Inbox full of non-work clutter? Yammer your way to happiness!*April 9, 2019
Tired of managing a heap of non-work related emails in your busy day? Do you get annoyed when someone hits ‘Reply all’ to a group email and says, “Thanks”, or maybe just goes off on a social discussion that does not need to involve you?
These are just some of the most common complaints that I field as a Technology Training Coordinator.
So here’s a thought to Yammer power users, techies, and managers alike, “Can we Yammer our way to happiness and avoid email clutter?*”.
Can Yammer replace Emails?
No, and emails still have an important role to play in external communications with clients and other parties, as well as (sanctioned) internal formal communications within your organisation, so this isn’t changing anytime soon (Microsoft Outlook team rejoice).
Within your organisation is untapped potential to take internal communications out of email and to push discussions onto Yammer where appropriate. There are many benefits to this approach including:
- No longer managing multiple email chains from internal stakeholders on non-work related topics or discussions.
- Avoiding conversations between participants having micro emailing and/or who (frustratingly) use Reply All when responding.
- Allowing you to focus on the emails important to you (like client emails).
- Have the fun and off topic discussions on Yammer, which is the best place for these conversations!
What is ‘inappropriate content’?
There are email communications that aren’t appropriate to send out to your entire organisation, or even your local office, and can have negative consequences with push-back by the recipients if not well-received. Even if most people accept the email or at the very least are not bothered by it, there’s almost always one person who is and that’s where you can run into trouble.
Here are some types of emails that may not** be appropriate/suitable:
- Fundraising causes (a good and decent activity but not everyone will want to see or read it in their busy inboxes).
- Telling jokes, and chain mail emails (e.g. send this to 20 people or you will have bad luck forever^).
- Asking a ‘quick question’ via an email which becomes a conversation or could have been sent via an Instant Messenger (IM).
- Hitting ‘Reply All’ and having conversations over email.
Remember that these messages may not be mission critical to your organisation but it’s also dependent on your company culture too. Consider that Yammer supports conversations and with many people likely wanting to respond to some of these non- mission critical messages, you don’t really want those sorts of things flooding your inbox!
Yammer is a great place for these types of messages (beware point 2), freeing up your Inbox for important organisational communications whilst allowing chatter to continue in the Yammer.
How do I get started?
Here are some points to help you get started:
- Have some organisational/team level discussions using the points discussed in this Blog as a basic template on an internal communications policy.
- Outline the current situation (email habits and pitfalls), the alternative (how Yammer can streamline comms and still let staff interact), and what it could look like (mock up a few examples of what this could look like using a real-world example where appropriate).
- If you need to start small, pilot the concept with your team first as a proof of concept.
There is also a side benefit to making Yammer more relevant to staff (especially those who may not use currently it) as it could be a great motivator to get them engaged in the discussions!
Bonus content! Here’s a couple of great Yammer tips to take us out.
Hot tip #1: I love my emails, how do you get email notifications from Yammer?
Yammer can send you email notifications about new activities so you can keep note of things of interest to you.
1. Go to Settings and more (cog) > Edit Settings and pop open your network.
2. There’s a whole raft of notification options to choose from.
Bear in mind that you could be receiving a lot of emails depending on how many groups you select and how active the groups are!
Hot tip #2: Sending emails to groups and users!
If you’ve received an email that you want to share with others, you can send it to the appropriate Yammer group or person!
Each group and user has their own unique email address. You can piece your together using the following example below:
Group name: Victoria Office
Network name: mycompany.com
Your group email will be – firstname.lastname@example.org
If sending to a user, take the username (before the @) and combine it with the network name.
I hope that you have enjoyed this practical guide. That’s it!
* Caution, your happiness may also depend on other factors including but not limited to whether you’ve had enough coffee to start your day, how the traffic was on your commute into work, if the weather is nice or gloomy, and so on and so forth.
** Subjective to your organisational environment.
^ Ironically, if you send out the chain mail to your organisation to avoid having bad luck (and/or to avoid a ghost who will haunt your nightmares), your bad luck will almost certainly be assured when you do!
About the Author
Damien Rosario is a Technology Training specialist with over +thirteen years of experience delivering accredited training in IT, Business, and Microsoft programs across many industries and to many age groups ranging from children to senior citizens.
His extensive training experiences with Microsoft products in a his varying workplace settings, and in delivering solutions for transformational projects, has provided unique prospectives on best practice methods which enables Damien to cater to his message to many audiences.
With a passion for sharing knowledge and for helping where he can, Damien strives to leave no one behind in the journey to self-improvement and education.