Last Friday, I posted about collaboration and how we can use social media to encourage it. Today I’d like to talk about a way I am taking my own challenge of trying something new. I’m exploring ways to use microblogging to collaborate with my colleagues.
One challenge I face in my job as a regional HR director supporting multiple offices/regions is staying “in touch” with what employees are working on. Recently, I signed up for Yammer and I am already finding it beneficial in keeping me connected.
What is Yammer? Yammer is a free social networking service based on employees’ answers to the question: “What are you working on?” It is similar to Twitter in that you can @ message specific followers, and you can use hashtags. One interesting feature I have not used personally but I look forward to using is sharing attachments. Yammer differs from Twitter in that it is designed to connect you only to people within your company. It checks this by ensuring that each member of the company “group” has an email address for that specific company. This is what makes it secure from other companies seeing what is being said or worked on within your company.
When I first signed up, my thought was to use this to stay connected with the employees I support. After exploring and playing on Yammer, I learned that you can set up private groups that are accessed by invitation only. I think this may be a good way for our human resources department to start using the site for our non-confidential internal communication. We’ll be able to search through recent topics to see the progress on the various HR projects. We can also give updates on deadlines, ask for input from colleagues, and much more.
I’ll see how this works and report back in several weeks. In the meantime, if you are using Yammer and have any tips and tricks, be sure to post them for me in the comments.