With all of the messaging apps on the market, it’s hard to know which one is best for your organization. Although they all seem similar, there are distinct differences between each of the tools, which will affect how effective they are for your employees.
Depending on your company culture and what type of communication you’re looking to encourage, you will discover the differences between these deceptively similar tools.
In this blog post, I’ll focus on the differences between Yammer and Slack, two popular internal communications solutions that are both useful depending on the type of communication that you’re looking to foster.
What is Yammer?
Yammer is a social and internal communications tool that facilitates engagement and collaboration between employees. It is a quick and easy way for end users to share resources, have conversations, provide feedback and stay informed.
What are the key features (benefits) of Yammer?
- Seamless integration: Since Yammer is in the Office 365 suite, it’s simple to share and edit content from other Office 365 products right within Yammer. This is a great time-saving feature that makes it easy for users to edit Word documents or Excel spreadsheets without having to leave Yammer. Also, since Yammer is integrated with Office 365, you can search for certain subjects and find results across all of the Office 365 products, including OneDrive, SharePoint, and Yammer.
- Clear communication: Instead of relying on email and meetings to stay up to date with your employees, you can send a quick message on Yammer. This real-time communication is more efficient than lengthy conversations over email, which may not include all of the relevant team members. A survey done by Microsoft found that more than 75% of those surveyed, responded that Yammer helps their teams to communicate more effectively.
- Increase engagement: Yammer makes it easy to get your employees involved in conversations or brainstorm around a topic. Instead of emailing specific people, sending a message in Yammer gives everyone the opportunity to share their opinions and insights on a common topic. You can also gather this type of feedback by creating polls in Yammer or have users vote on company-wide changes.
- Foster company culture: Since everyone in the company has access to Yammer, this promotes the opportunity to create new connections between your employees as anyone can answer a question in Yammer, not just someone from your department or team. According to the previously mentioned Microsoft survey, over 80% of respondents said they feel more connected to their coworkers because of Yammer.
What is Slack?
Slack is a collaboration solution that consolidates all of your company’s communication (messaging, files, and tools) in one place. It helps your employees save time and drives meaningful and productive conversation.
What are the key elements of Slack?
- Organized communication: With Slack, you can neatly segment your conversations into channels. These channels can be created for teams, projects, announcements, or anything else relevant for your company. Another helpful feature is that team members can join and leave channels, ensuring that only relevant people are involved in the channel’s discussions. This prevents other people’s time from being wasted, which is a common occurrence with email.
- Powerful integration: You can connect different tools to your Slack account, such as Salesforce, JIRA, and Google Drive. This allows your users to create and comment on these files from within Slack, saving your users’ time and effort. Instead of sending the link through email and going back and forth with your responses, you can simplify this by communicating about the file directly in Slack and completing the task in a shorter amount of time.
- Boost collaboration: With Slack, you can communicate with more than your direct employees. You can create or share channels with other companies that you routinely work with, such as vendors, partners, and customers. This shortens that process of getting in touch and makes it easier to stay connected. Another way to stay connected with Slack, is the voice and video calls directly from Slack. Without needing to open another tool, you can quickly host a meeting and finalize decisions with your team.
- Collect feedback: Having a channel for customer feedback is a great way to have an accessible area where everyone can see current issues and can provide actionable suggestions for customer support. Since Slack is very easy to search, this is an area where your Customer Support team can quickly search for keywords and reply to customers in real time with feedback from previous cases.
Yammer vs Slack: What’s the Difference?
Yammer and Slack are both useful internal communication tools that serve very different purposes. Yammer is more of a social networking site for your organization.
Discussions are created when someone posts a message and then people respond with comments to that post. It eliminates the need for company-wide emails as it allows you to message your entire company directly with tips, company announcements, or general questions.
On the other hand, Slack is more of a messaging tool for your company. It is used more for real-time messaging and answering questions on projects or other essential tasks.
Since people answer faster, Slack is more useful for working within groups and discussing interdependent projects or deadlines.
Mistakes to Avoid with Yammer and Slack
- Not enough training: Before implementing a new tool, it’s important to make sure your users know how to use it. Otherwise, all of the money and time you spent on implementing the tool will go to waste, as your users will be less likely to use it.
- No support from leaders: Having your leaders set the tone and show how they use the tool is a vital step to getting your users to use the tool. Once they see the CEO is using Yammer or Slack, they will be more motivated to be active on the platform.
- Not enough encouragement: Without explaining to your employees the value and purpose behind implementing a new tool, none of your employees will understand the switch and will be hesitant to use the new technology. By showing how it makes their work lives easier, employees will be quick to hop on the bandwagon.
Yammer vs Slack: Which Tool Should You Use?
Deciding what type of communication is most important for your company will help you to determine whether you need to use Yammer or Slack.
If you’re looking for a tool to send company-wide messages and encourage informal communication between your employees, Yammer is the way to go.
If you’re looking for a solution that allows team members to send messages about projects and tasks and get real-time answers, Slack is the better option.
Another factor is the tools your company is currently using. If everyone uses Office 365, Yammer is the better choice since it integrates with all of the Office 365 products.
However, if your company leans towards Google Drive, Slack is the more logical option as it integrates with the Google Drive suite.
By analyzing your organization’s culture and communication style, you can choose which communications tool is right for you.