"Our network gives us a competitive edge by making us more innovative as a business. The core of that innovation is the dialogue Yammer promotes with staff and increasingly, customers.
— Christian Fleck
Managing Director, UK & Ireland
An Enterprise Social Transformation
Yammer lets LexisNexis focus on what they do best: developing information and technology products for professionals.Watch Now
At LexisNexis, fostering a dialogue-based culture and engaging employees means using Yammer to improve the way people communicate.Watch Now
The Soul of Success
As the soul of LexisNexis, Yammer fosters team collaboration and empowers employees to help the business succeed.Watch Now
The largest and fastest-growing part of the Reed Elsevier publishing group, LexisNexis is a global provider of business software and solutions for professionals like attorneys and accountants. “Basically, we help lawyers and others do their job more effectively,” explains Christian Fleck, managing director, LexisNexis UK and Ireland. To do their jobs more effectively, LexisNexis’ management and staff increasingly rely on Yammer—a companywide initiative that Fleck champions.
LexisNexis implemented the network to move beyond conventional—and easily ignored—corporate communications. “Yammer maps exactly to what we’re trying to do: build dialogue-based communications across the business,” Fleck says. “Rather than having executives just talk at people, we wanted to set up a back-and-forth with each side educating the other.”
“Yammer was both a groundswell and a strategic move for internal communication,” he adds. “While we were thinking about how to implement it, we found out that a lot of our staff—about 30 percent—were already using it.” To make the most of that organically growing network, LexisNexis UK upgraded to Yammer’s premium version in September 2011 and launched an initiative to encourage network use. The campaign included everything from coffee mugs to humorous videos featuring top executives, and today more than 1,100 of the division’s 1,200 employees have Yammer accounts.
“A communication infrastructure is only as good as the engagement,” Fleck says. “If that engagement isn’t voluntary, if it’s not driven by enthusiasm and passion, it won’t work. Yammer is brilliant for us because the people who work here love it, embrace it, and use it on a regular basis without the company enforcing participation.”
Yammer is now the medium of choice for publishing job postings, news updates, and videos—including the popular “Caught in the Lift” series, which is comprised of two-minute videos of executives discussing businesses topics in an elevator. LexisNexis UK also uses its network to build enthusiasm for—and reinforce the messages of—all-hands and kick-off events. When the CEO of LexisNexis’s Global Legal Business Mike Walsh came to the UK, Yammer helped him get to know the division’s employees—and vice versa. “We conduct live Q&As; with visiting executives, generating questions on Yammer, then posting responses,” explains Human Resources Director Laurie Hibbs.
Changing how LexisNexis communicates changes how it operates, too. “Yammer has a big impact on the way we work, including who works on projects,” Hibbs points out. “It helps us identify people who are passionate about certain topics that we’d never have found any other way. For instance, we now have people from HR and sales on some product teams, instead of just staff from product design and marketing.” That kind of cross-functional teamwork adds a diversity of perspectives—which makes for a more comprehensive approach and better outcomes.
It’s not only the content LexisNexis puts on Yammer that’s innovative, it’s how the platform works. “The thing that excites me most is how we can shift the company’s communication paradigm from push to pull,” Hibbs says. “People can pull down the information they require, rather than the old style of broadcast, where people just get bombarded with corporate noise.”
Hibbs’ excitement about the network makes him philosophical. “More than any other technology or project, Yammer represents the soul of LexisNexis,” he observes. “It actually lets you see the reality of what it is to work at our company. That’s a major benefit, since it enables senior management to understand what people on the front lines are thinking— and conversely, for people like sales reps to understand what management is thinking.”
With the UK division as an example of how Yammer can transform relationships and operations, the network is starting to extend globally across LexisNexis and its parent company, Reed Elsevier. “The whole business is getting on-board based on the results we’re seeing in the UK,” Hibbs says. “I want Yammer to be the tool that’s reached for first in terms of communications and problem-solving—and I’m very much looking forward to the day when it replaces, say, 70 percent of our internal email.”