August 4, 2021

LTDX Recap: Microsoft Viva & The Corporate Learning Evolution

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The Learning Technologies Digital Experience

The Learning Technologies Digital Experience 2.0 is a growing resource and conference for professionals within the Human Resources, Learning & Development, and Corporate Training industries. LMS365 was excited to join the Microsoft team and present how the Microsoft Viva Employee Experience Platform is empowering companies to evolve their corporate learning for a more resilient and effective hybrid workforce.

The 2.0 version of this LTDX event had a primary focus on workplace learning, specifically on exploring strategies to build a resilient hybrid work structure in the new post-pandemic corporate space. Another strong focus of this conference was to support L&D departments in using the current climate to move from a reactive role to a proactive role when it comes to employee development and learning.

Carrying along with this theme, LMS365’s learning transformation expert, Travis Damgaard Campbell joined Henk Ritmeester (Director of Microsoft Viva) and Brenda Nemastil (Global Black Belt, Viva – Knowledge & Insights), to take a deep dive into the current state of workplace learning and how the new Microsoft Viva Employee Experience Platform is supporting organizations in transforming their corporate learning structures for the evolving hybrid workspace.

Transforming Digitally, Transforming Globally

In our fireside chat session, Brenda Nemastil and Henk Ritmeester of the Microsoft Viva team shared many of their experiences of working with corporations to support more agile and accessible learning opportunities for employees. Both digital learning professionals found that though most L&D teams understand that they require a better structure for workplace learning, they aren’t as aware of the other opportunities for employee growth and success that proper corporate training can produce.

“86% of top-performing companies reported that digital training programs boosted employee engagement and performance.”

PWC.

 

An overwhelming statistic that Brenda shared during our session was that the amount of information available to us is doubling every 18 months. That means we are being inundated with more data, insights, and miscellaneous content each year, with more sources and depths of information available than ever before.

Henk spoke to this point, sharing that one of the main motives of building an employee experience platform like Microsoft Viva was to provide users and learners with a streamlined way to interact with the copious amounts of information being shared within the workplace. For him, this is the type of digital transformation that L&D—and entire organizations—should be focused on.

Travis, Henk and Brenda all agreed upon the growing need for dedicated digital systems in today’s more hybrid—online and offline—workspaces. For example, there’s been a huge boost in remote and hybrid work positions since pandemic restrictions began.

Top Opportunities of L&D’s Digital Transformation

In the session, Brenda and Hank shared a few other opportunities for L&D success that a digital transformation can help achieve:

  • Opportunity #1 – Reskill Employees
    It’s projected that by year 2023, approximately 25-30% of the workforce will require reskilling. This is something more easily achieved with a dedicated, digital learning platform that can place corporate learning into the everyday workflow.
  • Opportunity #2 – Onboard Remote Workers on a Global Scale
    Like mentioned above, recruiting, hiring, and onboarding global talent becomes possible and more streamlined with an established virtual platform that all applicants and new hires can access whenever and wherever they might find themselves.
  • Opportunity #3 – Support All Learning Patterns
    Diversity, equity, and inclusion are very important topics that have rightfully entered the corporate world and learning is an important space where diversity and inclusion is key. Having a digitally-sound learning and working platform allows your organization to support employees with various learning styles and patterns, all in one virtual space.
  • Opportunity #4 – Train Employees on Emerging Tech
    The digital transformation isn’t only impacting office workers; it’s impacting field workers, firstline workers, and many other roles. This means that proper training and onboarding is necessary for all roles who are encountering new technologies and new ways of working, and a digital learning platform is perfect for executing this type of training.

 

Along with these opportunities for L&D, our LTDX session also offered an overview of Microsoft Viva—the very first Employee Experience Platform built for the digital information age and streamlined corporate learning—and what is in store for the rollout of this innovative suite of tools.

Microsoft Viva: The Employee Experience Platform (EXP)

Originally launched in February 2021, the Microsoft Viva Employee Experience Platform combines the necessary digital workspace aspects of team collaboration, employee wellbeing, knowledge sharing, skill development and insight analysis, all in one integrated virtual platform.

