"Yammer is dead" is probably one of the most said opinions in the M365 world. But now it seems like Microsoft is doubling down on Yammer - or rather on Viva Engage, which is now Yammer's new fancy name 🤩
But is Viva Engage actually useful and what are it's new features shaping it up to be? Let's see what the new features bring to the table!
What is Yammer perfect for?
One of the best uses I've seen for Yammer in the past is as a platform where the whole company can interact. The most powerful kind of communication that Yammer has been able to turn the one-sided communication between the leadership and an employee to a conversation. In some occasions it has been used as a platform for an employee to ask a question about when Christmas lights are arriving to the stores, or one of the more funnier ones: The employees commenting under the HR departments posts, asking them to review their applications for corporate-owned bicycles.
Viva Engage is no longer the company's social media, it's the company's community.
One of the new features tackles this kind of situation head on and supports it even more:
Leadership Corner is a new experience for employees to engage directly with the key leaders in their company. Viva Engage uses the organization structure in Microsoft 365, so employees automatically see and get recommended the pages of leaders that they are connected to.
It also creates a centralised place for employees to join in to a conversation with a leader through campaigns or coordinated AMA (Ask Me Anything) -sessions, where the leader can in real-time answer questions submitted by employees on a specific topic. This functionality seems to be quite well thought out, since it supports great features like having moderators or anonymous questions.
Viva Engage has finally implemented a robust analytics-system, and it's actually looking pretty good! You can get great statistics and insights into what networks are driving the most conversation in the organization, have a look into what the sentiment in those communities are like, and what type of content people enjoy sharing the most.
Analytics are split into categories, like personal, audience, campaigns and answers analytics. As a leader you'll also have your own analytics dashboard on employees who interact and view your content.
One of the most popular uses for Yammer in the past has been as a platform where people can ask questions about all sorts of things with a low bar for entry. And on the other side of this, some people have found their calling and even become small celebrities inside their organizations by being the "go-to person" for answers in a specific subject.
Answers is bringing this part of Yammer to it's own tab in Viva Engage, where answers around your organization are surfaced in a centralized feed, connected with Viva Topics for easy navigation and discovery.
If you for example feel that you're knowledgeable in Office 365 and like to assist your peers with questions related to it, you can select that subject in your Viva Engage's Answers page and start answering to people all across your organization. And you'll even get rewarded with badges! 🏅
These are just some of the new features coming to Viva Engage soon enough. Of course if you already didn't know, other new features like Storylines and Stories have really transformed Viva Engage into quite a charming and useful tool. And that's what Viva is really about: making the employee experience better.