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Like many global organizations, AvePoint has swiftly made the shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. We used Yammer frequently as a platform to communicate, update and engage before this crisis, but it’s now become a more vital support system than ever before. Here are 4 ways Yammer can facilitate organizational inclusion.
1) Giving Global Updates
Uncertainty and worry have been running rampant throughout organizations everywhere as COVID-19 has continued to progress. As a global organization with offices worldwide, AvePoint was one of the first in working to ensure the safety of our employees throughout Asia. By working with our regional leaders, we were able to transition everyone in our Asian offices to a work from home setup with little trouble.
During these early days of the outbreak, our western offices were understandably concerned about their colleagues overseas. Thankfully, Yammer was the perfect tool to keep the organization informed about how our Chinese offices were adapting. AvePoint leadership sent out company-wide updates through Yammer (which were also sent as email previews via Outlook) that any employee could comment on with questions, well wishes, or advice. More than anything, these updates acted as the glue that kept AvePoint together during the start of this pandemic.
2) Consistent Leadership Engagement
Our CEO Tianyi “TJ” Jiang has been using Yammer to hold our quarterly town hall meetings for years. These live events are hosted at any one of our offices around the world and have consistently been a great way to keep up with changes in the organization, highlight particularly excellent employees, and hear directly from upper leadership in a more personal, direct way.
Once questions started to pop up about how AvePoint would be affected by the spread of COVID-19 and the increasing need to work from home, TJ decided to use Yammer for a special impromptu town hall to address any concerns. He was able to stream live to every region and convey the situation in Asia, plans to start working from home, and how the economic impact of the pandemic would affect AvePoint. Better yet, Yammer allowed viewers to submit any questions they had in real-time so he could answer them on the spot.
In addition, we provide weekly internal updates to the company through our OnPoint podcast hosted in a Yammer Community. It’s a short update on the state of the business and any other updates about AvePoint.
3) Fostering Supportive Communities
Yammer isn’t just for sharing updates; it’s also a great platform for colleagues to connect. While in quarantine and working from home, AvePoint employees have been creating groups for everything from posting their WFH setups to sharing handy health and wellness tips. These communities—accessible by anyone working at AvePoint worldwide—are great inclusive spaces for everyone to connect, tell their stories, and help each other weather this unforeseen storm.
4) Increasing Employee Engagement
We all know that engaged employees produce the best work. However, there have been a number of studies that point to employee engagement being relatively low in organizations across the board. Gallup’s 2018 report on employee engagement in the U.S. showed that only 34% of workers were “engaged,” while 13% were “actively disengaged” and a whopping 53% were “not engaged.” According to TinyPulse’s 2019 Employee Engagement Report, just 25% of workers feel highly valued on the job, and less than a third believe they have a strong company culture.
In this new WFH environment so many workers are finding themselves in, it may be even harder to get them to actively engage when you’re competing with a myriad of household distractions. That’s why Yammer has been such a vital touchstone for AvePoint as an organization.
It can be used as a way for leaders to keep everyone informed of the latest developments with COVID-19 and its impact on the company.
Communities in Yammer have naturally emerged and go a long way in keeping people invested in the health of their coworkers and the company in general.
HR can create quick polls to gauge where everyone is and create outreach plans based on the results, further solidifying how important every employee is to AvePoint.
Everyone can contribute their ideas to threads and share their ideas on how to make this easier on us all.
While most people are naturally unengaged even in the physical workspace, Yammer provides an easily accessible way for them to become active and feel like a valued part of the organization.
Closing Thoughts & Resources
While I can’t speak for everyone, I know how essential Yammer has been in keeping our employees informed, calm, and invested as we’re all working through these tough times together. If you’re new to Yammer and need some guidance, here are a few additional resources to get you started:
- What is Yammer & Why Do Companies Use It?
- Yammer Communities: 3 Reasons Yammer Is Relevant Again
- #MSIgnite 2019 CliffNotes: Office 365 Groups and Yammer Collaboration Tips