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Chat apps are everywhere in the enterprise, and rightfully so. Email is inefficient, nobody (unfortunately) answers the phone anymore, and teams are looking for ways to get work done faster. Real-time messaging apps provide exactly that: a place for employees to gather quickly, seek expertise and stay connected across dozens of departments, offices and countries.

 

But chat should only be one part of a company’s larger real-time collaboration strategy. While chat can bring big benefits, it too often results in fragmented conversations that don’t actually help your business become more efficient on a whole.

 

Check out these pitfalls and recommendations in my latest piece for cmswire to ensure chat plays the optimal role in your company's digital workplace.

Originally published on the Jive Software site on May 3, 2017 by Bill Klco.

 

Care coordination has long been an Achilles heel of the American healthcare industry. Gone are the days when personal relationships among practitioners and organizations were enough to ensure clear communications and hand-offs as patients made their way through the system. These days, the process is fraught with miscues, crossed signals and inefficiencies. It leaves patients struggling to understand their conditions, their treatment options, their care instructions and their payment responsibilities. It drives up costs for providers and payers. It increases the risk of medical mistakes and compromises the quality of care.

 

As the Improving Chronic Illness Care (ICIC) organization puts it, "Across U.S. health care, fragmented systems and communication breakdowns contribute to widespread failures in care coordination that have devastating consequences for patients (Reducing Care Fragmentation: Executive Summary).

 

Need further confirmation? Just ask the patients themselves, as the Commonwealth Fund did in this survey:

 

Those experiences ring just as true now as they did when the survey was conducted in 2008. The situation is unsustainable, especially with the industry's current shift to value-based reimbursement models that emphasize better outcomes at lower cost. Poor care coordination is a big obstacle standing in the way of those efforts. Clearly, something's got to give.

 

Teamwork: The Missing Ingredient

Care coordination has been defined as "the deliberate organization of patient care activities between two or more participants (including the patient) involved in a patient's care to facilitate the appropriate delivery of health care services." In other words, it's all about cross-functional connections and teamwork, and that's where the system so often falls short. While individual healthcare professionals may do an admirable job attending to their separate areas of responsibility, the cracks between them are wide enough for all sorts of important details to fall through. That's true even within single practices and clinical settings, and it gets much worse when a patient's care spans multiple organizations and environments (acute, ambulatory, out-patient, home care and aftercare).

Several factors in particular contribute to the problem:

 

  • Current healthcare systems are often disjointed, and processes vary among and between primary care practices (PCPs) and specialty sites.
  • There is often no central point of responsibility for the entire cycle of care.
  • Many organizations don't have sufficient people or systems dedicated to care coordination.
  • Much of the time and labor that goes into care coordination is not reimbursed.

 

Why New Collaborative Solutions Are Needed

It's critical for healthcare organizations to invest in new solutions that bridge the gaps and support better coordination. Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems being adopted by major healthcare institutions are a start, but they're not nearly enough, as a recent report by Frost and Sullivan made clear (Analysis of Care Coordination Software: Overview and Outlook, 2014-2020). Though EHRs are helping to eliminate disconnects and discrepancies in patient records, they don't provide the dynamic collaboration and communication capabilities needed to make collective decisions, fully orchestrate care and make sure all participants are informed and on the same page. They capture records of clinical decisions that were made, but they're missing a lot of the essential context around those decisions – the conversations and communications that are such an important piece of the process. Decisions made by different care teams can conflict, and without robust information on why decisions were made, physicians can be left guessing.What's really needed is a digital collaboration platform where all stakeholders can come together to share information, make care decisions, track progress and make adjustments as necessary. Such a platform serves as a hub for coordinated care, solving many of the issues described above. A clinical hub:

 

  • Creates accountability by bringing the entire care team into a collaborative environment.
  • Provides clinical alerts, reminders and messaging to the entire care team.
  • Bridges the gap between care providers and makes it easier to consider all aspects of a patient's condition beyond the EHR.
  • Provides a way to easily manage the conversations associated with transitions of care, keeping all caregivers on the same page. Specialists consistently receive clear reasons for the referral or adequate information on tests that have already been done.
  • Helps scale your existing care coordination resources to provide increased service to more patients, improving aggregation, analysis, and communication of patient information.

 

Of course, the collaborative platform has must comply with all rules and regulations (such as HIPAA and HITECH), and it must be secure. It should be easy for people to access and use via mobile devices, not just computers, since clinicians spend much of their time away from their desks. And it should tightly integrate with other essential tools and systems, such as secure texting and clinical communication systems, learning management tools and IT ticketing systems.

 

A successful clinical collaboration hub can dramatically improve care transitions and make the process better for everyone involved. By powering better collaboration, a hub reduces costly missteps, enables more timely decisions and actions, and cuts down on duplication and confusion. It eliminates many of the frustrations of disconnected processes and increases satisfaction not only for patients but also the caregivers themselves. It drives greater value across the entire spectrum of care. And most importantly it leads to healthier patient outcomes and the best care experience possible.

Learn how a clinical collaboration hub can improve care coordination for your organization.

Originally published on the Jive Software site on April 19, 2017 by Bill Klco.

 

The adoption of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems by the healthcare industry has led to real improvements in medical record-keeping, but those gains have come at an enormous price. Hospitals and other institutions routinely spend hundreds of millions of dollars on their EHRs (also known as EMRs, for "Electronic Medical Record" systems), with some implementations topping $1 billion (8 Epic EHR implementations with the biggest price tags in 2015, 8 hospitals' finances hurt by EHR costs). The costs continue to rise as the implementations get bigger and complex.

 

And it doesn't end there. Even after rollout, the costs continue to pile up due to ongoing upgrades and optimization processes. On top of all that, clinicians often have trouble using the systems and incur expensive penalties for incorrect use.

