DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION TODAY
Communicating with Employees: Yammer vs Teams vs SharePoint Online
May 17, 2021
Picture It: You want to spread the news of something happening at your organization. You go into Office 365 and look for the right app to do it. But you don't know what to choose. You’re looking at Yammer vs Teams vs SharePoint. Does it go on SharePoint, or do you announce on Teams? Or do you make a post in Yammer?
The answer is…well, it depends, and it matters what you are trying to share. Now I may not be the most technical person on the planet, but I wanted to give you a basic understanding of these apps and what they can do.
Before we get into it, let’s break down what each application is:
- SharePoint Online: It is a cloud-based service built on sites and pages that helps organizations share and manage content, knowledge, and applications. Most intranets are built on SharePoint and can be accessed easily from the internet.
- Think Intranet. The news that needs to go out to everyone.
- Teams: It is a chat-based collaboration app you can access online or via your desktop that helps your Team stay organized and have conversations—all in one place. You can have your meetings, share files, and bring in other Office 365 apps (Like Planner, Dynamics, and OneNote) all into one place.
- Think about your Team. When you want everyone in your group to know something important but don’t need the whole company to know.
- Yammer: It is a social networking tool built around conversations to connect and engage across your organization openly.
- Think something like Facebook. A place to build a community and share thoughts and ideas.
So, all three help to share content and news. But still, where do I put what? Well, there are no cut and dry answers. But I can give you some scenarios that I believe work best and provide a place to start.
1. Did you make an organizational policy change?
- SharePoint Online. Since you want everyone in the organization to know about and have access to the required information, SPO will be your best bet.
2. Do you have HR Forms that employees need to access?
- SharePoint Online. HR forms need to be placed so new and old employees can get to quickly.
3. Did you hire a new team member?
- Most likely, you will want to announce a new member (or retiring one) to your whole Team. And Microsoft teams will help you do that, either in the General tab, or any other channels, allowing interaction from interested individuals.
4. Are you sharing a new birth announcement?
- Yammer vs Teams. This one can go either way, happy news with short-term value, so it doesn’t hurt to post it to both places.
5. Did you create a new internal book club for After-Hours?
- It is maintained by interested individuals and is a great place to discuss and share thoughts.
Now it may seem like there is no rhyme or reason on why I chose each platform. But there is. Here are the factors that I took into consideration:
- Who is the message intended for? You may not want the whole company knowing you had a stomach bug last week and need the time off form. Keep smaller and personal conversations to Teams.
- Who oversees the news being distributed? Is it HR that needs to add a new Benefits document, or is it just a manager saying he is off on Friday.
- How fast will it be distributed? All the platforms make it easy to disseminate information, but if you have some internal red tape before posting an announcement, the chances are that news is meant for SharePoint.
- Can changes be made to the announcement? If you want that new Tax Rules Document to be Read-Only, then you probably don’t want people to have access to change it. So, if you’re going to keep a lockdown on the document, SharePoint is the way to go.
- Is the message serious or fun? Knowing what the context is will also help you decide if it needs to live in an intranet or if you want GIF comments attached to it.
Hopefully, this helps put a little clarity behind the three platforms of communication. I am sure there will be some debate on what goes where, and I don’t want to start a philosophical discussion. At the end of the day, when in doubt on where to put that new announcement, ask IT.
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