A new strategy, a new way of working





A financial services company needed to get its employees sharing insights, and developing and acting on new ideas to support its new strategy. So the company approached Water Cooler to help it launch Yammer, the internal social networking tool that makes it possible for people to collaborate across teams, locations and hierarchies.

The solution: sparking conversations on Yammer

Water Cooler supported the internal comms team at every stage of what was an extremely fast-paced project.

First, we developed a comms strategy for the launch. As part of this, we identified the groups of people who’d be crucial to building a successful Yammer community. We defined their roles and created objectives and planned activity for each.

We also recommended that the company encourage early adopters to champion Yammer and help other employees get started. Water Cooler led the recruitment activity with 70 ‘Yambassadors’ enthusiastically taking on the role.

With the financial services industry being tightly regulated, the company was keen to make sure employees used the new network appropriately. Water Cooler assuaged concerns by producing a half-page policy document that was praised for its clarity, concision and use of straightforward, non-legalistic language. The policy was supported by an animated video that was included in the CEO’s launch communication.

Water Cooler developed the creative concept ‘spark something today’ to promote Yammer and the different ways of using it. On the morning of launch, employees arrived to find the building transformed with promotional materials and Yambassadors were on-hand wearing branded t-shirts. For the first 30 days, a new ‘Spark Plug’ – clever tips for using Yammer – was posted to the all company feed.

Throughout and post launch, Water Cooler acted as the company’s community manager, creating ‘how-to’ guides, encouraging conversations on Yammer, and reporting to the executive committee on uptake of the network.

The outcome: business benefit within the first three months

More than 2,000 employees signed on within the first month, posting nearly 7,000 messages and 4,000 likes in 250 groups. After three months, the team was able to report a significant number of yamwins – benefits to the business that wouldn’t have happened without Yammer.

July 2014

Case Studies