 

Not surprisingly, EHR systems are a putting a serious financial strain on the healthcare industry, and can take a hefty toll on the bottom line. For instance, EHR costs contributed to a 15% drop in net income at one major health system in 2012, and forced another to lay off 130 people at three hospitals in 2015 (Unpacking hospitals' EHR implementation costs: What's behind the million-dollar price tags?). This comes at a time when healthcare providers are under intense pressure to trim costs and become more efficient.

 

The problem isn't simply that EHRs are expensive; it's the inability of healthcare organizations to fully reckon with and plan for all the elements a successful implementation entails. Nearly every EHR rollout is plagued by major cost overruns due to unanticipated expenses in areas such as training, additional hardware purchases, operational costs, consulting fees, and change requests and fixes required because of miscommunications and difficulty gathering and implementing feedback. It's these overruns – not simply the intrinsic price of the systems themselves – that are really hurting the healthcare industry.

 

Why do so many EHR implementations exceed their budgets? One big reason is a failure to fully address some key questions up front:

  • How do you effectively manage communications within the EHR selection committee?
  • How do you capture all the design and build decisions as well as validation test results, and how do you communicate progress?
  • How do you work with diverse stakeholders across a large health system to communicate and coordinate the rollout?
  • As EHR champions are identified, how do bring them together to share best practices and support each other?
  • How do you train users and administrators during the rollout and provide ongoing education on upgrades and new features?
  • How do you gather feedback and process improvement suggestions from clinicians after rollout?
  • How do you provide ongoing support to clinical and administrative users (on current and previous builds at the same time)?

 

These are critical considerations, but they're often overlooked because they involve communication technologies beyond the EHR system itself. Many organizations make the mistake of assuming that existing tools like email and support tickets will suffice, but none provides the kind of powerful conversational and cross-functional collaborative capabilities needed to connect all stakeholders, share information, gather feedback and work together in a timely way. Given that even simple changes within an EHR can cause major issues with interfaces, clinical workflows and training, it's not surprising that the lack of a suitable communication and collaboration platform can lead to all sorts of mistakes, inefficiencies and extra costs.

 

That's where new-generation clinical collaboration hubs come in. These systems provide a single destination for organizing, informing and connecting all parties involved in EHR usage, including clinicians, care teams, administrators, IT and other staff. State-of-the-art platforms provide a broad array of capabilities, including news and announcements; departmental portals; team collaboration spaces; individual and group communications; document collaboration; people directories; rapid search for people and content; and support spaces.

 

These functions provide a comprehensive answer to all of the issues listed above:

  • The EHR selection committee can manage all communications, documentation and decision-making around each phase of the EHR lifecycle in a single, private collaboration space.
  • The design and build process can have its own space, where all decisions and test results are captured and shared, and where updates can be pushed out to clinical staff.
  • Targeted blogs and tailored news feeds keep all stakeholders informed on the EHR rollout.
  • EHR champions can have their own spaces for education and knowledge-sharing.
  • Training spaces provide all the resources – including discussions, Q&A, documents and videos – needed to educate users and administrators on EHR use, upgrades and new features.
  • Collaborative hubs enable a wide array of two-way communications and feedback channels, such as the ability to comment and reply to communications and content.
  • Hubs offer a very efficient combination of self-service, peer-to-peer and staff-assisted support. For instance, users can quickly find answers by searching existing content, or submit their questions to be answered by knowledgeable colleagues. Staff can jump in to field or clarify any unanswered issues.

 

Whether you're implementing a new EHR, upgrading your existing system, or optimizing processes, a secure collaboration hub can save you substantial time, resources and money. It also improves clinician productivity with support through all aspects of EHR lifecycle, from selection through ongoing optimization efforts. Major health systems have saved millions of dollars in their EHR optimization efforts by streamlining project communication and clinician feedback using a collaboration hub. One Midwestern health system reduced their backlog of clinical change requests from over 8 months to 3 weeks simply by moving to a hub.

 

Creating a successful EHR system requires the expertise, understanding and contributions of many participants. A well-designed collaboration hub provides a place for all of that to happen. In doing so, it reduces risks, reins in expenditures, helps organizations reap much greater ROI from their EHR investments, and brings a new predictability to fiscal planning.

Want to end cost overruns on your EHR/EMR project? Learn more: HIPAA-Compliant Healthcare Communication | Jive Software


For fun, I typed “digital transformation” into Google and scoured a few of the 58 million results. It didn’t take long before I noticed a pattern: most of the discussion is centered on technology. Countless articles cover the social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies you need to pull off a successful transformation initiative.

 

But digital transformation is not just an IT project. If done well, it drives a massive shift in human behavior that reshapes the way we live, work and what we expect from our daily interactions with friends and colleagues. A battle that big can’t be won by infrastructure and process improvements alone. It also requires companies to fundamentally rethink how they attract, engage and retain top talent to remain competitive.

 

So what is the missing link, you ask?

 

Read the piece on cmswire and let me know if you agree!

Over the past five years, we've seen a definite shift in how organizations implement workplace tools. In the past, when a department or team wanted new software, the CIO and IT department would recommended solutions and finalize all purchasing decisions. With the introduction of the cloud, procuring and acquiring new workplace tools has become easier than ever.

 

Now, any team – or even a single employee – can hop online and purchase a tool with a credit card!

 

While their intentions are usually to enhance workflow, productivity or collaboration, this often results in more silos within organizations. Ironically, many communication and collaboration tools don’t integrate seamlessly with others, so finding content or experts often becomes both difficult and time consuming.

 

Business or IT leaders who are concerned their employees use too many different, fragmented tools should evaluate their internal tech landscape and look for opportunities to improve the flow of information.

