How and how often you communicate with members of your organization has a direct impact on things like employee morale and retention, and 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. Because most people today are used to social media, Yammer provides an easy way to expand your communication reach across your 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 get started 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 Yammer Can Help You
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 uses 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, and where you can 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. Over time, that can help you literally transform your company.
Yammer: 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/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 Yammer is easy to use, 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 (if you or your company has yet to do so)
- 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 get started on Yammer. To a certain degree, the best way to learn about the tool is to use it regularly.
Now that you understand what Yammer has to offer, you can decide if it’s a good fit for you, your co-workers, and your internal communication strategy as a whole.
Should you decide to implement Yammer as your internal communication tool, learn more about our analytics tools to truly maximize your investment. With these tools, you can leverage the value of Yammer in many ways, including by:
- Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of your internal communication
- Analyzing how your announcements are performing
- Boosting engagement
- Comparing user behavior
- Empowering managers with key performance indicators
When you combine Yammer’s features with our analytics tools, you have the foundation for a strong internal communication strategy.