Enterprise Social Network at LexisNexis (#SWCONF)

Presentation by Laurie Hibbs, Human Resources Director, Lexis Nexis at SWCONF 2012 

Laurie spoke about the journey of integrating Yammer as an internal social network at Lexis Nexis, highlighting the top lessons learned and some of the things which have helped the organisation to encourage employees to take their conversations on to the Yammer network.

What was the need for Lexis Nexis to become more social as an organisation?

  1. Breaking down the barriers between the different groups with differing interested and work habits,
  2. Encouraging “pull” communications, not just “push” messaging,
  3. Changing from a top-down organisation into one where ideas come from all levels to the top.

Laurie’s advice on how to support adoption of new social tools by employees

  1. Find the appropriate way to communicate the reasons for using a new platform or process to your employees.  All organisations are different and you need to take a call on what messaging will be correct for the culture and well-received.
  2. Create a well thought-out awareness campaign.  Laurie chose to remind people to use Yammer by creating banners to display in the office and give employees mugs: they’re relatively cheap and stick around!
  3. Lexis Nexis ran a series of drop-in sessions with a focus on helping employees understand how to post on Yammer and providing demos for how to use the platform’s functions.
  4. Create some “Killer Apps” to encourage people on to the network.  For instance, choose some unique content which you’ll publish only to the network to drive traffic.  Lexis Nexis chose to publish their UK jobs solely on Yammer and informal interviews with senior management to drive traffic to the network.  Also, Lexis Nexis use the network as the first choice for announcements and events.
  5. Involvement and “Executive Sponsorship” is really important for making network adoption spread across the company.  Making sure that senior managers were using Yammer to provide knowledge and respond to questions was a key task for Laurie and something he feels was a key driver in encouraging more traffic to the network.
  6. Remember: this is a journey and you’ll need to provide a good amount of guidance, especially during the early days!

An additional, unexpected benefit of an internal social network

Lexis Nexis found that crisis management through Yammer can be extremely effective.  Compared with sending a static statement via email, a more heart-felt position can be communicated via Yammer or any internal social network much more effectively.

Watch Laurie’s interview where he shared more insights on their use of Yammer as an Enterprise Social Network.

You can find out more about Yammer here.