 

Within this article, I look at three reasons why you should work to declutter your workplace today as well as some pertinent advice on how to fine-tune and get the most out of what you have.

 

Read the full article and let me know what you think.

I'm excited to share an excellent article written by one of our very own community members, Michael Wegscheider from the Allianz Group. This piece in ITProPortal showcases his digital transformation expertise and highlights several of the key learnings and results his organization realized with its Jive-powered interactive intranet, Allianz Connect.

 

In the article, Michael talks about the insurance giant's journey going from 70 subsidiaries with their own distinct cultures and intranets, to a unified Allianz that's faster, more agile and more transparent across silos. He details four important best practices his team employed to create a gateway to the company's worldwide people and knowledge:

 

  1. Take Small Steps that Make Immediate Impact

  2. Translate Local Wins into a Global Transformation

  3. Embrace a Different Kind of Global Corporate Communication

  4. Use the Interactive Intranet to Accelerate Cultural Change

 

Read the full article for more great insights here:

Four keys to global digital transformation success | ITProPortal

 

What else have you learned along your company's digital transformation evolution?

I recently had the pleasure of publishing an article on customer experience and measurement in CMSWire, and the process gave me some food for thought. At Aurea, one of our own key tenets is a focus on customer success – and we love to see our CX Platform customers take a similar approach.

 

A good CX requires both invisible design and a powerful infrastructure to enable it. This is only possible when your tools, systems, processes and people work together seamlessly to deliver the best and most optimized messages, transactions and experiences to your customers. In my piece, titled “With Customer Experience Design, Less is More,” we discuss how to measure whether you’re getting it right by closely monitoring customer interaction analytics, net promoter scores (NPS) and retention.

 

For instance, here at Aurea we meticulously track, benchmark and manage to the NPS associated with customer support across our various products and services. In addition, we focus on our installed base customers and build product roadmaps to meet their needs long into the future. And, as you know, our infrastructure products combine seamless messaging, workflow and process integration, and system performance to help all kinds of businesses create optimized, invisible infrastructures on which the best experiences can be crafted.

 

Check out my full article for more tips on how to deliver transformative CX: https://www.cmswire.com/customer-experience/with-customer-experience-design-less-is-more/

I worked at an amusement park in high school, and was told to "be patient and understanding when you get asked the same questions over and over. While you may have answered that question dozens of times already, it's probably the first time that guest has asked that question."

 

That doesn't seem like a very efficient process, does it? Rather than pay someone to stand around answering the same question repeatedly, why not streamline and simplify to save time, labor and resources? While it may be an inevitable reality at an amusement park, most corporations operate in a similar way. Think about when your IT team sends out an email blast informing employees of a required security training. IT then spends the next several days fielding one-off questions and troubleshooting through email. What a waste of productivity and resources!

 

John Schneider, VP of Product Marketing here at Jive Software, an Aurea company, addresses this kind of pain point in his article, Aligning Workplace Collaboration and Communication with Your Intranet. He talks about how companies of the future are investing in digital transformation today, and explains the critical role an interactive intranet plays as a knowledge gateway for employees (rather than a tool for one-way communication). For example, rather than sending an email blast that triggers fragmented communication, an interactive intranet would eliminate this resource drain and increase productivity by allowing the sender and employees to address issues and comments all at once in a single blog with comments. This reduces the number of questions received by the sender, and helps employees easily find answers before they even need to ask!

 

This type of communication can only be done if everyone is in the same place, not fragmented across a variety of tools. In John's article, he emphasizes that "people want one place to access their company's information, people and applications" and outlines three ways an interactive intranet can bring a company together to achieve this kind of cohesiveness - through communication, collaboration and people and knowledge discovery.

 

Don’t set up your employees with the expectation that communication duplication and fragmentation is to be expected and accepted (like at the amusement park where I worked). Instead, empower your employees with the ability to openly communicate, collaborate and access the resources they need via an interactive intranet.

 

Read the article to learn more about how to grant employees unfettered access to their company's information, people and applications. Aurea51, the interactive intranet for Aurea that is powered by Jive, is my central place where I start and end my day - every day. Where does your company come together online?

Originally published on the Jive Software site on June 30, 2016.

 

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system based in West Michigan that offers a full continuum of care. It is comprised of 12 hospitals and Priority Health, a health plan with about 715,000 members.

 

The creation of a “One HR” experience for employees and leaders at 130 service sites streamlined, integrated and prioritized key messages and initiatives. The organization is leveraging their Jive-powered InSite community to connect more than 23,000 employees from various departments and geographic locations, resulting in measurable increased employee engagement through locally owned content, access to information and connectivity to and between individuals and groups.

 

Spectrum Health was honored for their innovative use of Jive’s Interactive Intranet and how they’re leveraging it to engage employees at JiveWorld16, taking home the 2016 Jive Award for “Transforming Employee Engagement for HR.”Specifically, the award recognized the company for how they have embraced a programmatic two-way dialog for organizational communication, improved employee engagement and unlocked the creative, innovative greatness often locked away in people’s one-on-one conversations.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Spectrum Health’s Corporate Communications and Enterprise Community Manager, Don Shell, to get his perspective on how Jive’s Interactive Intranet has impacted the company and how they utilize it on a day-to-day basis.

 

Spectrum Health's Don Shell Shares How Jive's Interactive Intranet Has Transformed the Way Employees Work, Connect and Align

 

Jive: If you had to sum up what Jive is to Spectrum Health in one sentence, what would you say?
Don: Jive is the catalyst to transforming the way we work, the engine we use to drive change, in an organization with a bold vision and in an industry that is evolving by the minute.

 

Jive: What are the top 3 benefits your company has experienced using Jive? Are there any metrics you can provide?

