Adopting Yammer to communicate and collaborate with colleagues across the organization, outside of normal operational teams, then making this part of regular, day to day, behavior, requires clear and identifiable business vision and objectives and full management support to integrate the new behavior into ongoing business activities. However, successful adoption means change at an individual level throughout the organization. There are a number of key methods an organization can use to engage employees and support the change.
Excite Communications – Raise awareness and excitement on the capabilities of Yammer reflecting the business objectives and benefits of adoption at a company, team and individual level.
Ultimately, we as individuals, have to see clear advantages to working in new ways to provide that desire to change – what’s in it for me!?
Yammer is inclusive to all. From day one, everyone across the organization can have a profile, a presence, and a voice. We can join communities where we have an interest or expertise, join conversations, post ideas, share best practices and success stories, answer questions, and respond to requests for help. All our contributions are visible to the entire organization and we can build a reputation both in a subject matter and for collaborating with and helping our colleagues. We can never write down all our knowledge and only by active participation will we find where something in our past experience can help others.
Yammer enables us to access to all the expertise in the organization. Very often, particularly in a large enterprise, we do not know where that expertise resides and who to ask. We can post questions to expert communities or to “All Company.” It is often surprising where a critical piece of knowledge exists.
We can create and be part of expert communities on all key business topics, collaborating with colleagues to solve problems, resolve issues and enhance our own, and the organization’s knowledge base in that key area. That knowledge base and our contribution is then visible and accessible to the entire business.
The larger the organization, the more we may be unaware of. Scanning the Yammer communities keeps us in touch with key activities across the company while enhancing our organizational learning and our wider knowledge of the company we work for.
Yammer Champions Network: Yambassadors – Employees who can evangelize the benefits and adoption of Yammer and support their colleagues locally.
Champions are colleagues who are enthusiastic about New Ways of Working with Yammer and who will build awareness and drive understanding and engagement in their business units and locations.
Champions will provide colleagues with a local resource for guidance, coaching and Q&A support.
The main roles of Champions are in organization – liaising with colleagues and business managers to adopt Yammer into day to day business processes and activities of their specific organization – and evangelization – leading by example, promoting the use of Yammer, demonstrating the features and benefits, sharing knowledge and “how to” with their team and function. Champions will signpost colleagues to appropriate training and support resources.
Champions will also support each other, being active members of a Champions Network, engaging with other Champions, attending briefings, trainings, and periodic review meetings. They’ll providing feedback on issues, resistance, and overall progress of adoption to the project team.
Training and awareness program comprising online resources and support, with targeted launch event sessions
Yammer is a very intuitive application to use, but awareness of the features and functionality, best practices, tips and tricks, use cases and success stories all help drive adoption. Microsoft provide an online learning portal, Microsoft Learning Pathways SharePoint Online site, with training guides and videos kept up to date by Microsoft and customizable for organization specific material and content.
Having an active Yammer User Community, on Yammer itself, advertising new features and functionality, answering questions, a place to post success stories and best practices, moderated by champions, is a great way to engage colleagues and shop window Yammer as a collaborative application.
In an office environment, champions can host events, lunch and learn sessions, drop-in clinics, and hold displays in entrance halls, breakout areas and restaurants to catch the eye of passers by.
Executives can host “Ask Me Anything” sessions where they are online on Yammer for an hour answering any questions from around the organization.
Yammer On-the-Go – Encourage the use of Yammer on mobile devices.
We can log on to Yammer from any location, at any time, on any device – PC, tablet, smart phone – to access all communities, news feeds, inbox and notifications, making us a truly agile and flexible workforce. This particularly benefits frontline workers who do not have regular access to an office or PC, keeping them in the know and feeling more integrated into the business. We can post conversations and announcements, add photos, attach files, record and edit video, all from our mobile devices.
Yammer has full integration with Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, Stream and other Microsoft 365 applications which enriches the content available to everyone.
Once everyone is aware of the ways Yammer can benefit communication, collaboration, productivity and effectiveness at the individual, team and organizational level, then adoption will dramatically increase.
Next up in the Yammer Adoption series: Reinforcing the Cultural Change
About the Author
Brian Holness is a Business Change Consultant in New Signature’s UK Professional Services, specializing in the adoption of the Microsoft 365 suite of digital applications to drive new, transformative ways of working for our clients. Main interests outside of work are football and cricket, now very much as a spectator.