Develop a sharing culture in your workplace with Yammer

Does your organisation have a culture of sharing? While it might sound like ‘fluffy stuff’ to some CIOs or IT pros, consider this statistic: companies which enact knowledge management processes can raise productivity between 20 and 25%. In this post we’ll explore what we mean when we talk about a ‘sharing culture’, before showing how technology can make your company more efficient, more agile and more profitable by simply facilitating sharing.

According to David Gurteen – the knowledge management expert – a culture is a set of shared (yet usually unstated) understandings that members of a community hold in common. He adds that these shared understandings usually consist of norms, values, attitudes, beliefs and paradigms. We all have a culture and we’re usually unaware of why we’re behaving the way we do – it’s simply culture that dictates our behaviour. Our choice of clothing or language when we’re at home compared to in the office or with friends, for example. Culture very often influences our behaviour without us being consciously aware of it.

In the context of the workplace, certain cultures are more likely to encourage profitable behaviour. Imagine an office where it was seen as the norm for everyone to clock off at 4:30 – compared to a workplace where people stay until 6. The rates of productivity would likely be pretty different. And the same goes for a company where there’s a culture of sharing, compared to a company where everyone keeps their knowledge to themselves. Put simply, without sharing knowledge around, the organisation doesn’t fully use all the resources available to it.

IT removes obstacles

Chief IT staff can play a major role in removing the obstacles that prevent a culture of sharing from emerging. Technology has facilitated sharing at high speeds in ways that would have seemed unimaginable in the past. From the telegraph to the telephone to email to file shares, we can now communicate faster and share knowledge and information more easily than ever before. Plus, in an era of cloud technology and social networks, this trend is only going to rise.

Yammer, Microsoft’s enterprise social network (ESN), allows companies to make sharing easier than ever before. Research by McKinsey shows ESNs can have enormous benefits for organisational productivity. Let’s see how:

Share the workload

Yammer incorporates a newsfeed where users can comment and leave colleagues ‘likes’ and instant feedback in a natural manner. A little like the ‘newsfeed’ on Facebook, the latest company work, internal communications or documents can be shared in a space where everyone can collaborate, ask questions and participate. This helps undermine the silo-ing of information and avoids the endless chain of back and forth emails. Users can join ‘Groups’ within the company which focus on specific tasks or projects where participants can quickly ask and answer questions. The natural and organic nature of this collaboration makes it feel much easier to share and comment than neutral and faceless email.

Share skills

With its inbuilt search engine, Yammer allows users to find colleagues with the right skills and expertise to help with whatever problems they’re facing. Rather than gazing at an impersonal (and often intimidating) organisational chart, Yammer users are able to search for colleagues by skill or role. Need a little advice on setting up a project? Require someone who can translate a paragraph of hand-written Japanese? Yammer helps you find that person within your business. Each user has a personalised profile where you can ‘put a name to a face’ and gather information about that person’s skills. Again, this removes obstacles to knowledge and information sharing and means employees don’t waste time or miss opportunities.

Share thoughts without depending on email

Yammer’s intuitive messaging system means that (within the business at least) you can do away with email and inbox overload. Email is closed and private, meaning conversations aren’t searchable or easy to find (although private messaging is, of course, permitted in Yammer). The major advantage of this approach is that colleagues can read conversations in a group’s newsfeed and get up to scratch with the latest developments on a project or program of work. Once again, this facilitates sharing information, avoiding situations where conversations that don’t need to be private are hidden within inboxes.

Share files more easily

Every group in Yammer allows users to upload files on which participants can work collaboratively. If all your colleagues are working within the environment, this makes sharing documents incredibly easy and removes the need to take additional complicated steps to find the documents a user needs.

Sharing makes most sense

An organisation which emphasises sharing information, knowledge and tools can save so much time, effort and confusion. Yammer facilitates this sharing in an intuitive and ‘natural’ way. Want to have a go and see how Yammer would work for you? Contact us today!

Tim Wallis

Tim Wallis

CEO and Founder

Tim is the CEO of Content and Code and founded the company in 2001. As CEO of Content and Code, Tim focuses on corporate strategy, client and partner relationships, and has overall responsibility for driving the growth of the company. Tim founded Content and Code so he could help transform organisations to be more responsive, more competitive and engage their employees to better realise business goals.

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