Don: Jive really has changed the way we connect, communicate and collaborate, in meaningful and measurable ways. From connecting 450 super users of our Electronic Medical Record system in a cohesive way, to creating a true source of communication, with 1.2 million news article page views last year, Jive is changing the way we interact with each other. It’s also changing where and how we look for information. Maybe the best metric is the 1,300 answered questions in our community (with a best-in-class 82% resolution rate), which are the gift that keeps giving. It’s estimated we’ve created more than $9.8 million in business value by using Jive, but I’d say the true benefits go way beyond a dollar value.

 

Jive: What department(s) in your company utilize Jive and how does each one uniquely leverage the community to accomplish group tasks/projects and achieve department goals?

Don: At Spectrum Health, we use Jive as our primary intranet, and are gradually migrating off of legacy systems such as SharePoint. More and more departments are migrating every day, and all of our 200 departments will leverage Jive in some way by the end of the year. Already we’ve seen more than 3,500 sites created, from official departmental “front doors” for the organization, to collaborative sites, affinity groups and others. Our Human Resources space, “My Life” transformed 75 disparate communications channels into a cohesive, one-stop shop on Jive, generating 1.3 million views last year and even winning the 2016 JiveWorld “Transforming HR” award!

 

Jive: What has Jive’s biggest impact been on you, personally? How has it changed the way you work?

Don: The great thing about Jive is that it helps us integrate our work lives with our true selves, and to scale our efforts far more easily than we ever could “in real life.” It’s helped me get to know our large health system—and especially the people in it—much quicker and easier than I ever could without it. It’s helped me help people in departments all across the system, to make connections between people, and to collaborate with my cross-departmental team in ways I never could before. Like many of our employees, it also makes me feel better connected and aligned with our vision.

 

Jive: Looking forward 5 years, how do you foresee Jive supporting your company’s vision?

Don: Our Vision is to be the national leader for health by 2020. To realize that, we need to embrace changing technology and a changing health care industry, and we need to collaborate as a system and share ideas better than we ever have before. Jive will help us streamline and standardize our processes, share information, and get us moving as an organization in the same direction—forward.

Originally published on the Jive Software website on July 27, 2017

 

As promised, earlier this year in 2017 we rolled out several new features for Jive’s mobile collaboration app, Jive Daily, including more functionality around people and content search and sharing, as well as enterprise IT management capabilities and security enhancements. In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights from our latest enhancements that support deskless and on-the-go employees.

 

For end users — your employees

  • Rich People Search & Directory: It’s simpler than ever to find and interact with your colleagues from the comfort of a mobile device. On the Jive Daily app, you can now view comprehensive profiles that not only include contact information, but also a person’s recent activity and content, connections, their place in the company org chart and more.
  • Rewards: You can easily celebrate your colleagues’ successes in the Jive Daily app through badges and reward points, right from the mobile experience.
  • Enhanced Tile Support: We’ve brought Jive’s personalized content experience to mobile through new tile features. Community Managers can create a customized, user-friendly homepage tailored to their interactive intranet or specific community placeshighlighting relevant updates, blogs, articles and more.

 

Mobile Device Management (MDM) integration for enterprise IT administrators

Through integrations with three leading MDM providersGood Technology, VMware Air-Watch and MobileIronour customers’ IT teams can control mobile operations and oversee security using their enterprise-grade platform of choice.

These MDM platforms let companies distribute Jive Daily with ease to foster mobile adoption, while also allowing systems administrators to configure the app remotely alongside their other business apps, from one central console.

Jive’s AppConfig protocol implementation supports enterprises on the AirWatch and Mobile Iron MDM platforms, and Jive Daily is also available via AppDome’s AppFusion technology for companies that use Good Technology.

 

Get tips for rolling out our mobile app to your community with our Jive Daily Adoption Kit. The latest versions of Jive Daily are now available for download through the AppStore and Google Play.

Originally published on the Jive Software website on April 28, 2017.

 

We were excited to welcome Commvault, the IT industry’s leading data protection and information management company, to the Jive family last year. At the time, the company brought in Jive to help improve collaboration and communication, give employees ready access to company strategy and content, and change the way employees work.

 

Next Wednesday, we’ll hear from Bill Wohl, Commvault’s chief communications officer, at JiveWorld17 about how the company has transformed since it replaced its outdated intranet less than a year ago. Bill was kind enough to give us a sneak peek of his mainstage presentation, which covers how Commvault Connect, the company’s Interactive Intranet (and one of our newest Digital Transformation Award winners!), harnesses and preserves corporate memory while enabling employees to easily find content formerly buried in silos across the organization.

 

Jive: Which best practices surrounding Commvault’s employee engagement and communications are you most proud of?

 

Bill: We have fundamentally built a platform for changing the way people at Commvault work in just nine months, something we couldn’t have done without Jive. When I first joined two years ago, people were isolated in separate departments and locations, and didn’t feel connected or aligned as an organization.

 

Thanks to leadership buy-in and a great cross-functional team, our new collaboration hub quickly exceeded everyone’s expectations. Commvault Connect gives us a central, easy-to-use place where employees can share content, collaborate and stay informed about management’s strategy and direction. I couldn’t be more thrilled with how Jive has enriched our communications strategies and changed our business for the better.

 

Jive: How do workplace technology and people’s mindsets need to evolve to address employees' changing needs?

 

Bill: The key is to continuously evolve. This is something I have learned time and time again over my career. In fact, communications professionals can benefit from many of the lessons I learned in my years as a volunteer firefighter. Before you can put out any fire (in business or elsewhere), you have to get agreement on the approach, you have to collaborate, and you need access to the right people and equipment to do the job.

 

In the future of work, if companies don’t empower collaborative teams with the right tools and build alignment around their direction, their share price, growth and innovation will suffer.

 

Jive: What are you looking forward to next week during the JiveWorld17 conference?

