In our last blog post we reported that the average engagement score on Yammer platforms was around the 20% mark. Given that many of the organisations in our sample are mature users, how could one possibly hope for 100% engagement? Well, we think the answer is simple. And that is to drive Yammer usage to the level that real work gets done; and that is to the Team Level.
In a nutshell, here is the maths….
Okay, it might be easy for us to say just drive Yammer use to the team level, but how do we convince them to make the move? And to date no-one, to our knowledge, has yet to achieve this (other than of course very small enterprises).
To understand this, we need to change the way we think about enterprise social networking systems (ESN). Current thinking places the ESN as the place where staff might go if they need to find out something. Many staff, as we have found, perceive posting on Yammer much like the “Shark Tank” where they really don’t know what reception to expect, if any. We need to start to think about the “Enterprise as a Network of Teams”. This concept is not new, being actively explored now by the agile development movement. And inside teams, using Yammer should not be an optional extra, but a core tool for executing team tasks.
In exploring teams, we are guided by the research on what makes an ideal team size, being 5 to 9 people. In teams of this size there is little or no room for ‘Observers’. Research has shown , and validated by us in some independent research, that the email channel is substantially used by co-located teams. We found that the major proportion of email traffic travels physically less than 6 meters, suggesting that co-located teams are communicating (more likely documenting) activities via email. As Kevin Jones cleverly illustrates, in his excellent video on the inefficiencies of ‘Email trees’ , there is a strong efficiency and effectiveness value proposition for all team members, to move their internal to the team communications from email to Yammer. Sharing with team members, who you might work with every day, is far less confronting than for the vast majority of current Yammer installations. We have learnt from recent research conducted by Google on what makes up the ‘perfect team’. They nominate ‘psychological safety’ as a key attribute of high performing teams. It’s therefore no surprise that the lack of psychological safety in an ESN implementation is holding back broader adoption. Moving from email trees to Yammer is swapping ‘pipes for platforms’; the value we have previously articulated in achieving extreme productivity gains, in our blog post on “Trading Pipes for Platforms”. And once teams are interacting on a platform, rather than via email pipes, the opportunity naturally exists to build an enterprise wide network of teams.
So there should be nothing stopping you from instigating your “Yammer for Teams” program right now. In future posts we will be publishing some results on how our Swoop Personas can be used to help create great teams.
SWOOP Analytics helps organisations drive enterprise wide collaboration and stronger adoption of enterprise social networking platforms, through its unique relationship centred analytics. We value the democratization of analytics, meaning there is value delivered to all staff. We currently draw our insights from Yammer, but soon also, Salesforce Chatter, Atlassian’s Confluence. Contact us for a free trial and benchmarking report at: www.swoopanalytics.com