Today’s post on Yammer was written by Sid Arora from iLink Systems.
iLink Systems delivers next-generation technology solutions to help clients solve complex business challenges, improve organizational effectiveness, increase business productivity, realize sustainable enterprise value and transforms businesses inside and out.
Our CEO, Sree, a strong advocate of the eat-your-own-dog-food philosophy, envisioned the iLink enterprise-level social network as one that can achieve internally for iLink what we claimed possible for our customers through our services—help achieve a cultural transformation.
Since we live and breathe SharePoint both internally and externally, integration with Yammer seemed the logical choice to provide the needed social fabric experience, but we wanted to be thoughtful about how to bring a new tool into the organization and how it would create value for us.
Within a short amount of time, Yammer started living up to its potential to foster a more connected and engaged culture. Being a technology services delivery company, we had many excited users from different parts of the organization come onboard within the first month of launch and have also seen a steady increase in that number to a point where most iLink teams and employees have now embraced Yammer.
One of the early success stories that helped the social networking tool gain popularity and mainstream acceptance was its use to announce a big data training to be conducted by an internal expert. Owing to the amount of interest and discussion generated, a Yammer group was created by the participants to store and share relevant content and news. This has grown to become one of the largest and more active groups within Yammer with a lot of knowledge sharing and discussions.
Senior executives were aware and had started considering the need for a tool that was easy to use, social and could help people truly connect across levels and functions. Yammer served as the right platform, not only for unifying employees across geographies and languages, but also helped make employees more collaborative and engaged. Yammer has now started to become the de facto medium for broadcasting and seeking information, be it about latest trends in technology, process excellence, our delivery wins, or any internal/external trainings. It was a pleasant surprise to see the sales force embrace this channel early on, both to share latest customer wins as well as connect and find technical experts and information more easily.
Of course, communication between employees has picked up, with conversations transcending departmental and regional boundaries. We are starting to see seeds of Yammer blooming into a breeding ground for innovation. It has empowered various groups to lead in new ways by bringing people together who share common interests and want to share ideas and collaborate on next-gen technologies.
Yammer has already improved the flow of information and ideas at all levels, such as between senior management and employees. There is a lot of excitement about the possibilities that Yammer opens up for us, including:
Empowerment—Through enabling employees access to senior management and experts more easily, as well as help new employees get oriented faster on who’s who and what’s what. New employees can onboard faster to projects due to the opportunity to understand relevant context from Yammer conversations, which may have been previously been lost or hidden in individual emails. Employees can also learn about activities happening in other departments and locations.
Listening to the workforce—By the very nature of Yammer being a two-sided network, taking it to the next level where it can help not only to get the word out on any internal initiative, technology or policy, but can also serve as a place to seek valuable feedback. Sree’s vision is to see Yammer help bring about a cultural transformation that breaks down internal barriers and replaces current top-down driven decisions by multiple dialogs and cross-group collaboration.
It’s still early, but Yammer is already starting to prove itself to be the online work environment needed to consolidate internal communications, help employees connect, share and collaborate to meet business objectives.