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Yammer is Microsoft’s Enterprise Social Network, embedded into your Office 365 environment, unlike most of the other tools within Office 365 the exact purpose of Yammer and how to get the most out of it isn’t entirely obvious, this document outlines some best practices for getting started with yammer and how to make your implementation a success.

Why yammer?

Many organisations reject the idea of using a social media tool, feeling that it has no relevance to their business and that it will distract people from their daily jobs and reduce productivity, however with a little planning and thought we can help you to deliver a new way for your team members to collaborate.

Yammer is a great way to share knowledge and ideas within your company, this kind of information is often overlooked when sent via email or becomes lost in the day to day conversations which happen in teams.

Consider also the young people who are joining your organization, this generation of young people has grown up with the internet and naturally gravitate towards social platforms, allowing people to work in this manner may help you to attract and retain talent.

Yammer example use cases

 

Project Ideas

Creating a specific group for a project you are working on allows group members to share ideas and post links, other members can comment on these links and work collaboratively, imagine how much easier these threaded conversations would be to follow rather than the endless “reply all” emails which get completely ignored after the first few emails are received.

Whilst email is easily searchable, information stored in Yammer can be retrieved far more easily and the threaded nature of the conversations are much more easy to follow, just think about your Facebook feed, how hard would it be to keep up with your friends and families if everything was sent via email! The fact of the matter is that you’d unsubscribe from these emails after a few days for the sake of your own sanity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Creating a group for company FAQs is a great example of how to use yammer, rather than maintaining individual web pages having posts and conversations keeps content fresh and up to date and is an excellent first port of call for new starters.

Group admins would ensure that content is kept up to date and be the “go to” people for new starters and long-time employees alike.

Employee Recognition

Yammer is a great place to showcase internal innovations and achievements.

Did someone just create a new breakthrough product or close a large sales deal? These kinds of posts belong on Yammer.

An alternative to a company newsletter

Does your company send a weekly/monthly newsletter via email? How many employees actually read these? Information posted on Yammer is far more likely to be read and by giving people the opportunity to reply with their own thoughts you’ll improve employee engagement and come up with ways to improve your business.

Posting Social Events

Everyone likes to have fun and most businesses will host company social events from time to time, yammer is the perfect vehicle of announcing events or for asking for suggestions for the next company fun day.

Allowing your users to post their own social events (maybe a quick drink after work or a lunch out somewhere) improves employee engagement and gives people the opportunity to meet people outside of their usual work circle.

Two good examples of social posting from an actual ISAAC customer are shown below, asking for book/movie recommendations is a great way to keep employees engaged and always leads to good conversations

When to use Yammer

Knowing which of the tools to use in Office 365 for a specific task isn’t always easy as there is often considerable overlap in functionality, it’s often best to break this down to three questions :- “who do I wish to talk to”? , “what is the topic”? and “how fast does the message need to travel”?

Microsoft uses what it calls the “loop” model, people on the “inner loop” are those people you work with and talk to on a daily basis, most likely people in your own team or department whilst the “outer loop” are those outside of your team or department with whom you share a connection but don’t interact with on a daily basis.

The message you wish to send also determines the tool you will use, do you need to speak to a colleague about an issue with a project you’re working on or are you sharing thoughts and ideas and wish to gather feedback?

The speed of your message is also an important consideration, if you need an answer quickly then Teams is the best tool, if however, you wish to send a non-urgent message or post to a wider audience then yammer is the tool of choice.

The table below illustrates some of these examples and suggests the correct tool for the job.

 

Situation Suggested Tool Comments
You need to ask a fellow team member about a project issue Teams Ad hoc conversations are best suited to Teams, these kinds of messages are generally transitory, and you may not need to search for them again in the future.
You need to work collaboratively on a project document with a fellow team member Teams Document co-authoring is available in Yammer but the team-based nature of this task suggests that this is better suited to Teams.
You find a useful article on the internet related to a project you are working on and wish to share it. Yammer This kind of information is easily lost in Teams, it is searchable, but Yammer search is better suited to this and then threaded comments in Yammer make this the more suitable tool.
You are organising a social event and wish to let other people know about it and get suggestions for a venue Yammer Yammer is inherently more social then Teams so this task is better served via yammer, comments and responses are more easily read plus functionality such as GIF replies adds an air of fun to this social post.
You are the head of a department and need to share some important news across the entire business Yammer Announcements and news are generally best shared via a social tool such as yammer rather than via Teams or Email, in addition senior management use of such tools encourages engagement and take-up of Yammer by others.

 

If you’d like to start using yammer in your organisation and would like assistance with implementation, or any other aspect of employee engagement then contact the ISSAC team who will be happy to assist you.