1 2 3 Previous Next

Blogs: Jive Talks

585 posts

For the second interview in our series we had the good fortune of interviewing Ryan King, he is the Senior Manager of PS Engineering and told us a little bit about himself in and outside of work.

 

Carmel Schetrit: What is your official title? What does it mean?

Ryan King: I'm the Senior Manager of PS Engineering in Professional Services. As part of the professional services team we deal with customers to make sure they're using our products successfully. There are many different aspects of ensuring the customer is successful, my team does the customization work. This means that they write the code to make things happen.

 

 

IMG_1135.JPG

Ryan's selfie taken from his home office.

 


CS: Where do you work?

Ryan: I mostly work from home but I make sure to come into the Portland office a few times a week.

 

CS: How do you use Jive at Jive?

Ryan: I try to never not use Jive, whether it means using it to schedule real time meetings with my colleagues or using it as a substitution for email. Jive Chime and Brewspace are always open on my screen (unless I really need to concentrate). I push people who communicate with me via email to use Jive channels. The various Jive platforms help me do every part of my job on a daily basis. I use them to plan out my resources, including locating which engineers are working on which projects, scoping out estimates for customers, collaborating with my team when I work from home and making sure the project management teams are on the same page as far as how each project is resourced. As someone who partially works from home these channels are extremely valuable to my team's productivity and success.

 

CS: What's your WorkType?

Ryan: I am an Optimizer. I'm always trying to find a better, easier, faster way to get things done. My team has managed to automate a good portion of processes in PS. My team has managed to take our customization release process, which used to be a 30-60 minute, manual and error-prone set of steps, and reduce the time required to less than five minutes, with a simple push-button mechanism. In addition, the nature of our work is such that we work with hundreds of customers everyday and we have to do many of the same tasks for each one, the less time it takes us the more profitable we are, while still maintaining high quality of work.

 

CS: What is your desk setup like?

Ryan: My home setup is minimalistic and has a window with an outside view of my backyard (trees, bushes, etc.).  During the winter, it can be quite gloomy and dark, so I took a picture of my backyard, and created a Hue light bulb scene, so I can turn on my office lights and have the same colors in my room to brighten the day.

 

CS: What's the one thing you've done that no one would ever guess about you?

Ryan: My wife and I used to be total soccer haters, we even vowed that our kids would never play. Somehow this vow didn't stick and my kids began to play the hated sport. My wife and I grew to love it because of our kids and now we play and coach all year round. You could even call me a soccer fanatic.

 

CS: If you had a spirit animal what would it be?

Ryan: Platypus because it's a little bit of everything.

tumblr_n06xgsX54d1qd5mq1o1_250.gif

 

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us a bit about yourself. It was great getting to know you!

As the community manager for Jive's internal employee community, it is my charter to ensure that new features are setup for successful usage. Today, I'd like to share my tips and learnings for setting up the new Support Center feature in Jive's internal community.

 

Support Center allows our employees (Jivers) to come to a single place to get their questions answered. Functions like IT, HR, Sales and Products are constantly fielding questions by Jivers on a variety of topics. Being able to point people to a single source of truth is mutually beneficial for employees (they can find the right stuff) and for the support organization (via question deflection). Here is how we planned the Support Center roll out.

 

support.jpg

 

Preparing to use the new Support Center feature

 

20 Days before Go-Live: Identifying what "Support" means to us and taking an inventory of content sources

The Support Center feature gives communities an ability to point users to a single location to get their questions answered. Sure, users can post questions almost anywhere within our community but there are a set of questions that almost everyone asks to get their work done. It was really important for us to identify what those questions were, who owned the official answer and where these answers currently lived. We considered how-to content from these sources as "high demand" and must-haves for inclusion on the initial roll out of Support Center.

 

Examples of must-have content include:

 

    • Community tips & tricks
    • Community onboarding
    • IT official docs
    • HR onboarding docs

     We then trained the owners of these spaces around what Support Center could mean for their content:

    • Featured content from a place appears front and center under Support Center
    • Top and trending content also appears front and center
    • People are now able to search content only within the places specified as support places and filter on place categories
    • Content accuracy and relevancy is improved

 

Once all the functions were on board, we turned on Support Center within our community but did not make any announcements around it to the larger community right away. This gave us some time to really optimize the Support Center experience using real data with key place owners.

