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My name is Anne Marie Kiernan, mum to an amazing five year old and I am Head of Internal Communications for Kellogg Europe.
My colleagues know me as a bit of a disruptor. I passionate about next generation communication tools and a big social enterprise network advocate. Oh and my nickname at the office is ‘Yammerie’ and in a few mins you will find out why
So like all good communicators, I’ll start with a story.
Cast your mind back to October 2014, so while the first official Ebola patient was diagnosed in the US and people were still wondering what happened to Malaysian Air MH370, I was in my way back to work from maternity leave.
I had a reorientation meeting with my boss and he announced you’ll have a new tool to manage it’s called Yammer – He went on to say don’t worry it will grow itself without much intervention – Not exactly my experience but more about that later
My head went straight to ‘oh god another thing to look after but being externally curious and a person that loves a challenge I started to think beyond the workload and instead towards the opportunity.
I began researching enterprise social network and here’s what I found… It’s hip, It’s where millennial employees like to hang out (and that was cool as almost 50% of our office based workforce are millennials) It’s on mobile (none of our other comms platforms are) But most importantly it’s enabling culture change in a huge percentage of Fortune 500 companies
So I began to wonder …the holy grail for communicators is engaged employees and this new tool could help unlock that Enabling leaders to listen Employees to join conversations and the org as a whole to become more dialogic
So it was at the point I got a little bit excited and from there my journey or love affair with Yammer began
We set ourselves a bold mission to start a Yammer movement in the business so as to
Improving internal storytelling and increasing user generated content
Facilitating more two way conversations
Increasing the number of teams who Work Outloud, using Yammer to collaborate
Give our leadership an opportunity to get closer to the organisation via social listening
So today I wanted to share 5 top tips to help you maximize your enterprise social network, whether that is Yammer / Workplace or something else
Start with Maslow – For those of you who don’t know Maslow he is an American psychologist who developed a theory on motivation that is commonly known as ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’. This theory suggests that there are a number of progressively important things an individual needs to feel fulfilled in life and at work and third on that list is a sense of belonging / to be part of a community
What does this have to do with enterprise social network – it’s simple
Deep down in all of our employees / PEOthere is a need for connection and in an increasingly diverse workforce – where employees are geographically dispersed, working remotely or in flexible working patterns a well curated and highly engaging enterprise social network that help provide that connection
In short the instinct for connection is there, you just have to cultivate the platform
Next tap into millennials / gen Z
There is an army of social media savvy employees in your workplace who could bring their social selves to work to aid your cause
These are developing their own content outside of work, you might even find that some are bloggers / influencers - they are vocal, engaging in online conversations and debate
So why not use them to help build out your platform
We advertised internally for social media savvy employees to help us build the future of internal communications and fifty of them came our direction
With their support we built a Yambassador community and used this community to brainstorm ideas for driving Yammer traction in the business - Together we co-created a ‘Yammer Week’ ‘a 20 Day Yammer Challenge’
We also gave them Yammer asks of their own – so to curate a couple of unique pieces each week, to seed and continue conversations etc
Their involvement has been pivotal in growing and sustaining engagement
So when you have galvanised an army of supporters consider how you will pitch the your enterprise social network to your wider organisation
Don’t just assume that because the tool is there that people will use it – in fact that is a reason why they might not use it – who wants to have to do something with yet another tool when there are emails, IM’s, whatsapps, texts and voicemails to get to
So rather than talk about a great new tool that we want employees to use – we talked about the type of work culture we wanted to unlock at Kellogg – a place that was highly collaborative, open, transparent, networked, where employees has a voice and could share ideas for the benefit of others – Sounds great right? – wouldn’t that be a better hook to engage employees?
But it was a long list to remember so I went searching for a team that would explain all of this and found Working outloud - everyone worked in a more open way to the benefit of others and the company
And when we pushed working outloud interest peaked and people began experimenting from liking to commenting, to sharing, to posting their own unique content
Convince your leaders it makes a difference – so we have a hugely engaged Area President and that really helps from the point of influencing other leaders on value of our social network
Nonetheless there was an opinion amongst a few senior leaders that if employees had time to use an enterprise social network – did it mean they had room for more work?
So I had a job to do to convince them that Yammer was a really powerful tool not just for employees to connect but for them to get a window on what was happening in different parts of the business / but also to be able to listen to the pulse of the organisation
My passion for the tool wasn’t enough - the boardroom needed facts not just feelings so I set about purchasing an Analytics package that would enable us to show engagement, reach, content that was most liked / trending, who was most influential We use Tygraph and the impact it has had has been amazing
Being able to tell leaders what percentage of staff were engaged on or which leader’s content was trending over another has made a difference and in partnership with us they are growing their Yammer footprint
And my last tip - enrich content so that users will want to just keep coming back
We know that posts containing images and video are much more accessed than those that don’t and this means that we need to focus not just on getting people posting but on the quality of what they are posting
At the beginning we curated a lot – this together with a combination of our Yambassador community, supportive leaders and plugging the cultural benefits got Yammer moving – But to keep interested we needed to take content to a whole new level
We’ve done that by training our employees to use the smartphones in their pockets to tell their own video stories – to do this we developed an in-house making your own video / vlogging course, showed employees how to use tools like teleprompters and editing apps and the uptake has been amazing
So was all that effort worth it? We grew Yammer engagement in the domain by 54% (aggregate of all EU groups) Grew main page that we curate Kellogg Europe by 70+% engagement is currently sitting at 73% at the half year for that group
Thank you for your time this morning!
Enterprise social network - friend or foe — Anne-Marie Kiernan
Leading Internal Communications, Kellogg Europe
FRIEND OR FOE?
OCTOBER 2014 … I HAD THE BACK TO WORK BLUES
YAMMER: AN OPPORTUNITY RATHER THAN JUST AN ITEM ON A TO DO LIST?
WE STARTED A YAMMER MOVEMENT IN OUR ORGANISATION…
Here are my top tips…
1. REMEMBER MASLOW – IT’S HOW SOCIAL MEDIA FIRMS ARE MAKING MONEY!
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
2. RECRUIT SOCIALLY SAVVY AMBASSADORS TO GET YOU STARTED
3. PROMOTE WHAT THE TOOL FACILITATES CULTURALLY, NOT THE TOOL ITSELF
4. SHOW YOUR LEADERS HOW IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE
5. ENRICH CONTENT THROUGH EMPLOYEE GENERATED VIDEO