The Open & Connected Workplace: Building Yammer to be Open

www.office.com/setup Blogs: As we mentioned in our posts over the last few weeks, Yammer’s mission is to transform the way people work by helping companies be more open and employees more connected. But let’s talk about work for a second. “Work” can be broken down into three activities: collecting information, making decisions, and taking action. Everything we do that helps drive our organization forward can be characterized by one of those three categories.

Collecting information can mean sitting in status meetings, asking questions, or reviewing content. Making decisions can mean prioritizing a product roadmap, choosing which regions to target with a new campaign, or selecting one candidate from a pool of recruits. Taking action can mean putting together a presentation deck, pitching a prospect, or writing code. Whatever it is you do, it can be done better when you find ways to collect information, make decisions, and take action more effectively.

Yammer is a private social network entirely focused on helping companies become more open and connected. When Yammer powers the communications in a company, information flows rapidly between departments, geographies, and employees. It breaks down silos, forges connections that would have otherwise not been possible, and helps the company align towards a collective goal.

The power of Yammer is in a messaging system that separates addressing and permissions. When you use Yammer to send a message, you don’t have to first decide who to send it to. By default, others from across the company can see it. You can choose specific people you think should see the message (through @mentions) and even post the message to a relevant group, but people outside those groups can still discover the information, and even loop others into the conversation.

Now the qualities of being open, connected, and having rapid information flow do not themselves provide value, but they create an environment where every employee can do their jobs better. When collecting information, employees can more easily tap into the collective consciousness of the organization. When making decisions, employees can more easily build consensus and refer to a more diverse set of perspectives. When taking action, employees can engage the crowd by doing work openly and inviting colleagues to contribute.

Invariably, when companies are more open and connected, employees are able to do better work. But the benefits are not just at the individual level. These same qualities can have profound impact on the collective motion of the overall organization. Aside from having a more effective set of contributors, organizations that are more open and connected can more quickly adapt and align around strategic priorities or changing externalities.

Just like a murmuration responds instantly and cohesively to the presence of a food source or predator, an organization should be able to respond instantly and cohesively to the presence of a new market or the emergence of a new competitor.

Ultimately, businesses depend on information flow. And with Yammer, information flows more fluidly, employees become more productive, and the organization as a whole can more quickly achieve its own goals and missions. In an open and connected workplace, the activities that make up “work” have their barriers stripped away.

To see what working openly can do for you and your team, visit openworkplace.yammer.com.

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