Today’s post was written by Russell Dyer, vice president and global head of communications at Mondelēz International.
When I joined Mondelēz International from Kraft Foods Group, I was excited by the challenge of communicating and building connections across a dispersed, culturally diverse workforce operating in many time zones. A leader in the snacking market, with iconic brands including Oreo, belVita biscuits, Cadbury and Milka chocolate, and Trident gum, Mondelēz International is a truly global business, operating in 165 countries, with more than 75 percent of its revenue generated outside the United States.
The business value of standardizing our best practices—what we call “The MDLZ Way”—is that it builds a company better equipped to compete in today’s global, digital markets. Our Information and Technology Solutions team is helping us achieve that goal by deploying Office 365 cloud services to our entire organization. Now that everyone uses a standard toolkit to communicate and collaborate, we’re starting to see some erosion of corporate silos, improved search and discovery, and easier access to colleagues and expertise.
Yammer is a great example. Our colleagues were craving a better internal social platform for that human connection, where they could share information and tell great stories about the company. Yammer improved our social collaboration with its simple, familiar interface and easy integration with other tools and services. While Yammer has had a presence at Mondelēz International for a few years, in May 2017 we relaunched it as our primary enterprise social platform for our entire organization.
The Yammer mobile app is the most seamless mobile experience we’ve ever delivered to our workforce, making the relaunch incredibly easy to drive adoption for our workforce. Today, there are nearly 20,000 individuals, more than 170,000 posts, and nearly 1,500 groups active among a range of communities, from functions like Corporate & Legal Affairs and HR to subject matter groups, social groups, and business strategy groups. Over seven months, we have seen a nearly 70 percent increase in active users and 13 percent increase in new groups.
Deploying a vibrant social platform is even more important as we build virtual workplaces to facilitate remote, mobile work scenarios. Where our employees sometimes felt a lack of human connection due to new, virtual ways of working, Yammer shrinks our world and makes us feel better connected. Our global sales force, one of the more remote populations of colleagues who use Yammer, stay engaged with their teams and the company. Sales reps take pictures of their stunning in-store snack displays and broadcast their innovative shelf setups to inspire other in-store reps.
Top-down and cross-functional communications that include the whole organization are now more frequent, natural, and interactive—driving overall engagement with our growth strategies. When we better understand our company, we feel more pride and are better engaged. For example, in a few of our quarterly conference calls for various regions and functions, we’ve hung up the phones and opened up “YamJams” to colleagues all around the world. With hundreds of questions and comments, and the most senior members of our leadership teams interacting with junior colleagues out in the markets in real time, everyone feels like they are at a virtual cocktail party.
Unexpectedly, but with remarkable success, Yammer has even served as a business continuity tool by helping us recover from a global malware incident that impacted many large corporations in June 2017. Starting in the minutes and hours immediately following the incident, Yammer became one of the reliable corporate communication channels that we used to run our playbook for managing this situation and staying connected. We shared official updates in real time around the clock, helped colleagues with questions, and broadcast technical FAQs so everyone knew what they needed to do as we managed through the recovery. And as teams worked hard to ensure business continuity, Yammer was a great way to celebrate our successes, sharing photos of teams all around the world tackling the same challenges in unique ways. It was an amazing use case for Yammer. It’s moments like these that are invaluable in building a winning culture.
Similarly, in Q4 we used Yammer to bid farewell to our long-time CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, after an amazing 11-year tenure leading our company. Colleagues from all around the world were able to say #ThanksIrene by sharing photos and personal stories of their fondest memories from Irene’s tenure. Best of all, everyone, including Irene, was able to engage in this global conversation. And when Dirk Van de Put, our new CEO, officially took over the company, he posted a selfie from his first town hall meeting, bringing our entire global employee base in on a fun and important message he shared that day.
At Mondelēz International, we believe that an engaged workforce is a more powerful one. It’s the rationale behind the first of our three corporate growth strategies: grow our people. We’re using Yammer to help achieve this goal. Today, we have a social enterprise platform that colleagues all around the globe use to celebrate their successes. One interaction at a time, we’re building an engaged, connected global workforce that pulls together to help us live our purpose and vision—to create more moments of joy by building the best snacking company in the world.
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