 

Bill: Jive has made a huge difference for us since we went live, and I’m excited to learn even more ways we can leverage the platform as our business grows. As Commvault’s employees get used to the new solution, they want more and more – everything from private spaces, to more content, enhanced search, you name it. JiveWorld17 will be a great opportunity to get new ideas for how we can satisfy that insatiable appetite for collaboration!

Originally posted on the Jive Software website on February 14, 2017.

 

 

One of the most recognizable consumer brands in the world, Yahoo is a company that’s undergone continual organizational change over the past several years. The Internet pioneer employees more than 8,000 engineers, web designers, product managers, sales reps, editors, researchers, marketers and other types of employees – spanning a wide range of functions in more than 50 offices and 21 countries.

 

With such a large, fragmented global organization, Yahoo’s IT and communications teams recognized that they needed an interactive digital solution to support internal collaboration and communications. A few years ago, the company adopted the Jive Interactive Intranet solution, which gave employees a central place to stay connected with each other and with the company overall. As a result, Yahoo has improved strategic alignment and employee engagement, while nurturing a more unified company culture.

 

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Yahoo’s director of communications, Carolyn Clark, and senior manager of collaboration products, Michael De Loia, to talk about how their company’s collaboration hub, called “Backyard,” has increased transparency around employee’s daily work and enabled an internal-first communications strategy.

 

                                             

 

Jive: If you had to sum up what Jive is to Yahoo in one sentence, what would you say?

Carolyn: At Yahoo, our “Backyard” is powered by Jive. Backyard is where our employees come every day to connect and both get work done, as well as find information about what’s happening at their company. We know that employees are the heart and the voice of Yahoo, and Jive enables us to keep them in the know so they feel more empowered and connected.

 

Michael: Backyard powered by Jive provides an interactive intranet for our employees; it lowers the barrier-to-entry for Yahoos to contribute and collaborate, increases transparency and efficiency, and makes information more discoverable.

 

Jive: What are the top benefits Yahoo has experienced using Jive as its Backyard?

Carolyn: With Jive providing the foundation of our interactive intranet, we’re able to execute our “internal-first” mantra and increase strategic alignment across the business. Rather than making the internal audience an afterthought, Jive helps us put employees at the center of all our communications. This pays big dividends when it comes to employee enthusiasm and engagement – two things that tend to fade when organizations go through major transitions.

 

Jive plays an important role in helping us navigate the inevitable rumor mill and leaks that end up being news sources for our employees. By getting more information out to employees faster, we’re creating a culture in which people know that when they come to Backyard, they’ll get the information they need vs. relying on outside sources that could be inaccurate. We’re posting 15-20 stories a week on everything from corporate updates and announcements to product launches and leadership get-to-knows. Now the majority of our employees visit Backyard daily, and nearly 90% say it is a source of truth for them.

 

In addition to being a valuable enabler for information dissemination, Jive serves as a collaboration hub that lets Yahoo employees work transparently. This breaks down borders and reduces redundancies as people work more collaboratively across traditionally siloed teams or groups. Many Yahoos have become more open about what they’re working on and about inviting others into projects, which creates a more unified Yahoo culture and a stronger sense of all being on the same team.

 

Michael: Backyard provides the “glue” to other disparate systems across Yahoo’s intranet via integrations or launching points, and has dramatically increased the amount of user-generated content on our intranet. As we moved away from traditional CMS and wiki platforms, authors were able to readily create work spaces, projects, groups, discussions and the like. This resulted in a dramatic increase in searchable content, vs. having information hidden in documents or email threads. It also increased collaboration across Yahoo, as the platform makes these interactions easy and enjoyable. Jive’s research has found that a “best in class” benchmark for active monthly users is 83%, and Yahoo exceeded that in 2015 and 2016: 85% and 88%, respectively. Another best in class benchmark from Jive is 210 for the monthly engagement index (which measures the number of user page views generated by active members in a given month). After Jive was officially launched as Yahoo’s new Backyard (replacing the legacy CMS), we also surpassed this number, averaging 344 for 2016.

 

 

Jive: What types of members utilize your Interactive Intranet, and how does it help them achieve their personal or company goals?

Carolyn: All of Yahoo’s thousands of global employees across our offices in Hong Kong, Toronto, D.C., New York, etc., rely on Jive for accurate information about what’s going on across the company. In addition to featuring “Yahoo in the news” updates, Backyard also helps to engage dispersed employees through a series of regular features with compelling visuals and infographics. For example, employees enjoy several series we post with quick, fun snippets, such as “get to know” regarding interesting leaders, “why yahoo?” on people who recently joined the company, “office spotlights” about various locations, and “five things” on each new product update.

 

All kinds of departments and groups use Backyard to share information, discussions, documents and feedback in an open, bi-directional way. Cross-functional teams especially appreciate the ability to find and connect with experts from all over the company, ask any questions they have, and get details about what people in different areas throughout the organization are working on. Our executives also use Backyard to encourage input and participation from everyone around the company.

 

Michael: Jive was initially adopted by our technical community, which makes up roughly half of Yahoo. As we migrated Backyard from a legacy CMS to Jive, it was heavily adopted by all our Yahoos: the People Team (HR), Sales, Marketing, Real Estate & Workplace, and of course Internal Communications, which drives a majority of the content on Backyard’s home page. Yahoo’s employee resource groups and other social and cultural groups are also active Jive users.

 

Jive: What has Jive's biggest impact been on you, personally? How has it changed the way you work?

Carolyn: Jive has made it easier for my internal communications team to stay in lockstep with our PR team. Thanks to Backyard, we have no impediments to our internal-first strategy, and can quickly get out all of our messaging and announcements to the correct internal audiences before kicking off our external PR tactics. Additionally, through Jive’s analytics, we can determine what stories are resonating with our employees. Having access to this information influences our editorial calendar, and helps us to deliver content we know our employees will connect with.