To best incorporate all these elements into an EXP, the Microsoft Viva platform is made up of four distinct modules—all of which are accessible though Microsoft Teams. Each Microsoft Viva module has its own unique strengths and benefits, but working together, they provide even more support for digital workplaces, more specifically for L&D professionals looking to upgrade their corporate learning structure.

“The first thing that we want to solve with [virtual] learning is making sure that you can start experiencing all the learnings coming from different places within your team’s environment.”

– Henk Ritmeester, Director of Microsoft Viva.

 

Remember how the amount of information we experience is growing ever year? Well, it’s for that reason that Henk and the rest of the Viva team have prioritized ease-of-access and intuitive organization of information in their EXP, to help streamline learning from the very beginning.

It’s the easeful, accessible learning opportunities and dedication to the entire employee experience that has made Microsoft Viva one of the most exciting and disruptive tools in the digital workplace space.

However, there has still been some confusion as to whether those who use Microsoft Viva would still require an LMS to make a complete their corporate learning setup. Thankfully, Brenda and Henk had some answers for those left unsure.

Do You Still Need an LMS? The Answer is YES

An LMS, or learning management system, is a virtual learning platform that manages various aspects of a company’s training and learning structure—whether that be digitally or in-person. So, it’s no surprise that with Microsoft Viva’s emergence, more specifically their Viva Learning module, L&D professionals haven’t been sure as to how this type of platform would work best with an LMS tool.

To remedy this, Travis asked Brenda to share more about how she sees the collaboration of Microsoft Viva and LMS platforms:

“The Viva experience platform is really about connected experiences, addressing your culture, how we communicate with one another, how we share knowledge, how we take required learning paths, how we build the right kind of work habits; that’s very employee centric. I think the LMS is still something that’s going to be your system of record for tracking for creating learning paths, [for] doing the kind of reporting on compliance training that might be required by your industry. So, we don’t necessarily see the LMS going away, what we do see is that’s more of a background rather than low landing place for the employee interface.”

– Brenda Nemastil, Global Black Belt, Microsoft Viva – Knowledge & Insights.

 

During the session, Henk also expressed that the ultimate focus for Microsoft Viva is, “much more on improving the end user experience than on starting to compete with a learning management system or any other kind of system”, which is great news for all LMS users and administrators.

LMS365’s own Travis shared his position as someone who works regularly with Microsoft 365 tools and our integrated learning platform, seeing the incredible benefits users get when these systems work together:

“From the buyer’s perspective, we’ve been deep within [Microsoft] Teams now for a couple of years, and we just see so much value for our customers and being able to deliver that learning in the flow of work.”

– Travis Damgaard Campbell, LMS365 Senior Business Manager.

 

As the only learning platform built into the Microsoft 365 suite of tools—including streamlined access to Microsoft Viva through Teams—LMS365 serves as a learning repository, insight analytics platform and secure course creation space that can seamlessly deliver corporate learning content through digital channels.

Therefore, being able to not only work alongside Microsoft Viva, but within the entire Microsoft 365 suite is a huge strength, one that our team is very excited to share with our LMS365 and Microsoft customers going forth.

Effectively Disrupting Corporate Learning with Microsoft Viva

The entire LTDX session offered many exciting updates for Microsoft Viva as well as copious opportunities and tips for L&D teams setting off on a digital transformative journey. To catch the full replay of the session, along with many other thought leader presentations, you can simply register for the free, virtual LTDX 2.0 event.

Before the session was closed, an audience member prompted a very important message from Microsoft professional, Brenda Nemastil for companies struggling with building a digital corporate learning structure that’s as inclusive as it is resilient:

“One size doesn’t fit all […] Be flexible, find something that’s going to provide that kind of flexibility for your organization as you change, because change is going to continue to happen. Disruption is the new normal. It [your corporate learning system] doesn’t have to be perfect, at the very beginning, but it does have to have some kind of evolutionary approach rather than a revolutionary approach.”

– Brenda Nemastil, Global Black Belt, Microsoft Viva – Knowledge & Insights.