Recently HHS launched a Department-wide social networking tool called Yammer to help employees better engage with one another. The Department has more than 75,000 employees spread across semi-independent organizations throughout the country. This presents great challenges. Having an internal social network open to all employees allows HHS staff to communicate and collaborate with one another across geographic and bureaucratic divisions to solve problems.
How Social Networking Tools Can Improve Internal Processes
There are many examples of “Yammer wins” already. Last week, one of our employees was attempting to get a website unblocked from our departmental internet filters. After submitting his request, he posted a note on the social network to discuss the process and find out what others thought.
His observations appeared in HHS’s Yammer newsfeed, and several others quickly chimed in with stories of their own experiences. Within a short period of time Andrew was connected with the person in charge of his request. In just a few hours his ticket was complete. This was much quicker than the 24-hour standard turnaround time.
While the fast turnaround time was great for Andrew, the more important effect of this exchange came from the conversation itself. Because Andrew’s note popped up in the general HHS newsfeed, other employees were able to make suggestions on improving the process. Users wanted:
- To receive an email notification when their request had been submitted
- To see next steps included in that email
- To receive a resolution email letting them know their request was completed
The tech team was able to begin working on site changes immediately with the feedback they received. It was that quick.
This is truly a collaboration success story for internal communications. It’s a great example of how social networking tools can add value to large organizations.