Case study: Inspiring senior management to use Yammer

How to get senior management to use Yammer - IC case study

December 9, 2013

It’s a well-known issue – convincing employees to interact on Yammer.

Persuading the “lurkers” to engage with the enterprise social network is a problem facing many internal communications teams across the UK.

However successfully encouraging senior management to participate can be even more of a challenge.

Information solutions provider LexisNexis met this dilemma head on – and it’s produced inspiring results.

Jonathan Kerry-Tyerman, the company’s senior director of innovation, told Citeworld.comthat their strategy for senior management had been simple – but hugely effective.

They knew not everyone would see the benefits of Yammer so, rather than battle for the hearts and minds of the unconvinced, they simply focused on those that understood the value of Microsoft-owned network from the off.

He said: “Rather than swim upstream and push all the executives into it, we tried to figure out who naturally are the executives who intuitively understand the technology and embrace it.

“We circled the wagons around these executives and made them examples.”

The move paid off. Indeed, the business’s chief product officer has become a leading figures in promoting the enterprise social network.

Jonathan added: “He is completely fluent somehow in Yammer, he just gets it.

“More often than not he’s coming to us with ideas of things to do. Our policy is anything he wants to do we all support 100 per cent.

“Any idea about a competition or new group he wants to create, we’ll go out of our way to dedicate resources because his success ripples out through the organisation and creates an impact on the other execs who see him.”

The work to encourage executive to embrace Yammer didn’t stop there.

Jonathan said senior figures were requested to participated in ‘Yam Jams’ – real-time Q&A sessions with the floor open to any question.

Feedback has been hugely positive with employees stating they didn’t expect such candid answers, and even being delighted when they see a typo – because the audience “aren’t getting canned answers.”

LexisNexis rolled out Yammer in late 2011 starting with only 200 employees signed up. Today, around 8,000 of the company’s 10,000 employees are members.

Jonathan added: “It’s taking on a life of its own. That’s a real sign of success.”

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