 

Michael: As the product manager for Backyard, having our intranet powered by Jive results in spending fewer resources on supporting the intranet, and freeing up time to develop on top of the platform. We have been able to make Jive a uniquely Yahoo property to align with our strong external brand, and implement integrations with other heavily-used systems inside Yahoo, which in turn leads to higher engagement with our employees. Jive has also facilitated increased satisfaction for my stakeholders, as they are able to more easily engage with and serve their audiences.

Originally published by Kim Anderson on the Jive Software website on November 13, 2015.

 

Sales enablement is essential for companies competing in a modern business environment. I talked to Jive Software’s Senior Enterprise Community Manager, Kosheno Moore, about the importance of onboarding, the key people and ingredients needed to set up an internal Sales Enablement Community, and the significance of content and design.

 

Q: Why is sales enablement so important today?

A: Enabling a company’s sales organization is critical to the bottom line. The faster new sales employees can get onboarded to a company, the better.

 

Q: What are the main goals of an internal Sales Enablement Community?

A: The first goal of this use case is to streamline and simplify the communication and onboarding experience for new sales reps, along with giving them easy access to continued education. Next, there needs to be a clear guide to selling the company’s products. Finally, it should result in an improved user experience and make it easy for sales to find what they’re looking for. Bottom line, the experience should be so awesome that sales employees are becoming passionate storytellers of your company’s product and value propositions to your prospects.

 

Q: Who should be a part of this project?

A: At the head of that table is an Executive Sponsor. He or she is responsible for strategic alignment and weekly engagement. When there are major resource constraints, timeline changes or scope changes, it’s important to have this sponsor have the last say.

 

Next are the Implementation Sponsors. They’re responsible for process, tools alignment, strategic alignment and weekly engagement. They make sure that the Executive Sponsor’s goals are implemented correctly for their organization’s processes and charters.

 

The Project Manager makes sure there is tight coordination and keeps the entire team engaged and productive. This person is critical for ensuring that the team is meeting the timelines and deliverable expectations.

 

The Sales Enablement Managers are responsible for ownership of the Sales Onboarding Program and content creation. Program ownership and content creation subject matter experts are E.S.S.E.N.T.I.A.L!

 

You should also have a Strategist who is in charge of strategic solutions based on requirements and best-practices. It is so easy for us to want to jump into designing how an experience should be or how a page should look—the Strategist’s role is critical in ensuring that Executive Sponsor’s goals are effectively implemented.

 

Finally, an Enterprise Community Manager should be engaged to correctly and effectively implement the design outlined by the strategist. A Community Manager could also execute on visual format design and the operations manual for Sales Enablement Managers onto a technical platform.

 

Q: Can you discuss the importance of process to a Sales Enablement Community?

A: We can’t implement a community solution without clear processes and ownership that can support the overall goals. Well-defined processes are going to be the blueprint for how we solve the use case within a community. Process engineering is not necessarily the role of a strategist or a community manager. Certainly, they can help to define the processes but, at the end of the day, there needs to be a clear owner who can own and maintain the processes. So, it is critical for the Enablement Manager to come to the table with an approved (which means, he or she has done the due-diligence of getting the feedback from the right stakeholders and executive sponsors). This is so very important because without an approved plan, its very difficult to implement a solution. It’s like putting the cart before the horse.

 

Q: What are the steps involved in designing a community solution?

A: With a clear process, a strategist can come in and start to design a solution by:

  1. translating executive sponsor’s goals into solution concept
  2. mapping them to relevant components of the processes and operational strategy
  3. defining an information architecture, and
  4. creating a best-practice wireframe.

 

By the time the wireframes are created, the enablement team had clear understanding on how they needed to maintain this use case on ongoing basis to keep it successful.

 

Q: How important is content?

A: Content is King and Queen. This is probably the most time consuming step but it is so very important. It was imperative for us to create high production value assets to increase engagement and interactions with our content.

 

Q: How do you deal with existing content?

A: It is very easy to create a checklist of existing content within a community. However, it was very important for the Enablement team to provide all Sales new hires with a “wrapper” content—almost 150 pages of them—where role relevant context to the linked materials are clearly articulated. In this example, the Enablement Managers tirelessly created all of the wrapper contents in a matter of couple of weeks. What’s going to keep this program successful is their team’s commitment to keep these content up-to-date and relevant. No content, no quality use case. Be prepared to create new content you are ready to maintain—and archive old content. This is the time to get super-creative about fun ideas to get your use case audience excited!

 

Q: What about data management?

A: If this use case is an improvement to an existing one, it is likely that there is a lot of irrelevant content. It is important to do some house cleaning before launching the new community. If you have thousands of pages of old content, you may need to put a stake in the ground (with your sponsor’s approval) and say, “We are only going to keep content that was created in the last x-months and everything else will be marked outdated, moved out of the place, etc.

 

Any final tips for implementing a Sales Enablement Community?

A: Spend some time making sure the user experience is excellent by using simple but visually striking assets.

 

(New department portal for sales is a one stop shop for all sales communication)

 

(Sales Jiversity—an example of a content hub for sales skills, onboarding and continual education)

Originally published by Vanessa DiMauro on the Jive Software website on November 3, 2016.

 

A New Day in Corporate Collaboration Is Dawning

Economists, researchers, and journalists are now making the connection between an organization’s collaboration environment and its ability to innovate. They’re also seeing its impact on its overall financial performance. And what, you may ask, is at the center of an organization’s ability to collaborate in the digital age? Their intranet.

