Community, aged care, and home health workers who operate in the field have long been given the short end of the stick when it comes to technology. Physically and emotionally taxing work can be exacerbated by a lack of quality tools – with advanced software solutions historically focused on supporting desk-based workers.
The non-profits that manage these workers face a constant struggle to keep their people engaged; often battling low job satisfaction and high turnover at a time when skills shortages are the worst we’ve seen in decades.
Unfortunately, the situation is not dissimilar for any other organisation managing a high proportion of field workers; be they utility or building companies, facilities management, real estate agencies, and so on.
Spreadsheets, calendars, emails, phone calls, and text messages are often the default solution – cobbled together in an attempt to keep staff informed and jobs on track. Yet the disparate nature of these tools does little to drive engagement, let alone facilitate knowledge sharing or create a harmonious community for workers to be part of.
While a number of custom apps have been developed to try and address this issue, the result has been a dual approach to managing staff. Deskless workers are forced to download clunky apps to their phones which usually lack functionality, while desk-based workers communicate freely using a trusted and intuitive collaboration platform such as Microsoft Teams.
Introducing Viva Connections
In line with the huge increase in people working from home and in the field, Microsoft has invested in developing new and integrated solutions that aim to completely eliminate these challenges.
Microsoft Viva is a revolutionary employee experience platform that operates within Microsoft 365 and Teams. It encompasses a wide variety of features, ranging from workplace analytics to goal tracking, learning and development, and more.
Viva Connections is an app within Microsoft Viva, designed to “create a workplace where everyone’s ideas and voices matter and employees have the flexibility to engage and participate from anywhere.”
The app functions inside Microsoft Teams and revolves around a personalised dashboard that centralises all the information people need to do their jobs.
From this dashboard, a frontline worker using a smartphone can view:
- tasks and workflows
- individual, group or whole-of-organisation communication
- intranet news and information
- resources and tools
The worker not only gets access to information that is directly relevant to them in an interface they’re familiar with, but is able to communicate and share information in the same way their desk-based colleagues can.
Best of all, management can maintain consistent communication across the board – regardless of where their people are working from.
Extending Viva Connections to be a one-stop solution for deskless workers
What makes Viva Connections so exciting is that it’s possible to extend the app to further centralise other elements that are essential to managing your business.
For example, your field staff may use a time and attendance app to log hours or clock in and out each day. At Antares, we’ve successfully worked with companies to develop a fully integrated time and attendance app within Viva Connections. This means their workers now only need to view one dashboard to see everything they need.
A similar approach could be applied to any work situation, such as monitoring hospital beds so nurses can quickly check their phones for availability.
As an extension of the existing Microsoft family, Viva Connections is already included in the Microsoft 365 licence – making deployment simple, secure and cost effective. By extending the functionality, you may also be able to retire costly custom apps and a whole range of outdated tools.
In addition, Viva Connections can become the hub for integration with other Microsoft Viva apps; from Viva Goals for managing objectives and results, to Viva Topics for fast access to valuable knowledge.
With Microsoft Teams as your central location for connection and engagement, workers everywhere can contribute their expertise and ideas while feeling supported by regular and consistent communication. For frontline workers, this means:
- feeling more valued
- increased job satisfaction
- greater flow of feedback
- ability to harness more knowledge
- time back to focus on customers
For the business, this means happier staff and customers and a lower cost of retention!
How Antares can help with Viva Connections
Microsoft Viva is relatively new, and we anticipate even more exciting functionality from its apps as Microsoft continues its mission to elevate the entire employee experience for every worker in every industry.
As a Microsoft Modern Work Solution partner, we can assist you to deploy Viva Connections quickly and seamlessly. This includes assessing how you currently use Microsoft, your challenges and goals, and any integration possibilities. We’ll then develop a roadmap for your journey and support you in the roll out to ensure the best chance of success.
To learn more about Microsoft Viva or Viva Connections, please call (02) 8275 8811 or contact us.