 

IT Support example:

People often visited the IT space to ask questions, submit a request, read how-to documents. But in the same space, there were also operational content like vendor information, asset list, environmental architecture and so on. The operational content is not equally relevant to all end users. So we created a subspace within IT called IT Support and moved all self-service / how-to content from the top level space.  IT then re-launched their community experience with a clear purpose for the IT space (where you can learn about the organization and its operations) and its subspace for IT Support (where you get your self help). We then configured the IT Support subspace to the overall Support Center experience.

 

Community How-To example:

A similar exercise was done for the Community How-To space. In addition to various content on how to use the community, Community How-To contained content on configuration, metrics, and people making access requests.  Similar with IT, we created a new Community Management space and moved Community How-To as a subspace of Community Management.  We then moved all non how-to content from Community How-To into Community Management. We then configured Community How-To into the overall Support Center experience. We also implemented a new process for Community How-To where if questions were asked in this space which could benefit a large audience, we would create a How-To document as a formal response to a specific question. Our VP Roberto Lino also launched a crowd sourcing initiative around "How can we get more awesome How-To Brewspace content?" where all Jivers were encouraged to contribute into the Community How-To space and be rewarded through gamification and prizes. This process encourages the creation of fresh and accurate content for Community How-To.

 

Support Center go-live day!

Now that all the sources of help content were cleaned up and we had processes in place to generate new and accurate content in the right places, configuration was easy. The search results for support content were clean. We were ready to announce support to our community. The announcement was done via a blog by me. It included screenshots of various areas of Support and descriptions on what each feature did. The link to the Support Center was published on our News page (which also happens to be the landing page of our community) so that people had easy access to it.

 

Support+Center+1.png

 

What we learned

For each click-able element on the Support Center experience, due diligence was necessary to examine the current content, information architecture and how the content was being managed and generated. The success of the Support Center is heavily dependent on this critical step which took time and energy. The effort was well worth it and our Support Center is awesome. If done right, it you will see a drastic rise in end user satisfaction and overall company efficiency.

 

For more information on Support Center

You can read the Support Center Onboarding guide published by our fabulous product team here: Support Center Onboarding Guide | Jive Community

Or you can watch the video: How to Enable and Configure the Jive Support Ce... | Jive Community

So you want to write a blog?

 

That's fantastic! As community managers and evangelists, we are often in the position of blogging in our own communities. In fact, you might want your community experts and advocates to feel empowered to write blogs about their subjects of expertise and their passions as well. Blogs are a great way to tell a story, educate your readers, and have fun!

 

Here's the thing: all blog posts are not created equal. Depending on the voice, the sentence and paragraph length and the value to the reader, a blog can be incredibly engaging or totally miss the mark. Since we want all blogs to be amazing and create connections with our customers, prospects, and others, I've come up with these five tips for successful blog posts.

 

 

Five tips to better blogs

 

1. Use the title to communicate value

What will readers get from the blog? Your title should clearly communicate to readers why they should read the blog and what they will get from it in the fewest words possible. See the title of this blog? Pretty clear, I hope. I want to help you all become amazing bloggers and so I came up with a short list of things to do to help you with that goal. I could've called the blog "Let Our Voices Be Heard" but that wouldn't really communicate what you're going to get from this content, would it? And since SEO is an incredibly important thing to consider for blogs, so be sure to connect with an SEO expert to see if your title can be optimized. See Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

 

2. Write in your talking voice

When writing a blog, it's more engaging to communicate in a casual personal tone. Blogs should be written in the first person (I did this, you can do that). You should be able to visualize speaking the blog to a person and them hearing it as part of a conversation. If your writing tends towards the news article style, a good tactic is to record yourself explaining to a real person what the article is about. Then write that down and it can become a blog.

