I'm really excited to announce that we just launched our very first custom app (developed in-house)!! We've taken the open-source code for Props and turned it into a great way for employees in our global workforce to recognize each other. It launched today (technically, at 7:45PM Eastern time last night to coincide with China's morning), and people are Wowing up a storm! Wow is our name for our custom version of Props.

 

How did this happen? Well, it all started when one of our People & Culture managers (thanks, brivera!) saw the Props app and asked the question, "Could Jive make this customizable, so that we could bring it more in line with our brand?" Mark Weitzel and I had been talking a bit at that point about apps in general, and so I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. He said he'd heard the same question from another customer, so he put together a meeting where we talked about what we'd all be looking for. A requirements document came into being. Mark went about working with Jive folks to make the code ready for open source and the move into github. He then hired a great summer intern who added some specific hooks for the kinds of customizations we'd all been looking for, and helped to create some documentation. In the meantime, at UBM Beth worked on deciding what the app would be called, what the trophies would be for and would look like. We also found a development resource (kcastillo) willing to help on the project.

 

Fast forwarding past some slow starts and dry spells, a little shove here and a nudge there, we finally arrived at launch day this week! Although UBM is very divisional in focus, we were able to have the P&C teams help drive awareness, and people have jumped in and started using it right away. One employee even commented that because of the changes from Props to Wow, he is more comfortable and confident using it to recognize his peers.

 

It has been a great experience of collaboration between Jive customers and product management, internal collaboration in our own company, as well as ongoing support from Mark Weitzel, Ryan Rutan and others at Jive. And especially since we went through it with a very green team on our side (our first Jive development), Ryan was able to plug all of the documentation holes to make it super easy for anyone else who wants to follow in our footsteps.

 

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Do you wish your employees could say thanks to one another more easily, in a way that mirrors your culture? Maybe you have an external community and you want to encourage recognition between your staff and the larger community, using your branding elements. Custom Props is the way to go!! You can:

  • Give it a name of your choosing
  • Add trophies that match your culture, with images that resonate internally
  • Merge Props trophies already received into your new app, so that awards already given aren't lost as part of the transition
  • Tie it in with BunchBall (Advanced Gamification) so that you can
    • Track usage (who is giving and receiving)
    • Award points to encourage giving, and the behaviors that prompted it
    • Award a badge for first time giving (for example)

 

Additional thanks to Paddy O'Hagan, Murali VP, Ramesh Seetharaman, Ted Hopton, and Ian Klein. And to anyone else I might have missed naming who helped out, I apologize!

 

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