Periodically, my employer conducts an All Staff Survey. The last one was in 2011. The goals of the survey are:
- to shape change at the workplace at all levels of the organization
- provide a way of measuring how employees feel about their work and their work environment
- to provide opportunities for open communication
Several weeks ago, I was invited to join a work group to address the results of the survey in my particular work unit. It’s not often that an employee is given a chance–in fact, charged with–becoming an agent of change in the workplace. I can’t say I jumped for joy (my mountain of work is just as high as everybody else’s). But under my load, I hopped a little.
An Opportunity to Introduce Social Communication into the Workplace
Ever since I returned to school to finish my Master’s degree in Communications in June, I’ve been casting about for the right work project to double as a Master’s capstone project. Something related to business applications of social communication (using tools like Facebook, Twitter, etc…). This new work group seemed like the perfect opportunity to conduct a trial run of Yammer Premium Groups.
For those who may not have heard of it, Yammer is an enterprise social networking tool that functions like a cross between Facebook and Twitter. Users can share information and collaborate across the enterprise using this tool. With Premium Groups, users can set up special work groups (private or public). Members of the group can collaborate on a project in this space, sharing files, asking and answering questions, and posting announcements. It provides a sort of virtual meeting environment that can often take the place of in-person meetings and email. The potentials of this tool are very exciting.
I was thrilled when our project’s leadership sponsor agreed to allow me to use this group to run a pilot of Yammer work groups. I was still more thrilled at how supportive she was of the scholarly side of my goals.
Wish us luck. This promises to be a very challenging and rewarding project.