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One of the great benefits of using Yammer is the fact that it enables you and your colleagues to move beyond email. Often an idea stops developing as soon as the person you’ve emailed chooses not to respond. Or a necessary file is mistakenly not attached to a message. The good work you are trying to do hits a virtual brick wall.

 

As perfectly illustrated in this wonderful two and a half minute video about email communications from VinJones.com, email communication can be difficult. Decision are hard to track and access is difficult to control. It could be that more time is spent trying to determine who is saying what and when rather than engaging in the work itself.

 

Yammer can help.

 

Yammer enables users see and participate in conversations in a way that makes sense. A post is made (i.e. an email is sent), and people can respond to the post (i.e. replies are made) in a way that is clear, simple, in-line and easy to read. A file can be attached or linked in a post or response, and that file can easily be viewed and edited by all conversation participants while a complete version history is maintained so changes are easily tracked. There is transparency and collaboration, and work gets done.

 

There are effective ways to use email to help encourage Yammer engagement and adoption and compelling your colleagues to use the new platform.

 

Every item in Yammer has a unique web address of its own. A link can be shared to direct any user to any specific Yammer profile, post, response, topic or file. So, if colleague can’t find a particular conversation within Yammer, an email can be sent that links your colleague directly to the information they are trying to find.

 

Link images.JPG

 

If someone lost track of a conversation, they can be sent a link to take them straight to the most recent comment post. If topics (otherwise known as #hashtags) are being attached to files, colleagues can be sent a link that takes them to a specific collection of files that pertains to their work.

 

We can be proactive too. We can anticipate colleagues’ needs and challenges in an effort to increase usage and de-escalate potential frustration and confusion.

 

Here's a few more ways you can include Yammer within email...

 

  1. Send a monthly email to all staff highlighting (and linking to) key resources and conversations. Colleagues will anticipate these messages that easily connects them to information they want and need. 
  2. For those times that group emails are still being used, reinforce the benefits of your Yammer network by linking to related groups, conversations and resources.
  3. Any time information is requested over email that exists in your Yammer network, kindly respond with a link to the requested information.
  4. Every Yammer group has a dedicated email address that you can send messages to post. Or you can subscribe to the group and receive every message as an email. 
    Access via email.JPG

Launching a new platform, and asking your colleagues to work in new ways using new tools, is a process that may be filled with opportunities for confusion and frustrations if you aren’t prepared. But there are also opportunities for more collaboration, transparency and effectiveness. Recognize the opportunities before you, and use all the tools at your disposal to launch, sustain and grow your Yammer network.

 

Let us know, how else are you using Yammer and email together? 

 

 

Larry Glickman.jpg

 

Larry Glickman is the Director of Network Engagement and Collaboration for the Union for Reform Judaism. He helps more than 12,000 lay and professional leaders of their Movement connect and collaborate in their Yammer enterprise networks. Larry works with leaders and congregations to help them be more transparent and collaborative in their work, and to embrace habits that will empower them to make the best use of the Yammer technology. He is new Office Apps & Services MVP and blogs, teaches and speaks regularly about issues of collaboration and technology.