British Airways is using Yammer to help encourage teamwork and collaboration across its 41,000 strong workforce.
The company has passed the one million Yammer posts mark within 21 months of deploying the enterprise social network – representative of the vast amount of knowledge shared between British Airways employees across the organisation.
British Airways is also pioneering the use of Microsoft Office 365 for its parent organisation, International Airlines Group, which also includes Iberia and Vueling Airlines.
“We’re using Office 365 to help achieve excellent levels of collaboration, operating synergies, punctuality and customer satisfaction,” said Adrian Steel, global head of IT operations for International Airlines Group. “We introduced Yammer two years ago, and within just six months, more than 11,000 employees had joined the British Airways network. We’ve found that Yammer facilitates spontaneous conversations among employees — sparking innovative ideas that help us operate more efficiently and improve customer service.”
According to Steel, Yammer is a hive of activity during major company events, such as the unveiling of the new Airbus A380. When this happened, some cabin crew members noted that the galley layout could be improved, and one employee even drew up and posted some recommended changes. The organisation’s engineering team was tracking this social conversation over Yammer, and was able to capture and incorporate feedback in a matter of days.
“This connection and level of collaboration between different parts of our organisation would have previously taken significantly longer to achieve,” said Steel. “Yammer collaboration reduced the exchange to days and drove a highly effective solution that enhanced staff productivity and customer service on our new A380 flights.”
Another example of Yammer being used to bring about positive change within the organisation saw the team responsible for customer experience suggest improvements to the amenity kits that British Airways give out to customers in its First cabins.
“Cabin crew started a thread talking about the amenity kits, discussing what customers thought about them and what products might be included in the future,” said Steel. “Having real-time feedback from our colleagues at our fingertips ensures we can make changes that our customers will love, and our cabin crew colleagues know that their feedback is important. Yes, our employees could have conducted all these conversations over e-mail, but e-mail isn’t the best forum for group discussions. Yammer is a very efficient way for hundreds of people to exchange ideas quickly across many locations, time zones and teams.”
In an industry where time is of the essence, improving processes can have massive benefits.
“We supplement these core processes with Yammer and Skype for Business online to encourage collaboration among many teams in real time to make the best possible decisions in each situation,” said Steel. “With the ability to quickly solicit great ideas from our global workforce, on the ground and in the air, we are transforming our business and continuously improving customer service. This is what it’s all about. This is one of the areas that helps us distinguish our brand from the competition.”
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