 

Today’s intranet – aka the interactive intranet – is much more than a static tool or information repository

 

It’s a powerful portal to knowledge and a gateway to collaboration. That’s because interactive intranets are no longer centered on sharing completed content–they’re optimized to promote the creation of content. They bring together divisions, departments, groups, and individuals to flesh out ideas and co-create solutions. They yield faster access to information, break down geographical boundaries, and–most importantly–advance competitive advantage.

 

So why are interactive interactive intranets essential to the modern work environment?

 

The good people at Jive Software, leading social software provider, recently published an interesting e-book: “From Fragmentation to Connection: How IT, Corp Comms and HR Professionals Can Unite People, Information, and Systems for Better Company Performance.” They created the book to outline the key concepts related to interactive intranets and educate business leaders on the impact these systems can have on the top and bottom line.

 

As someone who writes about, teaches, and works with firms to develop digital business solutions, Jive sent me an early copy of the e-book and invited my reflections. Here are some key points that caught my attention:

 

1. They Provide Strategic Value Across Corporate Functions and Enhance Employee Productivity

Business leaders who haven’t seen a fully functional, interactive intranet in action may not realize the strategic value they can deliver. Jive’s e-book brings the interactive intranet to life.

 

The book includes multiple use cases and real-world examples that juxtapose the old-school intranet way of doing things against the interactive intranet way of doing things. In the process, it’s easy to see how an interactive intranet can have a positive impact on all sorts of processes in every corporate department–including HR, IT, Corporate Communications, Sales and Marketing.

 

I was particularly struck by the connection among interactive intranets, email, and cost savings. Let’s look at some data points…

 

  • Research on multi-tasking shows that knowledge workers check their email up to 74 times a day, or 11 times per hour.

  • Combine this with findings from a recent Harvard Business Review study that shows that shifting our attention from one task to another, as we do when we’re monitoring email, reduces employee productivity.

  • Consider also a 2015 study by Microsoft that finds that checking email not only lowers productivity but also increases employee stress levels.

  • Then overlay data from the Jive ebook that suggests that interactive intranets can result in a 21% reduction in email load.

 

If you connect the dots, these combined findings suggest that a well-supported interactive intranet could significantly free staff up to focus on the tasks on hand rather than email monitoring, which could yield an increase in productivity and output–all while making employees more relaxed. Talk about a win-win situation!

 

2. They Facilitate Real-time Feedback That Helps You Shape Your Business Strategy

The e-book echoes what I have seen firsthand with the organizations I work with: interactive intranets can bridge the gap between objectives and implementation in several critical ways.

 

Using an interactive intranet lets you share aspects of your business strategy for specific feedback. This is one way to see if the plan will withstand the litmus test of employee acceptance. After all, they are the ones who will be responsible for executing it.

 

The interactive intranet is also a perfect vehicle to gauge how well an already-introduced strategy has been internalized. By collaborating and communicating via messages, videos, documents, polls and more, business leaders can then reinforce the strategy where it needs further explanation.

 

3. They Make Search Sexy

I was excited to see that Jive’s e-book mentions the impact that an interactive intranet’s federated search function can have on the organization. While a seemingly small point, it is in fact a hidden gem!

 

Search has long been the Achilles heel of corporate collaboration. Before the interactive intranet, knowledge workers lost hours, even days, trying to put their finger on the information they need. And far too many work products suffered significant setbacks because of rework or redundancy.

 

Interactive intranets have the inherent ability to simultaneously search multiple resources–including documents, people, places, discussions, and questions. They make finding information easier, faster, and more efficient than ever before. That’s an incredibly significant development–especially since findability is the cornerstone of speed, efficiency, collaboration and competitive advantage.

 

4. They Help Your Employees Become Company Advocates

The e-book does a great job of demonstrating the impact an interactive intranet can have on a company’s discrete HR and Corporate Comms functions. But I’m jazzed about the collaborative opportunities that are possible when these two functions join up.

 

Think about it: HR teams are using interactive intranets to engage employees, reduce onboarding time and improve employee satisfaction. Corp Comms teams are using interactive intranets to share messages across the organization, and track and measure the message’s sentiment, reach and engagement.

 

Engaged and connected employees make the role of Corporate Comms easier. When employees have access to critical information and have a way to respond, ask questions and get answers–they are able to serve as employee advocates who cascade corporate messages across their professional channels. And when collaboration happens at this level, it is truly poetry in motion.

 

5. They Solve One of IT’s Biggest Pain Points

It is no secret that a huge challenge for IT departments is managing disconnected systems and maintaining corporate standards–especially when so many tool purchases are happening outside IT’s remit.

 

Too many tools, too many systems, and the burden of jumping between applications gets in the way of effective collaboration. Plus, the cost and time burden on IT to support this sea of tools is substantial.

 

The vision has always been convergence–where employees can read, think, write and co-create in a single environment. The e-book spells out how interactive intranets can reduce complexity and fragmentation, easing the management burden on IT, and providing users with an integrated communication and collaboration experience.

 

 

So What's the Big Takeaway?

Jive’s “From Fragmentation to Connection: How IT, Corp Comms and HR Professionals Can Unite People, Information, and Systems for Better Company Performance,” offers a thoughtful analysis of how an interactive intranet is essential to success in the digital age. In 2016 and beyond, it’s hard to imagine how a mid-to-large organization could function, let alone thrive, without one.

Originally published by Kosheno Moore on the Jive Software website on February 16, 2017.

