We recently deployed Yammer at Times Internet Limited (TIL). It’s a tool to create a little Facebook / Twitter, just for your business. While Yammer’s not the newest of services (it’s been popular for a couple years now), it’s an important tool for TIL. There are the more obvious benefits, like:
- collaborate on projects you’re working on within your teams (groups)
- open channels of communication - to ask for help, thoughts, ideas, feedback, etc across the organization
- share with everyone what you are working on. This gives your followers a better idea of the types of projects you work on and your expertise.
- make it easier to find relevant information, with search, tags, and groups
- get to know each other a little bit better
But for me, there is one really meaningful value which has driven my interest in the platform: being able to talk to you. For better or worse, it’s really hard for me to talk to everyone in the company. My hope is that with Yammer, I’ll be able to get better, honest feedback from each of you.
From time to time, I will post questions, polls, or ask for feedback. PLEASE do send it! If you’re happy to share your feedback with everyone, you can reply to the question publicly. But if you’d prefer your thoughts to be private, you can private message or email me (it will go and stay ONLY with me, ALWAYS anonymous unless requested otherwise). In general, too, if you have thoughts about how to make TIL better, reach out to me. I really value honest feedback, and constructive criticism is greatly appreciated! It also helps me get to know you better, even if we don’t interact regularly.
But in general, this is one of the many steps that we are taking to make Times Internet a more entreprenurial, collaborative, and fun place to work. Let’s break down silos, think more on our feet, and prove to everyone that you can work at a big media company and do awesome things in the digital world!
I read this quote from an author at Businessweek recently, regarding Yammer:
Here’s the other problem. We work in a big company with an org chart. Most of us scribes don’t want the editors who evaluate our work (and pay us) to read our back-and-forths. But, at the same time, we don’t want to put a big Keep Out sign on our Yammer box. (They might take that badly.) So while I imagine that this tool works perfectly for a start-up team, it could be problematic for more established companies.
This is not what TIL’s about. Post freely, openly, and honestly. Collaboration is a necessary tool for success in a space that’s evolving and changing so quickly. We should operate more like a startup than a big media company. Great ideas can come from anyone, not just people with title X or higher.
Here are a few other quick tips on how to make the Yammer experience better for you and your colleagues:
- List skills in your profile. It makes it easier for others to find you.
- Join the groups relevant to you. It makes the updates you get more relevant to you.
- Keep your posts shorter rather than longer - its easier for everyone to read. if its long (like this one), use a blog!
- Share things that are relevant for work. So while the dancing panda on YouTube is awesome, keep that for FB / Twitter. But interesting article about how commerce and social media are converging, or a post about how a new feature on your product is going to change the world - GREAT!
What are some other tips you have about how to use Yammer better? What do you like about it? What don’t you like? Reply here, or reply on my post in Yammer itself.