Capturing the Power of Yammer

According to a 2009 study by Deloitte Touche LLP, 74 percent of its employees say it’s easy to damage a company’s reputation on social media.

Yet Deloitte Australia went ahead with a social media program that has been a rousing success. It accomplished the task by defaulting to one of its seven key values: “empower and entrust.”

The company admits that it has been a challenge for corporate managers to get comfortable with the potential anarchy of social media. The process, technology and policy are easy, but getting the right attitude — with all the associated risks of reaching out to others, including clients, in a rich online channel — is hard.

Managers, to their credit, have realized that they are unleashing energy rather than trying to control it. Deloitte Australia employees are counseled to understand the difference between the personal and the professional; to be open, honest and respectful; and to be responsible for both their own and the organization’s reputation.

Yammer.com — like an in-house Twitter — is the company’s knowledge-sharing device. First started as a social chat room, it wasn’t long before the imperatives of doing business seeped into the conversation and teams started posing questions and solving problems. Today, more than half of Deloitte Australia’s 4,600 employees have signed up.

The company’s David Redhill points to two main reasons why it undertook a social media program:

1) “We have developed new products using social media platforms that now drive revenue.”

2) “We have made tangible improvements to our business from harnessing the collective wisdom of our people.”

Other reasons for so enthusiastically embracing corporate social media like Yammer:

>> Seek input, test ideas, gather feedback quickly

>> Disseminate information

>> Collaborate in large numbers on a global scale

>> Build stakeholder connections

>> Connect with undiscovered communities

According to a 2009 study by Deloitte Touche LLP, 74 percent of its employees say it’s easy to damage a company’s reputation on social media.

Yet Deloitte Australia went ahead with a social media program that has been a rousing success. It accomplished the task by defaulting to one of its seven key values: “empower and entrust.”

The company admits that it has been a challenge for corporate managers to get comfortable with the potential anarchy of social media. The process, technology and policy are easy, but getting the right attitude — with all the associated risks of reaching out to others, including clients, in a rich online channel — is hard.

Managers, to their credit, have realized that they are unleashing energy rather than trying to control it. Deloitte Australia employees are counseled to understand the difference between the personal and the professional; to be open, honest and respectful; and to be responsible for both their own and the organization’s reputation.

Yammer.com — like an in-house Twitter — is the company’s knowledge-sharing device. First started as a social chat room, it wasn’t long before the imperatives of doing business seeped into the conversation and teams started posing questions and solving problems. Today, more than half of Deloitte Australia’s 4,600 employees have signed up.

The company’s David Redhill points to two main reasons why it undertook a social media program:

1) “We have developed new products using social media platforms that now drive revenue.”

2) “We have made tangible improvements to our business from harnessing the collective wisdom of our people.”

Other reasons for so enthusiastically embracing corporate social media like Yammer:

>> Seek input, test ideas, gather feedback quickly

>> Disseminate information

>> Collaborate in large numbers on a global scale

>> Build stakeholder connections

>> Connect with undiscovered communities

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