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5 Tips for Onboarding Using Yammer

Having just gone through the onboarding process myself, I believe that using Yammer to facilitate the onboarding process can help drive adoption among recent hires. In addition, using Yammer for onboarding will allow them to get a functional grasp of the organization much quicker. Recent hires will have the whole Yammer network to ask questions to as well as being able to see all the posts from before they were hired.  In an environment where new hires are increasingly under pressure to add value quickly, these five tips could help make that a reality.

  1. Have one dedicated group for onboarding


Different people have different ideas on whether or not groups of new hires, who were hired at different points, should have separate groups or one large onboarding group. In my mind, it’s better to have one large onboarding group that people can join when they are hired and leave when the information in the group no longer pertains to them. That way the information and knowledge generated by previous groups of new hires is still there for the most recent new hires. Everyone who joins a company are going to have the same questions coming in, and rather than have to answer the same questions over and over, it’s easier to simply answer the question once and have new employees refer to that post.

  1. Encourage recent hires to join other Yammer groups

New employees might have never had any previous exposure to Yammer so it’s beneficial to encourage them to join your network’s “Yammer 101” group.  This way they can learn about how to use Yammer while learning about your company at the same time! In addition to the “Yammer 101” group, also encourage new hires to join other groups that they are interested in. Even if a group is not particularly business related (one colleague told me about a “Selfie” group) it can help foster a sense of team spirit and some research suggests can help with employee retention.

  1. Appoint a community manager

As important as just having a group for onboarding is, it won’t be useful unless there is someone to answer the questions or to direct the question to someone who can answer it. You can have as many community managers as you want as long as questions are being responded to in a timely manner. This is the digital equivalent of the “New Hire Buddy”, the person who is there to answer your questions and make sure your new employees get off to a good start.

  1. Create a “New Hire Checklist”

By creating a list of things that every new hire has to do when they start working for your company, you make it easier for employees to know what they have to do and when they have to do it by. In addition, using Yammer to create the checklist allows the group to use the collaborative tools to clear up any questions about the tasks that are listed. This also has the added benefit of introducing the new hires to some of Yammer’s lesser known features such as document collaboration and following file changes.

  1. Have a YamJam

A YamJam is a moderated, live Q & A session with someone senior in the company. By having a YamJam with the new hires and a senior person in the organization, you can make your new hires believe in the direction of the company and feel like a part of it. This is also a good opportunity for senior people to learn about the new hires and start a reputation as someone who is approachable and open to new ideas.
Using Yammer for onboarding also puts new hires into the routine of using Yammer in their day-to-day lives. Once they start using Yammer and realize how easy it is to find the answers to their questions they will continue to use it in their regular working lives. This in turn will drive adoption from others in the organization once they see that many of their peers are using Yammer. If you want to increase Yammer usage in your organization I highly recommend using Yammer for onboarding. Work habits are formed within a few weeks or months of joining a company, why not make those habits beneficial to your organization?

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