Yammer is an incredibly powerful and useful workplace tool and it’s been popping up in the news more and more with recent case studies around British Airways, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. We want to have a look at what it is, why it’s useful and share some tips to help you get the most from using Yammer effectively.
What is Yammer?
Yammer is an enterprise social collaboration tool – essentially like Facebook for businesses - that provides a portal where all employees can connect, message and work together. This gives employees a platform where they are allowed (or even encouraged) to be more publicly social, informal and inventive without the intrusion of emailing everyone.
So why are businesses jumping onto Yammer? We would say there are two reasons. Firstly, this social community platform helps businesses to innovate and become a closer team, which has become very important in today’s start-up and ‘culture’ driven business generation. Secondly, and more simply, Yammer comes included with Microsoft Office 365 and as more businesses take advantage of the wide offerings that Office 365 brings, they are also gaining access to Yammer.
So, what do businesses use Yammer for? We’ve rounded up a selection of our favourite tips and ideas to help you think of new ways to use Yammer.
Yammer Tips & Uses
Post new business announcements – this can help share the positive feeling with the company and also prepare key team members about an upcoming client onboarding.
Post social invites – if a few of you plan to go out after work, or for lunch why not post it and extend the invite. You wouldn’t email the whole company but posting on Yammer lets people know they’re invited without putting yourself out of your comfort zone. This can help you get to know colleagues and encourage cross-department socialising.
Post interesting links – Found something you find interesting? Post it on Yammer! Whether its work related or more general, posting useful links is a great way to start a conversation and share ideas.
Use its powerful search – Yammer has powerful search capabilities built on Enterprise Graph, so anything posted on Yammer can easily be found. This also can allow Yammer to be used for ‘bookmarking’ by posting links and information in a Group that you can always go back and refer to.
Find the right person - If you ever need to find something out but have no idea where to start you can simply post it on Yammer. The right person can respond or people can help point you in the right direction faster.
Get people together - Do you have a group of colleagues who want to play basketball, or want to car share? Create a group and post all your updates there and even invite people to join. These could be after work sports events, a book club, anything!
Local information – Why not create a group for your local office or if you’re based in one office create a ‘Local’ group. This could be a place for sharing fun things you’ve found going on in the area, to giving everyone a traffic update.
Give feedback – If you have an idea, why not share it and receive feedback? It could come back with helpful ways to improve, or even be seen by the right person who wants to action it straight away!
Post fun things – post jokes or funny pictures that you think colleagues will find amusing to brighten their day.
Create a Group for anything – By creating groups you can target specific content, such as: HR group, Cycle to Work group, Christmas party group or New starter group. Be sure to check that there isn’t an existing group to avoid duplicates!
Reduce emails – As we strive towards ‘inbox zero’ think whether you really need to send the information by email, or if it could be posted on Yammer to help keep colleague inboxes cleaner.
Create your ideal notifications – You can customise whether you want to receive lots of emails notifications or few by changing your preference (see how to do this here).
Tag people and topics – to make sure certain people see messages or to include them in the conversation ‘tag’ them by putting @ before their name. Also tag topics using # to help improve search around these topics.
Start a poll – want to find out something? Why not create a poll and share this with your department or company. Results show anonymously and you can quickly find out where the majority vote lies.
Praise a colleague – Sometimes it’s nice to show your appreciation and praising colleagues on Yammer is a fun and easy way to do it, as well as giving some visibility on it so the person can get the recognition they deserve. This could be a one-off thanks to someone fixing something, or could bring a competitive element to praise who won the most sales that week etc.
A place for the non-critical things – Do you ever have something you want to share with colleagues but it’s not important enough for email? Yammer is a perfect place for this.
Post updates – Departments or individuals can post updates about what they’re working on to build a better community spirit. Whether its letting employees know what blogs are going out that month or updating them on a new business deal.
Share pictures – Everybody loves a good photo, so why not post some on Yammer? This could be a recent work social event, team building pics or Christmas do photos and with SharePoint integration its even easier to share photo albums.
Do some internal marketing – Keep employees updated and onboard with the company vision, brand and messaging but using Yammer as an internal marketing communications platform. Build team spirit and show how fun it is to work at your company by sharing events, photos and company messages to build internal brand advocates.
A place to keep meeting minutes – Yammer can be a useful place to keep meeting minutes so everyone has access to them (or SharePoint!) and then can easily find the minutes when the next meeting comes around.
Have you got any more Yammer tips? Let us know!