Here is the approach I am taking:
- Use hashtags (#) to create threads around specific topics - Since my primary role is management development, the hashtags I have started with are: #leadership #managing #change #engagement
- Join groups - The department that runs our annual employee engagement survey has already set-up an engagement group, so I have joined that. There is also a group dedicated to promoting social media usage inside the company. I have joined that as well, along with a few others.
- Create "Topic Managers" to lead specific threads - I am going to have each of my staff members specialize in a topic that is important to management and create groups and/or discussion threads for those topics using hashtags.
- Promote usage - Since yammer is a relatively new tool in my company, my team and I will take every opportunity to introduce it and promote it during face-to-face or virtual training sessions and at company events.
Example 1 - Providing quick tips and identifying resources that could be helpful to managers
The post below includes some brief thoughts about building trust from the book, The Carrot Principle. Notice that four people indicated that they "like this." It may not seem like much, but I am just starting out. I started the week with only 17 followers.
Example 2 - Promoting learning and performance support tools available to managers
One of my staff members recently interviewed five managers who had very high scores on our last employee engagement survey. He created a podcast series to help managers develop action plans for increasing employee engagement from those interviews. The day I posted this, I received a reply from a manager saying she had listened to all five, she thought they were great, and that she was passing them on to her friends. Hooray for small victories! (Note: I removed the link from this example for confidentiality purposes.)
Example 3 - Sharing quotes (and again promoting available resources)
The quote below is from In Praise of the Incomplete Leader, a Harvard Business Review Article which is available to our employees through Harvard ManageMentor (an excellent learning and performance support tool by the way) which they can access through our Learning Management System (branded internally as My Portfolio).
This is outlines my strategy. I have added a trickle of followers this week so I know it is getting some attention. But as I said, it will take time to build a community. I will post a follow-up on this blog at some point to let you know how things are progressing. In the meantime, I welcome any feedback, comments or suggestions you might have to help me accelerate the process.