 

3. Use lists, short sentences, short paragraphs, images

People do not have tons of time to read these days. And a whole bunch of readers are scanners. Be sure to write your blog with scanning in mind. Lists are a great way to pull content together in an easy-to-scan format. For paragraph style, break long sentences into shorter ones, be sure to organize sentences into topical paragraphs. A paragraph should be around five sentences long. Double space between paragraphs and break them up with subheadings that catch the readers attention. Add images to break up text and add visual interest.

 

4. Provide value to the reader

Writing a blog to get something off your mind is fine, but even better is to figure out how your thoughts can be helpful to your readers. You may have a great story to tell, but be sure to link it to some take-aways for your readers. Take some time to think about who your audience is and what they care about. Then be able to answer the question: why should the reader care about this blog and what's in it for them?

 

5. Finish off with a call to action

What's the final take away? Do you want readers to attend an event, read something in greater detail, watch a video or download a white paper? Even if the call to action is more conceptual (such as asking readers to consider the ways they can use your product) that's okay too.

 

While this list is not all encompassing, these tips are a great way to get started and to be sure you are hitting the big marks for blogs.

 

Try your hand at a blog today!

 

I'd like to challenge all of you to give these tips a try and write a blog this week.

  • Take a subject you feel passionate about and tell your story in your community.
  • Review and edit your blog to cover the tips above.
  • Collect feedback. Find a writer you admire in your own community or company and ask them to review your piece.
  • Determine the best place to post your blog. Depending upon the content and subject matter, your blog could end up on your community, on LinkedIn, or your personal blog channel. You can even try your hand at blogging in our Blogs: Social Business blog channel here in the Jive Community. I'll get to review your blogs before they are posted. Guidelines are here: Blogging Guidelines.

 

And remember to have fun!

 

NOTE: If you would like to use this post in your own community to help encourage bloggers, feel free to copy and paste! Simply add a line attributing the content back to me here in the Jive Community. Thanks!

As Jive customers, you may have had the opportunity to work with Jive employees who have left you wanting to know more about them. We'd like to give you the opportunity to know a little more about the people you work with on your implementations and upgrades in our new blog series: Meet the Jivers. We're starting with Christy Schoon who has helped many of you get started using Jive. We hope this gives you the chance to get to know her a little better.

 

THIS ONE .jpeg

Christy recently came into our Jive Palo Alto office

 

 

Carmel Schetrit: Could you start by telling me your official title and what you actually do?

Christy Schoon: I am Senior Strategy Consultant in Professional Services.  I get to work with lots of different types of customers on internal and external community launches, upgrades, and health checks.  If you look at a community launch from three aspects: Technology, People, and Business - I focus on the People and Business.  In strategy, we focus on things like program strategy, identifying and developing use cases, measurement, adoption planning, governance, gamification, and the list goes on. Even though I talk about the same topics almost every day it's never the same because the customers aren't the same. I love what I do!

 

 

CS: Where do you work?

Christy: I am based in Denver so when I'm around I work from home. Half of the time I'm traveling which means I often work from the back seat of an Uber car, airport chairs, hotels and customer sites. But I would have to say that the most interesting place I've had the chance to work from is Tokyo. Fabulous sushi and wonderful people.

 

 

CS: How do you use Jive at Jive?

Christy: I use both Brewspace (Jive's internal community) and the Jive Community all day long. I use Brewspace in order to get answers on questions from product experts. I also use it to connect with colleagues especially since I work remotely and I feel that engagement is extremely important to me. I'd go crazy working from home if I didn't have Brewspace.  I use the Jive Community to work on projects with customers, every customer has a private project where we collaborate. I also like to participate in general conversation about internal and external communities. I use the desktop and mobile version of Jive Chime to message co-workers. Since I am constantly on the go I use Jive in all of its forms. From my desktop, tablet, and phone - it allows me to always stay connected.

 


CS: What is your WorkType (TM)?

Christy: I'm a Producer and my secondary WorkType is Coach. I think this means I like to cross the finish line. I don't always take the time to appreciate the journey. But I'm working on it. Especially with my secondary WorkType being a Coach I think that means that I do sometimes get to appreciate the journey from the beginning through someone else's eyes and see things a little differently (while still helping people cross their finish lines, of course).

