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WM Reply, the Reply Group company is a digital workplace expert specialising in Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365. WM Reply builds SharePoint sites: intranets and websites, social networks, and document management areas to create digital workspaces that are easy to navigate and engaging. It utilises the magnitude of tools in Office 365 to enable clients and their employees to work better, together, faster. www.wmreply.com
WM Reply were asked to work with a client who are a large global organisation specialising providing process solutions through technology and automation.
The organisation was facing several challenges: multiple acquisitions over the past two years introducing new employees across different geographies; a new CEO; a reorganisation; and a refresh of company vision and values.
The client’s challenge to WM Reply was simple:
‘Help us to connect our employees in a way that allows them to share their experience and capabilities while working out loud.’
As Yambassadors, WM Reply knew that Yammer had the functionality to
connect people whilst also allowing them to work out loud, and WM Reply had the added benefit of knowing that several parts of the organisation were already using Yammer, albeit on a small scale.
WM Reply took a
strategic approach to the delivery of the project and went right back to the beginning; they knew where the client wanted to be, and WM Reply needed to put a strategy and action plan in place to help the client get there.
The first action was to carry out a
cultural analysis across multiple geographies – not easy – but with the support of one of WM Reply’s favourite platforms, Yammer, they were able to create a focus group with champions from across the business. Engagement was varied, but WM Reply got it and used that information to break organisational engagement down by geographies, with themes that also ran across the whole organisation.
A review of the new company strategy was also undertaken to fully understand the direction of the organisation, where the client was now and where they want to be in the future.
So WM Reply took this information and crafted a
Yammer strategy, which was strongly aligned with the company strategy, to support the roll out of Yammer across the organisation. WM Reply developed a vision and smart objectives and took measurements of engagement to track progress against at various intervals throughout the project.
This allowed WM Reply to develop an action plan, with a specific focus on training, rather than campaigns, to target the different user groups across the organisation and to ensure stakeholder buy in. One of the key things about Yammer is that it is only as successful as the people who use it. Ensuring senior leaders communicate and work out loud using Yammer was essential. Training was fundamental in helping to change any misconceptions about Yammer (e.g. my boss only uses it to keep an eye on me) and to educate users about how they can work within this platform with the use of Groups and other Microsoft applications such as Word Online.
Why was a strategic approach so important? Well, you could launch Yammer and let it achieve organic growth to see how uptake goes. But the client wanted to achieve something much more powerful. They wanted to
truly connect their organisation in a way that had never been done before. They wanted to ensure the use of Yammer supported the wider business strategy, bringing employees out of their silos, sharing their capabilities and expertise to enable them to deliver a better customer service for their clients.
Yammer can grow organically, but what many clients see with this approach is a much more social use of Yammer, which also has its uses, however Yammer can do so much more – it essentially provides a
digital workplace, allowing employees to connect and collaborate anytime, anywhere. Using this approach, WM Reply sees silos break down faster with colleagues using Yammer to drive their business forward.