Yammer Customer Best Practice and Brainstorm Episode 5: Lurkers to Leaders
Published May 17 2022 06:10 AM 4,531 Views

This episode Lance Yoder & Pete Johns – share their knowledge and experiences and are joined by many customers throughout the conversation.


Watch the full recording here or take a look at the highlights below!


Join us for the next upcoming session, and watch the previous episodes and recordings here. 



Lurkers to leaders snapshot.PNG


Showcase behavior over documentation - don’t make people read between the lines, have leaders engage the way that is expected, and the community will learn through behavior  

  • Include clear purpose, clearly expressed so people can get started  
  • Modeling and including evidence of where it’s happening, could you include a link in the usage policy of what that looks like  
  • Constraints can bring freedom for people to play within the boundaries 

Create programs and policies that work within the culture, could you have a policy that just says something like “Don’t say anything you wouldn’t be proud to say in front of your grandma”!  

Tips for working closer with leaders 

  • The best thing that ever worked was a CEO who was willing to look vulnerable, “I don’t know the answer, but how about you ask @name of person”  
  • CEO Response – “great idea” -- not a canned statement, but go out and LIKE something and say a 2-3 response, the leader’s reaction helps validate that it is ok to ask the question 

Leaders are so fundamental to creating an environment of safety and collaboration, for people to engage in.  

Detailed data helps show the impact of a leader's interactions with the communities and conversations, 

  • “Not good enough” – show with data, to share the benefits and how to improve 
  • show cross siloed collaboration, the data shows  
  • What engagement you are inspiring, and expand the leader's exposure  
  • Try it out for X time period, try and experiment and track and show their impact of their behavior 

Resource: Leadership Engagement with Yammer 


How do you demonstrate the value of Yammer/communities to new hires or interns?  

  • Dogs at Microsoft – a way to connect and engage that would have been difficult for them to connect otherwise, build connections, employee engagement  
  • Organic communities are important and can evolve from a community to a full-blown D&I program.  


How do you include Yammer during onboarding? Where naturally a lot of new employees and lots of questions are intersecting?  

  • Home Depot – History community, Ask the Archivist, who is very active within this community  
  • Including Yammer in onboarding and orientation and people will funnel questions to Yammer, which has been part of the orientation since day one  
  • Share “soft places to land” in Yammer like cats, dogs, food, travel communities – naturally gravitate towards those places 
  • Want to know people beyond just their aprons  
  • Important to make sure the balance of work and interests, builds direct connection in case you have questions about inventory, product, customers etc. 
  • New hires seek Yammer for Employee benefits and discounts  
  • Finding something that leaders could use as a proxy for networks – leaders posting about the dogs, they must care about something, find that, for example it might not be about dogs, but it could be music – anything that becomes humanizing 
  • “IF it was my money” – Created a campaign and people contributed, even on day one about finding waste to save the company money.  

Blog Post – How Yammer can help connect remote employees during virtual onboarding


How do you balance the different tones that can appear in different communities? 

  • Official Yammer voice – at least for internal comms  
  • Funnel communications into a specific community  
  • Straightforward communications, vs specific personal leadership responses – similar to how email communications are done, like if it needs to be in formal voice  
  • Barrier to entry, no need to be too stiff, can be playful and not as formal – encourage both on the network  

Resource: Yammer Adoption Playbook with etiquette guides


Do you use influencers in your organization at all? How can you find the influencers?  

  • NRMA story about using the largest celebration of Mardi Gras, celebrate the event, strong beliefs to champions for a cause, there were people who hadn’t ever posted on Yammer before, freedom to get involved, not directly related to work, and yet they saw people come across all levels of the organization, formed a committee and community to create change for the organization, everyone could contribute from wherever they were, physically and digitally  
  • If you hit the right topic and you make it OK to engage, you’ll surface the influencers  


What kind of gamification or badging can help to encourage people?  

  • Intrinsic motivation - good old fashion human interaction, like when you get your questions answered and you can help answer questions 
  • Expectation to be gratified for something specific, and end up being gratified, reward loop, unexpected results, the more likely they are to re-engage with the community  
  • People are competitive, people move from one persona to the another based on level on interactions  
  • Gamification could help to find influencers easier  
  • But with our own natural biases, we pay different attention to different levels of the organization, your perception on the interactions could be different or swayed 
  • Must be careful on what qualifies people on a leaderboard 
  • If you can level up based on activity, people may try and “game” the system  


Join us next time! 

We aim to host Best Practices Brainstorms sessions monthly, with timing varying to cover the globe. Our next one #5 Better Together: Hybrid work with Yammer and Microsoft Teams, May 23 4:00 PST.   Register and add to your calendar now!  


And now we have a brand-new page that has the previous and upcoming Best Practice Brainstorms sessions so you can catch up on the ones you've missed! Take a look! 


If you’d like us to cover a particular topic, please let us know in the Yammer Customer Connections Community or leave a comment below!  

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