A screenshot showing the new Favorites functionality in Office Delve. Credit: Microsoft
It can be hard to keep track of all the great things individual people do in a fast-paced work environment on a day-to-day basis. Sending a quick thank-you note can be nice on a person-to-person level, but that doesn't always translate into an understanding by the powers that be about what people find praiseworthy.
Microsoft is aiming to ease that process with a new feature for its Delve collaboration tool in Office 365 that lets users praise their co-workers digitally. To use the feature, users just have to navigate to the profile of someone who's worthy of recognition, and click the Praise button. After that, they'll be able to enter a short message about what that person did and send it off. Praise messages sent through Delve will be delivered to the person for whom they're intended as well as that person's supervisor. This way, supervisors can recognize people for jobs well done.
The message (along with a digital sticker) will show up on the recipient's Office Delve profile, where other users can like it. Over time, praise will accumulate on a user's profile so that they have a record of all their celebration-worthy work achievements.
Right now, Praise is rolling out to Office 365 First Release customers in the U.S. At first, it won't be possible to turn the feature off, though organizations will be able to shut it down in the future.
In addition to the Praise news, Microsoft is also rolling out a new Authoring Canvas meant to let users easily create richly designed pages in SharePoint Online from Delve itself. It's possible to easily embed documents in the page from OneDrive for Business, and videos from the Office 365 Video Portal. Microsoft has designed it as an internal blogging platform, so employees can share their thoughts in a rich manner with co-workers.
It's interesting to see all of these capabilities come to Office Delve, especially since this sort of social functionality seems well-suited to Microsoft's Yammer enterprise social network, which the company acquired in 2012. Social collaboration in the enterprise remains a going concern, with products like Slack becoming increasingly popular. Yammer itself, however, has become de-emphasized as a one-stop shop for Microsoft's collaboration efforts, as the company has moved some of the ideas that underpin that product into Office 365 itself. That attitude is reflected in updates like these and other features such as Office 365 Groups, which provides users with the ability to create groups of co-workers inside Office 365 with shared messaging, calendar and other functionality.
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