By Tonya Mott, Director of Continuous Improvement
Do you ever feel like your job title could be “Professional Emailer”?
Pre-Yammer, I would have anywhere from 100 to 125 emails in my inbox on a daily basis. Post- Yammer I’m hovering around 50 to 65. I don’t know about you, but if I have 125 emails in my inbox, I start getting that anxious feeling.
Yammer is a social networking tool that allows employees to openly connect and engage across your organization. It’s a tool that can be used to discuss ideas, share updates, and network with others around the globe.
Our Yammer story began about two years ago. Out of the blue, a colleague sent me an invite to Yammer. I logged in, saw something that resembled Facebook and posted, “I don’t know what Yammer is but I’m excited to learn more!” Then I went on my merry way and never looked at it again, until….
Months went by and I had an epiphany. WHY we needed to use Yammer clicked. It happened after I sent a couple of messages to the masses via email (you know, cc: everyone and their mom). Here are examples of the emails that clog up my inbox:
“Who wants the carpet cleaned in their office?”
This message is followed by 10 responses – Yes, no, yes, no, yes, yes, who, what, when, where, and why. This requires me to respond, delete, file, etc.
“It’s Clean the Fridge Friday!”
This would be followed by 16 “reply all” consisting of funny sarcastic responses, jokes, memes, pictures, etc. Don’t get me wrong- I enjoy a good laugh and our office humor is top of the line. When done via email it creates work for me: respond (I’ve got to ‘one up’ someone else’s meme), delete, file, etc.
Here’s how we got started (the epiphany)…I needed to make a change to an email distribution list and inform the entire team. My normal course of action would have been to send a mass email. I hovered over the send button, hesitated, and began to hear my colleagues’ internal thoughts when they realized I have added to their inbox clutter. I decided to send this message via Yammer. I sent invites to the entire office to join the network and then posted informing every one of the email address change. I also let them know that I would be posting all phone and IT updates in this group going forward. The rest is history.
Yammer took off like wild fire. We now have 24 different Yammer groups including our “All Company” group where we can share general info and updates. We use Yammer to collaborate around certain projects and keep our entire team informed.
If you’d like to explore implementing Yammer for your team, here are a few suggestions:
- Get your leadership team onboard 2. Have someone in your office be the Yammer Champion
- Have the Champion schedule time with each person to customize their Yammer settings in a
- way that works for them.
- Create a “Yammer 101” group, invite your teammates to join
- Post these video links in the group and encourage your teammates to watch them. The videos explain how Yammer can help with communication in your organization.
30 minutes (the first eight minutes were the most insightful):
- Keep posting tips to encourage users
- Come up with rules and guidelines to follow when it comes to communicating via email or Yammer. For example, you could decide that all email is only for communicating with individuals that are outside of your organization and Yammer is for all internal communication.
In conclusion, Yammer has made our team invincible; therefore I have to end this message with these timeless lyrics:
That’s word because you know You can’t touch this (oh-oh oh oh-oh-oh) You can’t touch this (oh-oh oh oh-oh-oh) Break it down (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh oh-oh) (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh oh-oh) Stop! Yammer time!