat-like expertise that makes use of AI to match worker inquiries to solutions and consultants throughout your group.

Much more from Viva

Work may be exhausting, however how you’re employed shouldn’t be. Immediately we’re introducing a number of enhancements throughout the Viva platform to assist staff get again their time — and have extra affect. To streamline the Viva expertise and assist staff begin their day, the new Viva Connections dwelling expertise brings all Microsoft Viva apps into one place, and updates to the Viva briefing electronic mail will present extra personalised suggestions to assist staff compensate for work, conferences and studying.

As we glance to the longer term, we’re additionally enthusiastic about easy methods to tailor the worker expertise to fulfill the distinctive wants of particular roles. Viva Gross sales, the primary role-based worker expertise app within the platform, will likely be usually out there Oct. 3. Viva Gross sales brings collectively a vendor’s CRM with Microsoft 365 and Groups to supply a extra streamlined and AI-powered promoting expertise — proper within the instruments they’re utilizing day-after-day. We’re additionally saying a partnership with Seismic to personalize and scale buyer engagements by means of AI-generated content material suggestions.

The world of labor has basically modified, and to set ourselves up for long-term success, our method to management should change with it. I gained’t sugarcoat it: It could be uncomfortable. Change at all times is. However by seeking to the information and supporting staff — by means of readability, connection and studying alternatives — your folks and organizations will flourish.

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