Microsoft Solutions Empowering the HR Department

With the evolution of workstyles and a rise in employee expectations, HR departments are turning to innovative technology solutions to help support strategic initiatives and maintain a modern workplace in a bid to attract and retain talent.  

The author of this page: Conall O'Kane
Conall O'Kane, Practice Manager - Modern Workplace Jun 02, 2023

Over the past few years companies across the globe have seen a major shift in workstyles causing much disruption and a need for businesses to rethink their work environment. Technology has played a major role in helping many companies not only adjust but thrive in these circumstances, helping to connect employees regardless of location as well as helping boost productivity. While many technologies are helping transform many areas of business, this article will focus on the technology solutions that are forming the basis of a modern HR department.

In a recent survey of Irish IT leaders commissioned by Storm Technology, Microsoft and Tech Central, 52% of respondents selected Microsoft as the vendor they believed to provide the most comprehensive suite to support hybrid/remote working. Microsoft is a recognised leader in providing technology solutions for the modern workplace supporting employees and the department that supports employees in the organisation, Human Resources. Below are some of the top technologies from Microsoft that are supporting organisations in this space.

Onboarding & Staying Connected

Onboarding new employees and helping them get up to speed with a company can be supported by several Microsoft solutions, especially in a world of hybrid working where employees may not be meeting in person. SharePoint Intranets support onboarding, acting as a digital gateway to a company with all useful links, and documents easily accessible, as well as a feed of company news and updates with the ability to interact with this content. This helps not only new joiners but existing staff to keep connected and maintain a company culture in a remote or hybrid working environment. Another solution that is widely used by organisations to keep connected is Microsoft Teams, going beyond just facilitating virtual meetings to act as a complete collaboration hub where working teams can work together in shared spaces and connect to data within other business applications to boost productivity. Another tool that can be helpful for HR departments when helping employees with common queries or requests is Power Virtual Agents. These AI-powered chatbots can help employees get quick answers to common questions rather than awaiting an email response from a busy HR department.

Knowledge Management

Previously when office-based working was the norm for most companies, knowledge was naturally shared among employees working together in person. However, hybrid and remote working workplace communication evolves more around scheduled meetings with set agendas rather than impromptu conversations in the office. This means that employees have less chance to share knowledge so it is important for organisations to adjust knowledge management practices for a hybrid working world. Solutions such as Yammer, which has recently been rebranded as Viva Engage, is a social networking style internal communications tool where users can connect and create communities, from different departments within an organisation to work in social or sports clubs. This solution can keep employees connected and create a space where users can pose questions and share insights and knowledge. Microsoft Viva Topics can also help organisations when it comes to knowledge management. Viva Topics empowers employees using AI to automatically search for and identify topics across Microsoft apps used every day to help manage and organise content. Viva Learning can also make professional learning and development more accessible to employees by bringing together all learning sources from an organisation in one central space.

Well-Being & Employee Engagement

While some of the solutions already mentioned like Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and Yammer can help keep employees engaged, Microsoft Viva Insights help combine employee engagement with employee well-being providing both personal and manager insights. Viva Insights provides employees with personalised insights and actionable recommendations based on their working patterns and behaviours. Viva Insights helps encourage employees to set aside for focusing, learning, and breaks. Viva Insights have also partnered with Headspace to deliver mindfulness experiences that can help employees disconnect and destress when required. Integrating with Microsoft Outlook, key insights are delivered in daily briefing emails from Cortana based on M365 data to help employees stay on top of tasks and boost productivity. To help managers empower their team and safeguard employee well-being, managers can see anonymized insights into employee well-being and productivity as well as trends and patterns at an organisational level which can help managers to identify potential issues that could lead to burnout such as lack of focus time available, meeting overload or time worked outside of chosen working hours.

If you like to learn more about how Microsoft Modern Workplace solutions can help support your organisation, get in touch to speak to a solution specialist today.

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