How To Make Microsoft Teams and Yammer Work For You

Have you ever been caught between two things? One where you have to make a decision from two awesome choices and it becomes a dilemma. Or, maybe, in the end, you realized that you didn’t have to choose at all and, that both choices could work together to be the best thing you ever wanted. Let’s start from the beginning and, No, this is not a relationship talk. (Except you were thinking work-communication relationship then you would be right).

So, first came Yammer with its incredible communication and digital features that made the workplace worth it. It was like nothing better could happen and just when the feeling was becoming, Microsoft Teams showed up. I mean, it wasn’t that bad at all. It could do what Yammer could do and with more features (showoff!). To top it all, it had Yammer in it. In the middle of that confusion of choosing between Yammer and Teams, you realized that you could have both. It just means you still have Yammer and more workspace features from Microsoft Teams. So, how do you use this to your business advantage?

What Yammer and Teams Can Offer You

These two platforms, when looked at from a broader angle, may seem somewhat comparable but when you come closer and really look at what they both have to offer, they are incomparable. When looking into collaboration platforms, the first aspects to consider are the users and what they have to offer. Let’s break this down.

Teams is a collaboration platform but formed for smaller team collaboration. Most times, when there is a specific project or activity, teams tend to be less concentrated with members. What team does is to create an intimate platform where effective communication can take place. This may seem vague. When there is a large group of people on a platform, communication would not be as effective as when the number is smaller. This is because people tend to be more expressive in small groups than in larger ones. Coupled with this controlled member feature, Teams makes it possible to know those in the group and who are active. It is now possible to have a team completely focused on a project without distractions.

Yammer cannot be left out of the equation when it comes to workplace collaboration. The distinguishing aspect of Yammer is its ability to carry a larger number of people. It can accommodate your whole workers or business network. The downside is that you cannot tell who is in there but one thing is sure; you would always get the answers you want. On its own, it harnesses communication with colleagues who don’t work together.

So, you have two different platforms that offer different workplace communication advantages.

How to Manage Them to Your Advantage

We now know that Yammer is a platform that supports a diverse set of people from different locations. This means that there would be a mix of expertise and innovativeness. This is the best tool to use to your advantage but the problem is that most people are not encouraged to speak up on a community platform like Yammer. As a manager, how do you promote more activity and participation? There are a few things that can be done.

1. Defining the Propose of a Group Campaign

People tend to contribute when there is a topic-specific campaign. 

2. Get Someone Who Would Lead the Conversation 

It is easier for people to speak up when they are not at the center of the conversation. Also, all some people need is that first push to speak up. You need a hype man.

3. Create more Focused Communities

You get more out of a Yammer group when there is a relevant and focused reason for being there.

4. Create a Safe Space for Free Speech 

Members of your Yammer community should be able to bring up new ideas or highlight where they find problems with a project than just follow what the top executives say.

Teams on the other hand has no problem with people speaking up. Most times, there is no need for constant interference or supervision. When you create a team with a specific goal, the work starts almost immediately. All you need is a team leader who knows how to carry along the team members in the right way and promote contribution.

You have to first realize that the leadership needs for Yammer and Teams are very different. It takes a strategy to get what you want off these collaboration platforms. It depends solely on what you want to achieve. Both Yammer and Teams have what they can offer you. Your job is to create a team with a specific goal, start the conversation and let the platforms do the work for you.

Published 01/13/20