Q4: Yammer and Working Out Loud

Former Employee

Q4: How does Yammer help your organization Work out Loud? What features should admins and leaders be aware of?

28 Replies
The Discovery feed is something we recommend to use to get the pulse of what's happening in the network. A good option for execs to use and engage team members with kudos, reinforcing company goals/values, or answering questions.

Yammer is a platform to - first, communicate with a specific interest group or audience, easier way to communicate v/s emails if its meets the use cases, capturing feedbacks and suggestions through polls gives insights to what your users really want and can benefit from..

 

Leaders need to understand the benefits of moving away from email to adapt to the digital transformation of workplace.

We work in external groups with our clients to mitigate staffing turnover on both sides (another benefit of WOL).

As you're asking about admin and leadership features, I'd focus on making sure that group admins know the power of announcements. For example, this feature can be used to help keep a weekly status reporting team on task as they adopt a new behavior.

 

Also, make use of praise, both likes and the formal praise function. I think that's second only to leadership modeling as the most effective driver in-platform.

 

Plus, because I'm from a company where email is oxygen... I always share and train on the fact that every Yammer group has an email address and the ability to subscribe to posts in the group via email. Groups are often not united where every person has signed on to moving to a new platform or process, and knowing about email interoperability will often help a team move forward without feeling they have to drive 100% agreement first.

It helps me pull people into the conversation who don't belong in my team or are outside of a specific project. 

 

Leaders should be aware of the notes feature which is great for co-writing documentation with a virtual team.

Some ideas on how to use the features of Yammer to support working out loud are here:

 

https://docs.com/yammer-team/1609/how-to-work-out-loud-in-yammer-in-10-mins-a-day

Yammer helps with the integration of Office 365. Admins should have the views of reports to see how to measure and engage the community.

It enables people to connect, to share and to solve each others problems in an open and transparent way. People can find each other. People can discover Groups and work that is relevant to their work. People can call for help, review, information and assistance to do their work.

For me it is not such an issue of the features of Yammer. It has all needed and the Office365 Groups integration brings even more. The value is in the community management, the cultural work and the adoption that administrators and leaders need to drive. That's where the value of working out loud comes from.
The mobile apps, especially when people say "I don't have time for this".

Also, to expand, any features that end-users should take advantage of?

With the newer features rolling out, such as being able to create an Office doc from the Files section in any group, I've seen interest increase in Yammer overall. Though we've enjoyed a steady rate of participation. It seems that all it takes is for one person to try something--such as putting their entire project on Yammer--for others to get inspired to do something similar or a step further.

Interesting outcome @Chris Slemp ... Would love to hear more about that use case.

Some suggest starting in a private group and then switching to public when everyone is comfortable. You could make the argument for going the other direction: starting public and switching to private only if someone complains. Either way, just know that you have that option to switch if you're working TOO loud.

Yammer is all about discovery! It is incredibly easy to join new groups geared around initiatives like Work Out Loud, philanthropic endeavors, or v teams. The curated feed gives you content specific to your behavior. The easy ability to apply tags, loop in coworkers, and share files makes the whole process simple. Users, admins, and leaders should pay attention to where they are posting, to make sure that messages and information are kept in the right places.
to make connections: topics, groups, profile cards
to make contributions: likes, replies, forwarding posts by email
to share: groups, external messaging, external groups
to solve: creating and working on documents together, replies & much more

Yammer the platform, gives the opportunity for the conversation, print or verbally, to happen to even start to disucss things like working out loud, and culture change. 

 

In my last company, one of my team members was in the industry when the fax machine was introduced. And it CHANGED the way they did business. Radically. Effieciently. Producitively. A fax machine!

 

The mobile aspect to platforms like yammer are the game changer.

Our client engagements will often span several months to a year. In that time, we can almost be certain that staffing in our agency or on the client's team will change. Also, who on our team has corporate accounts with the client's network will vary from project to project. External groups frees us up from worrying about either of these things, and reduces the time I have to spend switching accounts or networks. Conversation history is retained of course for people rolling onto the project later. We also use shared task lists in either Asana or Wunderlist... so, the sooner Planner can support external guests, the better :)

Sharing photos or video is huge too. So fast to snap something in your work and put up an image from the mobile app. That can be far more engaging and useful than a long post. Avoids detailed descriptions that can be time consuming and complicated. Can be better for security of information.