Skip to content

Veldhoen + Company Global
Lichttoren 32
5611 BJ Eindhoven
The Netherlands

+31 88 44 47 222


Contact us

How Microsoft's ONA Tools Support the Power of Social Capital

8 February 2024

Subscribe to Our Updates

In the dynamic landscape of modern workplaces, understanding how employees collaborate is crucial for organisational success.

Microsoft hosted Veldhoen + Company’s Marco van Gelder as part of a live event that explores organisational network analysis (ONA) and the powerful connection between employee collaboration and innovation.



  • Viva Insights uses deidentified data from Outlook and Teams to capture how average employee collaborates, how they collaborate in a group and how that affects the overall system.
  • Organisational Network Analysis (ONA) measures the impact of managerial behaviour, helps identify the spped of investing in new employees and enhances understanding of the workplace culture and sentiment.
  • A focus on social capital helps to solve common challenges, not least of all enhancing employee experience by targeting engagement, diversity and inclusion and hybrid work.


Viva Insights utilises data analytics to answer fundamental questions about employee collaboration. One such inquiry focuses on the timing of email exchanges — from the first to the last, deciphering the intricacies of group collaboration and its impact on the overall system.

Did you miss the live event?

Catch the webinar recording featuring Microsoft & Veldhoen + Company




Neha Shah, an esteemed faculty member at Columbia University and a key player at Microsoft, introduces the concept of "social capital," emphasising the goodwill and trust derived from collaborative relationships.

Organisational Network Analysis (ONA) supports two types of social capital: bonding and bridging.

  • Bonding: This involves the trust and collaboration that flourishes within well-connected groups. It cements a sense of integration and value through what Neha terms as "integrated ties.”
  • Bridging: The act of connecting across diverse groups enhances collaboration skills and drives innovation. By fostering diverse ties, bridging facilitates fresh perspectives, information, and communication styles, ultimately contributing to organisational success.

Bonding in social capital reinforces internal cohesion and collaboration within well-connected groups, while bridging social capital focuses on connecting across diverse groups to foster innovation and bring in a variety of perspectives for organisational success.



Through ONA, Viva Insights addresses a spectrum of challenges, including common issues affecting organisational effectiveness like:

  1. Retention: Understanding the social connections within the organisation helps identify factors influencing employee retention. ONA can highlight key relationships and networks that contribute to employee satisfaction and engagement.
  2. Leadership development: ONA provides insights into the leadership network, allowing organisations to identify influential leaders, potential mentors, and areas for leadership development. This data helps in creating targeted leadership development programs.
  3. Cross-group collaboration: By analysing the network structure, ONA assists in enhancing cross-group collaboration. It identifies communication patterns and connections between different teams, facilitating strategies to improve collaboration and information flow across departments.
  4. Change management: ONA is valuable during periods of change by mapping the existing social networks. This helps in understanding the informal communication channels and influential individuals, aiding in effective change communication and management.
  5. Workspace planning: Understanding communication and collaboration patterns can inform workspace planning. ONA can guide decisions related to office layout, team placement, and collaborative spaces, optimising the physical environment for productivity.
  6. Sales productivity: ONA can be applied to sales teams to analyse communication and collaboration patterns, identifying key influencers and improving the overall efficiency of sales processes.
  7. Innovation: By fostering bridging social capital, ONA supports innovation initiatives. It identifies individuals who act as connectors between different groups, promoting the exchange of ideas and facilitating a culture of innovation.
  8. Process efficiency: ONA helps optimise organisational processes by identifying bottlenecks and improving communication pathways. This can lead to increased efficiency and streamlined workflows.

"The context of Ways of Working is important. We all want to boost our performance, identify key processes, and improve but engagement is pivotal: how do we feel?" 

Marco van Gelder
Veldhoen + Company | R&D Lead

ONA helps to enhance employee experience by focusing on engagement, diversity and inclusion, hybrid work, and organisational culture.

Key insights extend to measuring the impact on managerial behaviour, identifying the speed of investing in new employees, and enhancing the understanding of organisational culture and sentiment.

Marco, emphasises the importance of diverse ways of working, rejecting the notion of a single owner. He establishes a direct correlation between productivity and engagement, asserting that performance is a product of these two factors.

The client cases presented by Marco underscore the significance of time series analysis in understanding how new employees integrate into a community.

This is true in almost every industry ranging from financial to biotech to automotive clients who all want to stay on the cutting edge of innovation through these New Ways of Working.



Exploration into employee collaboration through Viva Insights and ONA, along with insights Marco and our peers validates the transformative potential of leveraging de-identified data with Viva Insights for organisational success.

They also highlight the importance of random encounters in fostering innovation, providing valuable insights for organisations aiming to enhance their collaborative environments.

As the workplace continues to evolve, these analyses offer a roadmap for organisations in a spectrum of industries seeking to optimise productivity, foster innovation, and enhance the overall employee experience and our team of specialised consultants at Veldhoen + Company can be your guide along the way.

Ultimately, we will work with you to create a unique culture and environment where people will have the space to thrive, the freedom to genuinely connect with one another and will proudly work as a part of your organisation.