 

Built on its own technology, Jive Software’s Interactive Intranet—Brewspace—is a modern enterprise collaboration solution that unites Jive’s more than 650 employees across regions, functions and devices, while integrating with numerous popular third-party apps, including Sharepoint, Salesforce and Dropbox, to provide one holistic work platform. It’s a one stop-shop where Jive employees connect, stay informed, collaborate and get work done every day, from anywhere using any device. With 81% of our employees contributing to Brewspace, it might literally be one of the most engaged communities in the world. We’re talking about hundreds of pieces of documents, blogs, discussions and videos created every single day, each averaging several likes and tens of thousands of views daily. That’s a ton of content, so the internal communications question we’re faced with is how do we help people keep up with it all? To address this challenge and ensure that our vibrant intranet keeps adding value, our HR, corporate communications and leadership teams partnered to carefully execute a robust internal communication strategy and further drive strategic alignment across the company.

 

Here’s some background on the steps we’ve taken, and which methods have worked well for us at Jive…

 

Question 1: What is the most important information we want our employees to know?

A significant part of our internal communications is ensuring that every employee understands Jive’s critical business strategies. Driving strategic alignment is a key objective for comms because we want the entire organization to understand how our corporate goals map to their day-to-day jobs. This means everything from our company vision to our quarterly performance and specific calls-to-action for all employees:

  • Our Vision: Where we are going as a company?  How are we going to get there?

  • Company Strategy:  What is our strategy? Why is it important? What needs to happen? Who is accountable?

  • Business Operations: What key business processes do we need to execute and continue to improve? Why have we put these processes and disciplines in place?

  • People: What are our cultural attributes and values? How are we promoting them and how can each employee take part?

  • Outside In: What are our customers, analysts, media and investors saying?

  • Inside Out: How can we help employees engage with outside influencers and evangelize our corporate messages through their own social channels?

 

Question 2: Where is the communication happening?

We’re constantly monitoring where internal communications is happening on its own, so we can avoid re-engineering what is already working and focus on filling the biggest gaps. Once identified, it was just a matter of ensuring that we achieve the right level of visibility, scalability and sustainability for each of our priority messaging platforms. With the help of our community management team, our intranet analytics and key stakeholders, we created a map of information flow during an initial assessment. It showed us where and how content and communications were tend to be generated within our organization:

Implementing our key communications tactics

Once we established which topics we wanted to focus on, and where communications was already happening, it was a matter of establishing more discipline around maintaining consistency across our leaders and employee base. We quickly identified resources to either create content or facilitate the necessary programs where they weren’t yet as frequent as we wanted. It was then much easier for our comms team to align company all hands, department all hands and quarterly product talks around priority topics. We got our follow-up up communications into consistent formats and methods of delivery (so employees knew what to look out for), and were able to better align consumption experiences and effective cadence.

 

Brewspace: Jive's Interactive Intranet

Another big part of reinforcing Jive’s priority topics included changing the way these topics were to be displayed on the Brewspace homepage. As such, we configured the “Corporate Update” news stream with executive blog posts, as well as all company strategy updates and information on global business operations. For department or function specific updates, content sources were mapped based on employee’s profile fields so every employee had a personalized homepage experience. While all this content lives in multiple different places throughout the intranet, the Jive communications team made sure that any posts that address these key strategic areas appeared in the real-time news stream on employees’ Brewspace homepage. There, Jive reinforced the most important communications through graphic banners at the top of the page in order to draw more attention to these messages.

 

Additional Tools to reinforce strategic messaging:

We created “What every Jiver should understand” – a living resource library that curates the most relevant, current content from around the community about our company’s vision, strategies and objectives. Our community management team reviews and updates this document at least once per month to ensure that the latest content is captured. This resource library then is promoted around Brewspace, including within new hire onboarding checklists, manager training materials, our corporate communications portal and community management resources.

 

Jive also introduced the “In case you missed it” blog series, which is by the community management team. On a weekly basis, the team summarize all entries that touch on the company’s strategic focus areas in a very simple blog post, which is published in a special news stream with an email push notification to all community members.

 

Culture of Ideation

As part of the internal communications strategy, it was important for Jive to proactively receive employee feedback on critical topics.  One of the ongoing programs implemented by communications team is “Idea Jams.” This is where the communication team would partner with relevant business stakeholders and put out a specific call to actions to employees so that they can submit ideas on a particular topic.  Ideations are usually wrapped with specific communication and promotion campaign across the company and typically the entire employee base is invited to submit and vote on the best ideas.  In 2016, Jive engaged at least 60 percent of employees where hundreds of innovative ideas were generated around revenue generation, cash savings, product integration and culture.

 

Measuring internal communications

In order to evaluate whether we’re moving the needle on our comms objective to drive strategic alignment throughout Jive, we view Brewspace’s impact metrics for each piece of content that’s showcased in our corporate updates stream, resource library or weekly newsletter. In addition, we complement these quantitative metrics with more quantitative feedback from 1:1 meetings between managers and employees, as well as a periodic survey we conduct to measure the level of comprehension surrounding Jive’s strategic messaging.

 

By streamlining internal communications and content, Jive achieved:

  • One-hundred percent hit on all official strategic content appearing within the top five search results from anywhere on the intranet.
  • Over eighty percent direct reach on key CEO communication within the first seven days of publishing.
    Sixty-five percent direct reach on all strategic blogs including fifty percent of employees actively engaging with these pieces of content through social interactions such as likes, shares, and comments.
  • Eighty-three percent of employees participated in a feedback survey felt that the strategic message delivered by our CEO and Executive staff gave them a better understanding of the company’s strategy and direction.
  • Eighty percent of employees participated in a feedback survey felt that management provided them with meaningful and direct answers to the questions asked.

As today’s fragmented communication channels proliferate, and people experience more information fatigue, it is important for those of us in the communications profession to come up with creative and nimble ways to keep our company’s important messages front and center in our organizations. At Jive, we’ve honed in on three critical ingredients that ensuring our organization stays aligned: 1) strong executive sponsorship for our interactive intranet; 2) the ability to sustain nimble processes and 3) a great partnership between community management, HR and corporate communications.

 

Which communications practices have worked best for your organization?

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