Simple tactics to show the power of Yammer

Published Feb 26 2019 09:00 AM 10.4K Views
Occasional Contributor

When I introduce Yammer to different groups at the Bank, it’s often initially met with intrigue, followed by a healthy dose of skepticism about its purpose and how they can benefit from it.  Those are fair questions.  While I’m all for leveraging new technologies, there has to be a real tangible benefit to them – otherwise why would employees bother using them? 

Introducing new technology means employees need to make time, which they don’t have, to learn how to use it.  So it’s my responsibility to help show how they can benefit from the power of collaboration in Yammer.  


So how do I do that? Here's a few of the tactics I've used with my own organization. 


The Power of Numbers

Well, in addition to explaining the purpose of Yammer at Bank of Montreal -  which, simply put, is to engage employees to work across silos to get work done faster by leveraging the knowledge of others, I make it a point to share how many employees are actively using Yammer in our organization – and the speed at which it’s growing.  Sharing that number is important.  Why?  Well for one, employees quickly realize that they can now tap into the knowledge of far more people than the handful of colleagues they think may know the answer. This means that they can get an answer more quickly, and, quite possibly they may even receive more than one answer. 



But there’s another reason why sharing this number is important  -  FOMO (fear of missing out).   Yes you did read that correctly – FOMO.  It’s quite powerful actually.  Think about it.  If you have a good number of employees on your Yammer network, and that network is rapidly growing, employees will want to know what all the “buzz” is about and be eager to get on.


Understand your Users

Getting employees interested in joining the Yammer network is good, but that’s just the beginning.  As I previously mentioned , what’s key is helping them understand how they can benefit from using it. Otherwise they’ll sign in, poke around and quite possibly never return. 

To help employees understand how they can benefit from Yammer, I need to know how they work,  what’s important to them, and their current pain points.  And it’s not hard to collect that information – I just ask!  I also find that it helps to be active on Yammer and familiar with the larger public Yammer groups – both business and personal.  This way I can share a few of the groups that they may be interested in so they have an idea of where to go when they join Yammer. 


For example, in our Yammer network we have a group dedicated to corporate and BYOD mobile devices where employees can get the latest updates and ask questions related to their mobile devices.  If I’m talking to a group of employees that have corporate or BYOD devices, I always ensure I mention this group because I know how important mobile devices are to employees.  I also show them threads from the group.  I have found this to be extremely powerful because employees can see first-hand how they can benefit from the various groups.


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The Power of Why

Lastly I share real examples of positive changes that occurred because someone took a few minutes of their time to ask “Why” on Yammer.  Why do we do things this way?  Why can’t we change this? Being active in our Yammer network, I see these amazing wins every day.  I add the topic #Yammerwin  to these threads so I can easily find them and show employees how their colleagues affected change to an organization by just posting a question.  When I understand what’s important to employees in various groups across the organization, I can explain how they can leverage Yammer as a platform to help them achieve their goals in ways they could never do with the other existing tools we have.


I love energizing my organization on the power of Yammer.  Winning some teams over can be more challenging than others, but I find the techniques I’ve mentioned above generally garner me the results I’m looking for.


I’d love to hear how you help employees in your organization understand the benefit of using Yammer.  Please share with the community by replying to this post. 







Hi everyone, my name is Tanya and I have an awesome role working in the Employee Technology Experience and Communications team at Bank of Montreal (BMO), where I actively lead the adoption of our Office 365 collaboration tools. I've played a key role in the implementation of Yammer, SharePoint, OneDrive and Exchange Online in or organization. I've had the pleasure of connecting with our employees and sharing the value of these modern workplace tools as a featured speaker at a number of our internal employee digital transformation events and as a host of TechTalk a monthly BMO tech podcast series. I'm passionate about making technology fun and easy to use, so employees can make the most of the tools available to them. I'm thrilled to be a part of this Yammer blog community.

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