 


CS: What is your desk setup like?

Christy: During a video conference one of my co-workers called me Harry Potter because my setup at home is a desk under the stairs. I live in a loft so getting creative for space is essential. My cat sits in a box on my desk, this way he feels like he's keeping me company but doesn't keep sitting in my monitor stand and blocking my view. The loft style office can get loud at times and I have to admit that I've taken calls in the pantry before...it's not pretty.


christy desk after box.jpg

Meet kitten in the box.

 

CS: What's the one thing you've done that no one would ever guess about you?

Christy: I'm a certified sommelier.  My husband says that means I'm a wine snob.  It really means I know just enough to be dangerous.  If you ever need a wine and food pairing suggestion let me know!

 


CS: If you had a spirit animal what would it be?

Christy: I have no idea what my spirit animal would be. I'm a voracious reader. So maybe a bookworm? That's kind of gross. I'd love to say something cool like a lion but I'm drawing a blank.  Bookworm it is.

200.gif

Christy's kitten is a bookworm as well.

 

A huge thank you goes out to the brave Christy for being the first interviewee! It was a pleasure getting to know her better.

 

 

If you have questions or comments, please post them below! What is YOUR spirit animal?

When I say the word "brand" are thinking... whatever, who cares? That's easy enough to understand if I was talking about another logo or another set of corporate colors. For Jive, our motto of Connect, Communicate and Collaborate needed to come alive. And it did on canvas.

 

Only Art is Human

 

For Jive, our brand is something we live and breathe. It's part of what makes us Jive and makes us human. It was with those thoughts in mind that we launched a new brand last year which was the result of an online collaboration between artists. A group of fine artists came together to collaborate on making their pieces work together regardless of the medium. Some artists used canvas and paint, others fabric and some were digital. In case you missed that story, you can read more about it here: Only Art is Human: The Story Behind Our New Brand - Jive Software

 

brand-2.jpg

You'll notice some of the art above in our community headers and textures

 

Turns out that we won an award for this brand approach: Jive Wins 2015 PR Daily Award and Unveils the Jive Canvas Project - Jive Software and it kicked off another great activity for our offices, the Jive Canvas Project.

 

Art Brings Us Together – The Jive Canvas Project

The exciting thing about our brand identity is that it continues to evolve. It lives and breathes as our Jivers and our community provide input and break out their own inner-artist to paint a picture of the Jive brand.

 

Such was the case a few months ago when we decided to take three core attributes of Jive — connect, communicate and collaborate — and do something unique and fun—and totally outside the usual day-to-day activities of a global tech company. We celebrated them.

 

Last fall, across the U.S., U.K. and Israel, Jive employees took their creativity and the passion for what they do, and turned it into abstract art. Each location worked together to produce their interpretation of the Jive brand on canvas.

 

The thing is, we’re used to working together across continents, without borders. But the outcome of this project—seeing an actual, physical example of our collaboration? It was even cooler than we’d imagined.

 

How we did it

 

As with all good things, the Jive canvas project kicked off with a festive happy hour in each office. Jivers were then equipped with blank canvases, acrylic and tempera paint, brushes, markers and other tools aimed to release their creative mojo. Soon, people from all parts of our business—co-workers whose paths wouldn’t naturally cross—were collaborating, talking and literally getting their hands dirty.

 

I hope you enjoyed this story behind the Jive brand.

May it inspire you to use your communities in surprising ways to connect, communicate and collaborate!

Building a culture of a community through our virtual identities

 

As an enterprise community manager, I’ve seen how who we are in an internal community is much different than who we are on other social media platforms. Sure, LinkedIn showcases our professionalism and Facebook shares our happiest moments. But with 40+ hours a week spent in the office, our company employee profile often says more than our resume or vacation selfies combined. Instead, it’s our day-to-day, genuine selves. It’s a unique mix of who we are, how we work, how we play, what makes us happy, what makes us tick…and what makes us awesome.

 

At Jive, our own internal community is made up of more than 1,000 profiles—and these aren’t just pages with someone’s picture and interests. Instead, they tell the story of who we are as individuals, and allow us to easily find, connect, and collaborate with purposefully and playfully. It’s the place where digital profiles transcend the screen and become more human.

