How and how often you communicate with members of your organization has a direct impact on things like employee morale and retention as well as knowledge and adoption of important policies and procedures. Unfortunately, memos and emails often sit unopened. Enter Yammer.
If you’re looking for a better way to connect with employees and engage people across your organization, Yammer may be the solution to all your problems. Yammer — a Microsoft product — is best defined as an enterprise social networking service used for private communication within organizations. With most people used to interacting on social media, using Yammer for internal communications provides an easy way to expand your reach across the entire organization.
What can Yammer Do?
When it comes to internal communication, a better question may be “what can’t you do with Yammer?” In an overall sense, Yammer is used to communicate with members of your organization, such as by:
- Sending and receiving messages to and from colleagues
- Engaging in chat-style communication
- Conducting live, one-on-one or group conversations
- Creating and joining communities such as project-based workgroups
Adding to the power of Yammer is its easy-to-use, streamlined interface. This allows anyone to start using Yammer effectively without a steep learning curve. Because it feels more like using a social media platform than work, it’s a great tool for fostering engagement.
How Do I Use Yammer?
In its most basic form, Yammer is an internal communication tool that allows you to get in touch and stay in touch with co-workers. When you dig deeper, however, you may find that it may actually be your answer for creating a more well-informed, closely-knit workforce where people are engaged and supporting each other. Some suggested parts of a Yammer strategy include:
- Creating communities based on specific departments, project collaborations or informational needs. Because communities can be open to everyone or by invite only, you have full control over how people are grouped. Such communities can be places where employees can communicate with others in their departments or on cross-functional, project-based teams. You can use Yammer to deliver information that is specifically targeted to those individuals.
- Sharing company memos, bulletins and important announcements companywide. Emails from the communications department can be easy to ignore when employees are racing against the clock to get their work done in time. However, a quick ping on Yammer is a great way to get their attention so they’ll take a look at important communications. Yammer’s ability to upload files means you no longer have to attach files to emails and hope they get read. On top of this, since Yammer is a Microsoft tool, you can attach Word documents and Excel spreadsheets directly inside Yammer.
- Broadcast pitches to employees via live events. An option for bringing members of your community together, live events can be held in either a “public” or “private” format. With the ability to have up to 10,000 people in a live event, this feature is big enough for most companies. Because an engaged, connected workforce is critical for employee morale and retention, hosting live events on Yammer is critically valuable. When top management can address large groups at once and give them the opportunity to react live and ask questions, employees tend to feel valued and heard.
- From basic uses — such as sending updates to team members — to more complex uses — such as holding a live event — Yammer is built to improve the efficiency of how you communicate internally in the modern digital workplace. Over time, using Yammer effectively can help you literally transform your company.
How Do I Use Hashtags and Topics?
As with other social platforms, organizing information on Yammer can get messy, and the more people that are on the platform, the more difficult it is to organize.
Yammer makes organizing conversations and knowledge easier through the use of two features: hashtags and topics. Similar to other platforms, Yammer hashtags are meant to flag posts as part of a large, trending discussion. For example, if people are posting about the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show, they might want to use the hashtag “#CES”.
Yammer Topics are a bit different than hashtags. Rather than being part of the actual message, topics act more like attached metadata, which can be used to organize posts for later reference. Any user can affix a topic tag to a particular post. Clicking on one of the displayed topics on a post leads to a page for that specific topic.
Essentially, hashtags are best used in the course of real-time communication, whereas topics are more suited for long-term discussions.
Other top features
Yammer isn’t short on features. It’s full of everything you need to communicate in an efficient and effective manner. Additional top features include:
- Enterprise microblogging
- Office 365 integration
- A searchable company directory
- High-level security
- Message and content tagging
- Profile pages
- Search functionality
- Secure data storage
- Task tracking
- Third-party integration
- To-do lists and prioritizing
- An activity dashboard
- Data import and export
- Message inbox with priority settings
- Automatic notifications
- Compliance management
- Document distribution
- Role-based permissions
- Archiving and data retention
- Version control
- Document management
- Email notifications
While using Yammer for internal communications is easy, with a surprisingly flat learning curve, you’ll also find yourself always finding new features to improve how you communicate across your organization.
How to get started on Yammer
Just like other social networking tools of today, getting started with Yammer is a simple process. Here’s what you need to do:
- Access Yammer via your Office 365 subscription
- Edit your profile
- Create a new community or join existing communities
- Experiment with the many forms of communication, ranging from inbox messages to communities
It really is that simple to start developing a Yammer strategy. To a certain degree, the best way to learn about the tool is to use it regularly.
How Can I Get The Most Out of Yammer?
Should you decide to start using Yammer for internal communications and employee engagement, analytics tools from Tryane can leverage the value of a Yammer strategy in many ways, including by:
- Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of your internal communication. Analyze the performance of announcements and benchmark your performance against similar organizations.
- Boosting engagement. Identify low-activity users, recognize high levels of
- Identify trending topics. Keep a finger on the pulse of employee conversation and which announcements are gaining traction.
- Empowering managers with key performance indicators. KPIs show department managers where their team is engaged and how their team stacks up to other departments.
- Unlocking new insights through AI. Leverage artificial intelligence to gather insights on specific topics, identify subject matter experts and analyze employee sentiment.
When you combine Yammer’s features with our analytics tools, you have the foundation for a strong internal communication strategy. Contact Tryane today to learn more about using Yammer for internal communications and getting the most out of this popular productivity tool.