Erik Moll, Director of Digital Transformation, brings his years of tech experience to highlight the immense but under utilized potential of Yammer. An early adopter, Erik saw the potential for collaboration and clarity in communication with Yammer. Thriving on sharing best practices, he offers his insights and tips.
THE GIANT SLEEPER
Even though Yammer’s initial purpose was social networking inside an organization, with a touch of imagination, it can turn into an incredibly powerful tool for sharing knowledge, ideas and intellectual collaboration.
It may seem odd at first that this “Giant Sleeper“ – as many still see it – can create an impactful platform within a company but its huge potential has yet to be discovered among companies using Office 365.
“Yammer enables knowledge transfer better than any other communication tool inside a company,“ asserts Erik Moll.
Erik explains that Yammer suffered from an awareness issue and in many companies the platform never really took off because employees described it as a “tool they don’t quite get.“
“And that’s a shame,“ he continues, “they’re missing out on a tool that saves time and money and dramatically increases productivity, employee morale and collaboration.“
So, how to use it properly and what is the real value of this social networking platform? How can it benefit the company?
YAMMER’S MAGIC, GOLDEN NUGGETS AND COMPANY’S FINGERPRINTS
Yammer encourages a safe space.
Yammer provides a platform where users can share information and partake in conversations they may previously have not engaged in. Providing an online space can often encourage users who struggle with face to face interactions to partake in conversations. Online platforms have been known to create a ‘safe’ space for people to share and as yammer is very transparent, this safe space is often heightened.
Yammer is specific to you.
Yammer allows users to follow conversations and posts that they find relevant to their job or interests and not be overloaded with notifications about everything happening on the yammer platform. This allows users to have greater control over what they spend their time focusing on and attention being re-directed to.
Yammer focuses on conversations
Yammer is not like Facebook, LinkedIn or groups. Yammer provides channels or ‘conversation hubs’ where people come together to discuss a specific or central topics in one space. This allows people to be more productive in their engagement and focused on their input to the topic at hand.
Yammer allows for the sharing and democratization of knowledge
If an employee had a question he wants to ask some expert or executive, an individual much higher ranked in the hierarchy of the organization, he would have to follow the traditional path, go through many levels, wait for it for days or weeks, and sometimes maybe not get the answer at all.
With Yammer he can post a question and get a rapid response from an expert, even if he is based miles away.
Yammer drastically reduces redundancy
That answer benefits many other co-workers that need the same explanation. Because they can all see it on Yammer, all interested parties can reply, add their value, and engage in a conversation that is focused on sharing knowledge around a particular topic.
Yammer can connect employees of all rankings and positions within an organization better and faster than other communication channels that a company is using, especially email.
The same goes for sharing interesting articles that found on the Internet, posts or other types of content valuable for the organization – they can all be great conversation starters.
Yammer is built for Enterprises & Client Collaboration
Being an enterprise social network platform, Yammer provides a fast and easy way to collaborate with not only employees within an organisation but also external clients.
Yammer provides a very effective way to run projects from one collaborative location reducing the need for excessive meetings, interstate air travel and reducing the pressure on company resources. Yammer can manage the engagement of over 200,000 employees.
COMMONWEALTH GAMES EXCELED BECAUSE OF YAMMER
Several years ago the Commonwealth Games, a massive undertaking, needed Yammer to communicate and collaborate with invested parties, both internal and external to the project. Major organization, collaboration and innovative solutions resulted thanks to Yammer, averting near disaster. The internal games organisation created central Yammer channels (conversation hubs) for each of the external contractor companies i.e. (IT company, security companies, local tourism boards, sporting teams, volunteers etc) Here, ideas, tasks and information sharing happened much faster, answers and results were achieved instantly and the overall management of such a large project was made more productive.
Volunteers, are the lifeblood of any successful major sports event and no one knows this better than Graham Stevenson, Commonwealth Games Marketing Manager and Volunteer Team Leader. He praises Yammer and asserts, “Yammer enabled me to do away with several other social networks, simplify my social media engagement overall, and reduce the time I spend on it”.
CREATING GROUPS AND LEVERAGING COMPANY’S IP
Yammer groups are where the real magic happens. Employees can start specific groups that are work related, such as those inside a department, or a particular project, or a work-life balance group, or even a philanthropic group.
It can build a unique fingerprint, a heartbeat of an organization, strengthening its culture and employee’s loyalty.
The main thing that happens in Yammer groups is a live discussion around a specific topic, where all members of the panel are monitoring the conversation and if they feel like adding value, commenting or replying to a question, they will engage.
Erik Moll continues: “This is a space where all those golden nuggets may show up, which would be difficult to share in a traditional contact process between employees. They add value to your work and they benefit other coworkers or even your customers in such a way that you have never thought can be possible. Yammer is, therefore, one of the best learning vehicle inside an organization.“
As a result, Yammer threads and conversations in a group leverage the intellectual property of the organization, and that means working for the greater good of the company.
YAMMER “DRESSED FOR SUCCESS“
Maybe the most challenging part about implementing Yammer into your business and organization will be the motivation of employees who will benefit. Erik’s tips to ensure success:
- Train your staff to use the software
- Explain your deployment strategy and goals of the platform
- Set clear boundaries and rules of engagement
- Additional tip: motivate your employees to use Yammer starting with something non-work related.
“How we communicate and collaborate at work has already drastically changed in the past couple of years, and it will change more in the following period. If you want your company to stay competitive, tools like Yammer must become your priority.“ Erik Moll concluded.