Introducing Skills in Microsoft Viva, a new AI-powered service to grow and manage talent

By Seth Patton, General Manager, Customer and Employee Experience Solutions

At the HR Technology Conference, we unveiled new capabilities in our employee experience platform, Microsoft Viva, including a new AI-powered skills service and the general availability of Viva Amplify, a multichannel workforce communications hub. These new product innovations are designed to help organizations improve employee engagement and productivity, which are critical to becoming a high-performance organization (HPO).1

Announcing Skills in Viva

We’re excited to announce a new AI-powered Skills in Viva service that will help organizations understand workforce skills and gaps, and deliver personalized skills-based experiences throughout Microsoft 365 and Viva applications for employees, business leaders, and HR.  

With rapid advancements in AI, the way companies manage and grow talent is reaching an inflection point—job requirements are changing, new skill sets are needed, and roles are evolving. In fact, 82 percent of leaders say their employees will need new skills to be prepared for the growth of AI. At the same time, learning isn’t keeping up with the pace of change and innovation. 60 percent of people say they don’t currently have the right capabilities to get their work done.2  

Employees will need faster, seamless access to new skills to support new ways of working for an AI-powered future. And organizations will require agility to shift from traditional job-based talent management practice to a skills-based approach. By utilizing AI-powered skills technology, HR and business leaders can focus on strategic priorities, and improve business outcomes while growing and empowering the workforce. 

Skills in Viva leverages the combined power of the Microsoft Graphwhich provides employee activity signals across Microsoft 365 applications and services—and skills from the LinkedIn Skills Graph—a dynamic model that maps the global skills landscape, including how 39,000 unique skills relate to each other, to jobs, and to learning content. With AI reasoning applied on top of this data layer, Skills in Viva can intelligently infer an employee’s skills profile, providing Viva customers with an improved understanding of current workforce skills. Skills in Viva will not connect individual LinkedIn member data to a user’s Viva skills services. Note: Only aggregate skills data from the LinkedIn Skills Graph will be shared with Viva.

Here are a few key scenarios this new service will light up across Microsoft Viva and Microsoft 365 applications and services. 

Strategic workforce planning

Leaders gain up-to-date insights into their organization’s talent landscape, enabling agile workforce development and deployment. Skills in Viva powers a new set of dashboards within Viva Insights which allows leaders to visualize skill metrics to access organization capabilities, gaps, and opportunities. They can also see how skills are distributed across organizations, teams, levels, and changes over time.

Image of a data visualization dashboard showing skill capabilities categorized by organizations within a company.

Upskilling and reskilling

HR, Learning and Development teams, and managers can use these insights from Skills in Viva to create targeted learning academies or learning paths to upskill and reskill their teams quickly on critical topics. And with the new skills inferencing in Viva, Viva Learning will now intelligently suggest new learning content based on skills employees are currently developing or maybe interested in learning.  

Skill discovery in the flow of work

Skills are intelligently suggested for employees based on signals from the Microsoft Graph including activity across Microsoft 365 and Viva. Employees can confirm and manage their skills in the skills editor in Viva, and their confirmed skills will show up in their Microsoft 365 profile card which is accessible across OutlookMicrosoft Teams, and other Microsoft 365 apps and services.

Our goal is to meet customers where they are on their skills journey—which means taking an open, extensible approach to Skills in Viva that allows for interoperability with third-party applications our customers may already use as their primary skills records, enabling a more holistic and unified skills view. Skills in Viva will enter private preview by the end of 2023 and will be included in the Microsoft Viva suite. 

Viva Amplify—drive impact with your communications

Our research shows that one of the top five work conditions considered most important for HPOs is having inspiring and engaged leaders.3 Engaged employees, an indicator of high-performing organizations, are 46 percent more likely to see their companies as strong communicators and 37 percent more likely to express confidence in leadership.1 

Clearly, reaching the right employees at the right time and with the right message is a critical aspect of an engaged and high-performing workforce.4 To do this, organizational leaders and communicators need the tools to elevate company strategy, create a two-way dialogue, and energize their people. This is why we’re excited to announce that Viva Amplify, a key component of the communications and community capabilities in Microsoft Viva, is now generally available and currently rolling out to Microsoft Viva suite subscription customers.

Viva Amplify centralizes campaign management, publishing, and analytics so business leaders and corporate communicators can connect and engage with all employees meaningfully. Using multichannel publishing, communicators publish across the apps and devices for specific employees, in just a few clicks. Now they can create and manage organization-wide or targeted campaigns to help inform everyone, create alignment, and inspire action—all from one place.

A screenshot of Viva Amplify

Create a high-performance organization with Microsoft Viva

Skills in Viva and Viva Amplify are just the latest in Microsoft Viva’s steady expansion and release of innovations. Since its launch in February 2021, Viva has influenced the employee experience platform category with innovative new technologies that span workplace analytics and employee feedback, learning and knowledge management, goal setting and OKR management, and employee communications and communities. Now in an era of generative AI, we’ve introduced new intelligent conversational experiences within Viva applications to help accelerate workforce insights, summarize and create content, recommend actions, and simplify the employee experience. These advancements in Viva will provide organizations with a new way to understand workforce culture and take actions to improve engagement and performance while measuring the impact of those actions on business outcomes to create a cycle of continuous improvement.

Microsoft Viva now has more than 35 million monthly active users in organizations across industries like financial services including U.S. Bank and PayPal, technology including DELL, consumer goods including Carlsberg GroupGrundfos, and Haleon, professional services including Sage and CBRE, hospitality including Melia Hotels—all relying on the platform to build a HPO.

Learn more and get started

  • Read the High-Performance Organization (HPO) Guide containing our latest research findings on high-performance organizations in the new era of work. And learn how a focus on workforce engagement and productivity can help your organization exceed expectations.
  • Join the Viva Community, your destination for best-practice guidance, conversations with experts, and peer-to-peer learning.
  • Explore Microsoft Viva suite subscription licenses. These will include Viva Amplify and Skills in Viva (when it becomes available)—see full plans and pricing. If you’re interested in knowing more, contact your Microsoft representative.

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