Online employee communities are a specialized niche, and even the world’s biggest brands need help integrating “enterprise social networks” and community management into their workflows. With 134,000 employees, Johnson & Johnson was no different — especially given their unique need of migrating employees for the second time across social platforms. The question quickly became clear: how do we build engagement and real business value at scale while shifting technology solutions?
Higher Yammer engagement rate experience by groups coached by Talk Social to Me
Employees migrated from Jive to Yammer over a 12-week period
Groups created in Yammer for employee collaboration
- Seeking a fully-integrated suite of Microsoft-centric technology solutions, Jive no longer fit the requirements (despite 15,000 active users). Employees needed to move their own content from Jive to Yammer and Microsoft 365 quickly.
- A sense of “tool fatigue” was in place — given previous migrations from SharePoint and other solutions still fresh in employees’ minds.
- Without a formal global Yammer launch planned, organic adoption and education were the main methods of driving engagement.
What We Did
When Talk Social to Me arrived on the scene, employees were experiencing fatigue from a variety of tools that had been deployed in the past, including a previous version of Yammer, custom SharePoint communities, and more. Employees were skeptical of moving off of the thriving Jive network. Because content could not migrate automatically from Jive to Yammer, due to platform feature differences, users had to prepare to clean up their own content and migrate it independently; no automatic content migration technologies were used.
The migration strategy included identifying five tiers of user groups based on Jive engagement; the most active users received highly customized, one-on-one training and Yammer onboarding, whereas less active groups were directed to “learn at your own pace” materials. An embedded Talk Social to Me Community Manager with expertise in both Jive and Yammer platforms trained Group Administrators to become comfortable with Yammer’s simpler feature set and building creative solutions for those who had become accustomed to Jive’s highly customized page approach.
Soon thereafter, Talk Social to Me focused on supporting the highest value use cases with “white glove coaching and support” to help key stakeholders and teams bring their work into Yammer.
Sentiment shifted favorably toward Yammer as users and group leaders began to value the simplicity of the platform. Important use cases such as a dozen employee affinity networks, the global Finance department, a major grant-funding campaign, and worldwide Human Resources programs soon found themselves spending more time collaborating and connecting rather than navigating the complicated technical nuances of Jive. Over the course of 12 weeks, 75% of users voluntarily moved their content and collaboration activities to Yammer.
J&J’s Yammer network grew rapidly and organically to more than 64,000 total users and 2,000 groups over the next year. Talk Social to Me provided strategic community management coaching support to hand-selected functions, including Human Resources, IT, and Finance in order to accelerate their ability to work productively in a social manner. This coaching paid off: HR Next, IT, and The Exchange (Finance) are the most active groups in the community with 81%, 86%, and 62% of all employees in the function active, respectively.
Additionally, the same data analysis, presented at the 2018 PRSA Connect Conference in Memphis, TN, indicated that Gen X employees (not millennials, as commonly assumed) were the most actively engaged on Yammer, and that leaders with a role of Vice President and above were 4x more active in “broadcasting” messages on Yammer. These data points allowed Talk Social to Me and the J&J Communications team to focus further training on appropriate leadership behaviors inside a social network and creating engagement rather than simply pushing one-way content.
Yammer also provided a conduit for employees to support their fellow employees in a time of need. During 2017’s Hurricane Irma, IT and Communications created the Employee Home Share Program — a voluntary peer-to-peer support network whereby employees with rooms to spare could offer shelter to storm-affected and evacuated J&J employees. Over the course of 18 hours, more than 220 employees offered up their homes, creating a sense of family and caring that’s central to the J&J Credo.