Wipro drives innovation and encourages social learning through Yammer
Wipro is a global information technology and consulting company that harnesses the power of emerging technologies to help its clients adapt to the digital world. Wipro knows its workforce is its greatest asset. So, when the company launched its social learning program to augment traditional training methods, it chose Yammer as its platform. Today, social learning groups on Yammer are proliferating across Wipro, enabling peer-to-peer learning around emerging technologies and helping teams collaborate more.
When Rajesh Srivastava, Social Officer, and Head – Social Learning, Communication, Branding, and Marketing Portfolio for Talent Transformation and TopGear, began to see reports of how rapid, intuitive, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing on the company’s new social learning platform led directly to business benefits, it was both a breakthrough and a ratification of two years of hard work.
Wipro began its social learning program as part of the company’s overall digital transformation, intended to equip employees with the tools and experience required to better serve customers as they navigate their own journeys to the cloud. Wipro anticipated that providing a platform for collaborative learning had huge business value, so it was important to find the right social networking solution that would capture employees’ imagination and deliver on this promise. Wipro relied on Microsoft Office 365 and chose Yammer, the enterprise social network, as the platform for its social learning initiative.
“I was excited by the opportunity as Social Officer to create a strategy for implementing social learning at Wipro,” says Srivastava. “Social learning is peer learning through social media, using reviews, auto archiving, FAQs, teaming, and collaboration on demand. We use Yammer to share and acquire expertise through social learning across geographies and hierarchies. With more knowledgeable consultants, we win more business and sharpen our competitive edge.”
According to Srivastava, Yammer proved to be user friendly, even for the company’s long-term employees. When he reviewed Yammer usage analytics to assess engagement with the platform’s capabilities such as announcements, posts, hashtags, voting, and sharing of files and videos, it was clear that the social learning methodology appeals to everyone in the organization.
Employees have shared overwhelmingly positive feedback on the business impact of social learning. “We now have excellent trust between clients and team members, improvements in customer satisfaction scores, and a contract renewal resulting in repeat business,” says one Wipro employee. Another shares, “A few of the improvements we made in our project are the direct outcome of the social learning program. We established more effective project monitoring and tracking, a lower cost of delivery, and higher productivity—which improves our margins.”
Increased learning improves customer service
Created as an adjunct to the company’s traditional training methodology, the Wipro social learning platform on Yammer aligns with the company’s goal of creating a modern workplace where employees are mobile, collaborative, and interactive. Srivastava encouraged the formation of social learning groups on Yammer for employees to join voluntarily. Also, groups form alongside regular training sessions to help participants learn the material. Many of these groups evolve into permanent communities of practice.
“Ensuring our more than 160,000 employees around the world receive the same high level of training on the most recent IT developments is a challenge,” says Anurag Seth, Vice President and Global Head – Talent Transformation, TopGear, and Business Continuity at Wipro. “With Yammer, we have a global network available to engage employees and improve their skills. The learning happens in an organic, collaborative process that disseminates knowledge throughout the organization and raises the overall intellectual capital we bring to the market to help our customers succeed in a digital world.”
Wipro also uses Yammer to support another learning initiative called Topcoder, which offers on-the-job training and case studies for digital technologies. “We use crowdsourcing to encourage all employees to participate in exciting challenges and contests based on real-life problems they are likely to encounter in their work,” explains Seth. “Yammer is invaluable in publicizing these projects. And participants take to Yammer to brainstorm on solving challenges to win prizes. The more participants on Topcoder, the more employees we have with hands-on experience that they can use in the field.”
Encourages innovation, collaboration
Yammer is now well established at Wipro, used by approximately 100,000 employees. In the beginning, the most engaged groups had been extracurricular and regional groups. That changed with the advent of the Wipro social learning program. Employees took to the program on Yammer and began to build online communities to encourage the free flow of shared expertise. Wipro established its social learning program to sharpen the skills of a global workforce to better serve customers, and Yammer helped it meet that goal.
“Social learning is a catalyst to building confidence and driving innovation,” says Srivastava. “On Yammer, people get fast responses to queries, so they can move on to the next problem. Knowledge sharing among colleagues in 175 cities across the globe is now reaching a critical momentum. One of the top five most engaged Yammer groups in Wipro is a social learning group. We have a 40,000-person group in our learning and development function popularly known as Talent Transformation, and of the top 100 most followed employees on Yammer, 51 are from our social learning groups.”
These developments represent a culture change where business-oriented communities of practice on Yammer are growing in importance. One social learning group works with training faculty to create extra questions for participants; another group uses theme-based weekly discussions where participants share experiences and best practices. Yet another group sends out graphics to help people better understand technology. “Innovation is driven through Yammer by bringing social learning into the picture,” says Srivastava. “The incentive to contribute ideas is higher, because employees are recognized by our leadership team on Yammer—driving engagement with our company and its objectives.”
Srivastava built the social learning platform as a greenfield project, creating interest through a weekly dashboard that publishes statistics on the number of followers and posts per group. He introduced a social learning competition where the top five groups enter a winner’s circle and people can track their progress in a dashboard. “Creating fun, healthy competition among peers incentivizes employees to bring their ideas forward,” concludes Srivastava. “As we use Yammer to uncover great ideas and share learning, it’s a win-win situation for all stakeholders.”
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We use Yammer to share and acquire expertise through social learning across geographies and hierarchies. With more knowledgeable consultants, we win more business and sharpen our competitive edge.