Yammer Customer Best Practice and Brainstorm – Episode Three: Sticky Situations
Published Sep 30 2021 09:00 AM 5,611 Views

In case you missed it, we gathered with customers from across the globe to have a conversation about Yammer best practices for dealing with difficult conversations in your Yammer network. We worked through a variety of real-life scenarios that customers brought to the table with the results. We learned from each other's experiences and gained some new insights that we can bring back to the different organizations using Yammer.  


Take a listen to the recording and catch up on the main points below.  



1. Real life scenarios for dealing difficult conversations on Yammer…what you would do?  

  • There’s no silver bullet when dealing with these situations. It will require some nuance depending on the topic and the people involved. 
  • Are leaders involved and engaged? When leaders are participating it’s sort of like having chaperones present.
  • If a user feels embarrassed, they might try self-regulating behaviors – like deleting their own post, but that might not always be the right thing to do…
  • These opportunities could be a chance to remind people: 
    • Their purpose at their organization
    • What the policy is for their use of Yammer
    • What your employment policy is
    • Assuming positive intent
    • Recap core values of the organizational
    • Could be an opportunity for mediation if necessary
    • Community needs to know someone else is paying attention and doing something
  • Close the loop on the conversation, what do you do/say and what you don’t do/say also makes a difference.
  • Sometimes you’ll need to pull in people outside of Yammer to help diffuse situation, like HR, another subject matter expert, etc. 
  • Use the product to help and to provide clear guidelines of expectations:
  • Handling different perspective, honoring the different perspectives.
    • Humor, sarcasm, hard to translate digitally, in print
    • Understanding cultures norms that may differ
  • Customer created a pinned post in the All Company feed … “Do you really want to share this?”
    • Included a simple checklist of best practices for what to share
    • Create campaign, training to educate about a few questions to have a guideline of what to post


2. How do you deal with the younger generation, lots of turn over, using Yammer?  

  • Training, examples of what to share, and expectations.
  • Leaders can act like chaperones with their presence, by engaging, interaction. 
  • KFC Australia – Case StudyEngaging Teens on Yammer.  
    • Enable store managers, champions
    • Very specific with the culture they instill through Yammer
    • Change or set the town in your Yammer network to model the types of behaviors you want people to see
    • Lots of competition between the stores
    • A lot of regional leaders who would post pictures of their stores, that level of activity encourages the behavior that you’d want to see in a participatory way


3. Polarizing topics – what do you do when the model of negative conversation becomes the norm for your community? 

  • “Refresh” or reset the community's acceptable and expected behaviors. 
    • For example, when a community that has a topic that keeps resurfacing to the topic, keeping the integrity of the community, share what the community purpose is, why they are there, and what will happen if they continue to see behavior that doesn’t meet the expectations.  

Customer Example: Transport for London 

  • Often they don’t typically step into conversation, but connect people to the right people to address the difficult conversation and close the loop on Yammer. 
  • One or two people have taken it too far, the community manager reached out to have the member remove or re-word. Community manager will step into the conversation and explain about how the house rules were broken and post a follow up.  
  • Open and Collaborative as far as possible – to refresh specific threads. 

Customer Example: Siemens  

  • Yammer community increased exponentially overnight, difficult time and lot of complaints via Yammer.  
    • Answered ALL the questions  
    • Did not delete
    • Tried to be as transparent as possible
  • Some complaints were offensive – so they share some guidelines about posting… we have the possibility to delete the post. 
    • They’ve only had to delete one, they reached out the person directly to coach them
  • The answers turned the complaints into a positive conversation, pushed to the top, the first impressions impacted the future of the community.

Example Customer - Siemens - Positive conversation.png


Customer Example: Cerner 

  • “Refresh” a community – changed the direction that the community was headed, the Office 365 Yammer community – moved from one product to another, many complaints, short timelines, essentially they “moved everyone’s cheese.”  
    • A lot of reactiveness about the product, and everyone piling onto threads
    • Conversations started to even become “shadow IT” and they would share about ways to circumvent the changes… 
  • Community owners decided to be proactive instead of reactive by establishing an editorial calendar.  
    • Instead of waiting for something bad to come in, they flooded the feed with positive interactions and behaviors that they wanted to see from others 
    • They could then OWN the message for the community  
    • They posted “Did you know” videos to create buzz and excitement  
    • They began humanizing the community by having their IT team on camera for live events: 
      • Tip videos that connected faces to names  
      • Ask the experts, two-way dialogue
      • Included Yammer Q&A 
  • Turnaround the community, the owners and team felt the appreciation, fed a lot of morale back into the community team. 


4. Any tools that could be added to help monitor these types of situations? 

  • Monitor conversations – edit keyword monitoring, close a conversation, and report conversations  
  • Sentiment analysis 
    • Think about the escalation process and how do your community admins know about the process? 
      • Report Conversation workflow 
      • Determine who from HR, Security, Technology, Legal, and who are the people at your company that can get included to act on the post 
      • Create a distribution or Teams channel that act as the front line and the people can respond quickly about it to jump on and act 
      • Most conversations that get reported, were that someone disagreed with the poster, not necessarily inappropriate  
      • Revisit the process yearly, to review what has happened and if the process needs to be adjusted 
      • Often times when people go way out of bounds, its usually a known person, if you are partnering with HR, they could help mediate the conversation quickly


5. How is Yammer supporting the goals and the mission of the organization? 

  • London Underground extended two new stations, and they interviewed people and lots of photos and experiences of the first train ride, video their journey and everyone posted it on Yammer, very coordinated approach, using a hashtag, across the SharePoint too, lots of interactions and posts. 
  • When it is time to step away and recharge for your employees, appropriate time to step away from Yammer, so it’s important that Yammer supports the wellness, health, mindfulness, and culture of your organization. 


Related Resources: 


Thanks for joining us! Stay tuned for more customer conversations in the coming months.  

Version history
Last update:
‎Sep 30 2021 08:07 AM
Updated by: