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Yammer can play a central role in the successful ongoing digital transformation of businesses. But unfortunately, many companies fail to use Yammer to the extent that return on investment is attainable. They fail to build and grow an internal social network that employees can actually use to produce results for the business.  

Whereas Microsoft Teams is perfect for connecting a small team around a project, Yammer is ideal for connecting all employees in an organization. It gives employees a space where they can connect with coworkers, share documents, initiate teamwork and stay informed. The search and discovery capabilities help keep employees up to date on all important subjects. It has never been easier for executives and managers to connect and speak to team members across departments.

One of the biggest culprits holding companies back from reaching the full capabilities of Yammer is lack of user adoption. To expand your Yammer user base, first, focus on features that will lead to big wins in terms of user adoption.

Look Into the Low Usage Problem

Companies often fall into the trap of just assuming employees will start and continue using Yammer after deployment. This kind of laissez faire approach tends to produce a small group of tech-inclined super-users who use the platform to discuss a very limited set of subjects that interest them while the rest of the workforce remains indifferent. The result is often a small user base. Seldom does this kind of approach lead to successful user adoption of the platform. To bring more users to Yammer, an ongoing push is needed.

Start by helping the majority of people bring their common tasks to the platform. But, first, make sure your user training is effective.

Combine the 5 Most Effective User Training Programs

Successful and sustainable user adoption starts with effective user training, help and support.

The combination of the following five user training programs has proven to produce the optimal outcomes.

  1. Run live training sessions to provide an overview of the platform.
  2. Build a training site where end users can find help items and tutorials whenever needed.
  3. Broadcast daily training emails to ensure ongoing learning.
  4. Hold Q&A sessions to provide end users with peer-to-peer learning opportunities.
  5. Install a context-sensitive help add-on to provide one-click help and step-by-step popup walkthroughs.

Once end users are familiar with Yammer and know where to find help, run campaigns that drive them to make use of the commonly used features.

Related Article: How Do We Fund the Office 365 Training We Need?

Focus on the Commonly Used Features

Most employees don’t go a week without taking part in meetings, discussions, announcements and team building. If Yammer serves these needs first, the user base will expand significantly. To make this happen, efforts should include profile creation, sharing documents, driving discussions, and organizing meetings.

1. Make sure everyone creates a profile

Getting started with Yammer involves creating a profile. Having employees create rich profiles pays off in the long run. From making informed decisions to completing projects, many times, you would need input from coworkers across departments. Get everyone to create a profile that describe responsibilities, interests and more importantly, expertise to aid in future collaboration efforts.

Implement an incentive program to maximize participation rate. Reward everyone for comprehensively completing their profile but prioritize those who do it the fastest.

When a new task requires teamwork, a user will know how to quickly find collaborators within the organization. All it takes is submitting a question and other people will use the mention feature to recommend experts.

Related Article: Test Your Digital Workplace People Finder Score

2. Share documents

For many projects, one of the most time-consuming tasks is searching for current files. A file shared in a Yammer group is a file that is easier to find. Plus, your coworkers are always certain about the version of the file being used.

Departments and executives can create separate groups where relevant documents can be shared with relevant groups. Even a CEO can hold a separate group where they can communicate with the entire organization directly.

The deep integration with other Office 365 applications means that document creation, editing and deletion are actually shared tasks. Best practices, legal guidelines, HR requests … any document can easily be updated and made accessible to all relevant people in no time.

Start by creating groups and sharing all the images, videos and Office 365 documents that can be of interest to everyone in the company. It is about creating an information and resources hub that gives people a reason to use Yammer regularly.

3. Drive discussions

Yammer features allow you to enable fruitful discussions with colleagues. With just a few clicks, managers and team leaders can broadcast announcements to all team members at once and easily collect feedback in form of questions, comments and suggestions, keeping everyone up to date on all things that matter.

To help everyone get started, initiate activities that make use of the key engagement features.

  • Likes and praises motivate users to participate in discussions.
  • Live notifications make everyone aware of current conversations.
  • The polls feature gives executives a way to gather useful feedbacks from employees and be able to make informed decisions.
  • Groups gives way to exchange ideas and coordinate efforts on a task. External groups extend collaboration with suppliers, vendors, and clients.
  • The integration with Office 365 allows users to follow co-authored documents and be able to be notified of any update.

Find ways to initiate activities that make use of these features and instruct everyone to participate.

Related Article: Microsoft Teams and Yammer: Why the Two Are Fundamentally Different

Aim to Grow the Internal Social Network

To use Yammer as intended and efficiently complete everyday tasks, focus on enabling and encouraging activities that apply to most people in your company.

Help everyone create a detailed profile, share documents, and contribute to discussions. If used continuously, Yammer does build a collaborative corporate culture and a digital workplace where everyone knows what is going on.

Moreover, when Yammer user base grows, so does the overall Office 365 user adoption.