Not for Me, but Others Like the Praise App
What should the average tenant administrator make of the new conveyed in message center notification MC289968 (October 7) that the Viva Insights app for Teams will soon include praise history? This important development warrants Microsoft 365 roadmap item 85639.
Update December 7: Microsoft has moved the deployment date for Praise History out to early January 2022.
A brief history of praise in Teams is that the feature appeared in early 2019, gained the ability for tenants to create custom praise badges in 2020, and became part of the Viva Insights app when Microsoft released the app as part of its Viva initiative this year (Figure 1).
Despite Microsoft making it easy access to send praise to co-workers, I must admit that I have paid little attention to the feature. A quick thumbs-up to a message is one thing; sending someone a colorful badge is not a natural action for me. All of which means that the advent of praise history in Viva Insights is an inconsequential matter compared to other developments inside Microsoft 365.
Personal Praise History
But others will delight in the ability to view their sent and received praise for the preceding six-month period. And they will love that the notifications of praise sent to them will include a link to Viva Insights to allow them to check their “personal praise history.” The pleasure gained in reviewing who send you praise and whom you praised will doubtless create a warm sensation in the reader that I’m happy to miss. Apparently, the praise history really is personal; managers won’t be able to review their staff to discover who receives the most recognition from their co-workers. Or the opposite to find out the great unloved (aka grumpy old people) on staff. Like me.
Adding praise tracking to Viva Insights is another example of the utter uselessness of the app. Like headspace mediation, the virtual commute, and reflections of well-being, it’s an exercise in software engineering to deliver functionality that many will try out and discard without further thought. Some of the tenants I frequent don’t use the praise app (Microsoft does, even if guests can’t send praise)
I’m sure it all makes sense in the like-hunting, Instagram-influenced parts of the internet but advances like praise tracking leave me cold. All I can think about is whether the Teams engineers could spend the time developing praise to improve functionality elsewhere in the product.
Some People Like to Praise
In making this point, I acknowledge that Teams user voice has some 125 requests relating to praise, including a request for people to be able to praise themselves. The requests also include asks for praise history or dashboard and access to praised data via a Graph API, all to help organizations use praise as the basis for employee or school recognition, awards, and incentives.
I guess there are people who find praise useful and I’m happy for them that they’ll be able to track praise history when Microsoft ships the feature in November. Maybe I should do a better job of valuing differences. And if I do, perhaps someone will send me praise.
So much change, all the time. It’s a challenge to stay abreast of all the updates Microsoft makes across Office 365. Subscribe to the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook to receive monthly insights into what’s happening.