 

Make new friends

New Jivers are welcomed to our social intranet, Brewspace, with an onboarding checklist—and a good manager will often include a list of @mentioned names of people you should have coffee with, ASAP. But this isn’t just an intimidating list of faceless colleagues. Move your mouse over a name and up pops a friendly face.

 

This hovercard (or profile summary card) shares a lot of info in a very small space:

blog_culture-of-a-community_Gia-profile.jpg

Who are they? See the person’s title, their department and how to contact them

 

What’s their tenure? Check out his or her points—how many they have speaks volumes about their tenure and influence within the company.

 

What are they like? The three community badges show additional characteristics. These can be his or her workstyle (I’m a producer and an expert!) or even Easter eggs that they found within the community.

 

Find hidden experts

There are quite a few ways to find people who have the answers you need. My favorite is the “correct answers leaderboard.” From there, I click on names to see their areas of expertise. Our culture of celebrating people encourages us to be creative in how we list our expertise, so it’s not uncommon to see “listening” and “cat GIFs,” along with “project management,” “six sigma green belt,” “consulting” and “presentation.”

blog_culture-of-a-community_leaderboard.jpg

 

Jivers themselves are also insightful and eager to put you in touch with the right person. I could be discussing something in Brewspace with a colleague who may @mention someone I don’t know—and then this person proves to be the expert I needed. After hovering over her name and clicking through to her profile, I find that she has a great sense of humor, loves unicorns—and just so happens to be one of the best designers in the industry. Perfect!

blog_culture-of-a-community_desktop-profile.jpg

Her profile page also shows her colleagues and who she reports to, so I know who to engage with at the executive sponsor level and who to engage with at a tactical level when launching a particular companywide program. And it doesn’t matter which device I’m on when we have this conversation—laptop, mobile, I get the same experience.

 

Be more human

One of the ways our internal community allows us to connect on a human level is through status updates. These updates clue us into the moments co-workers are feeling accomplished or when they’re struggling. Having a good day? Anxious about a presentation? Share it on your profile and open yourself up to the strength of the community. Depending on the mood, our entire community may react with encouragements, acknowledgements and recognitions. We’re a family like that.

blog_culture-of-a-community_connection-comment.jpg

 

Complete profiles also make it easier for us to connect with new Jivers. By reading a story about how they grew up, or seeing photos that show the people and things they are passionate about, we find an element of connection. That way, when we post our “welcome” comments, we can say more. “Welcome—I also love surfing!” “I have a toddler, too!” “I also feel the most creative in the morning.” “You’re now amongst family.”

 

And so we open the doors to ourselves and let our colleagues in. We’re no longer just a page on a mobile device or a laptop. We become human in this virtual space.

blog_culture-of-a-community_connection-thread.jpg

 

Be more human…together


I had a Jiver, Marya DeVoto, share this idea on Brewspace:

 

“Have you ever needed to communicate with someone, wondered how to approach them, and then saw that their bio consists only of their role—even though they have been here for many months? It’s kind of alienating, and almost conveys the un-Jivelike value, ‘I’m too busy to talk to you.’ Maybe it’s that they didn’t know how. Maybe their manager didn’t tell them to. Or maybe they’re just shy—but their lack of profile makes collaborating harder.”

 

I will say that, with 78% contribution rate in our community, a blank profile is rare. But when we do see one? We kind of take it personal. And the fact that we do says a lot about how much we value our profiles. They’re the fuel of our community and we’re able to collaborate more often and more easily because of them.

 

At Jive, we do fun activities to encourage our community identity and culture, such as our annual “Primp Your Profile Day.” This virtual event celebrates the important attributes of an engaging profile, challenging all of us Jivers to create profiles that genuinely reflect ourselves and enhance our relationships—and our community is stronger for it.

 

Create a strong community


By choosing to be more human in our virtual workplace, we’re all making it easier it to connect and collaborate. With our culture that encourages everyone to work out loud, I sometimes even forget that I haven’t met some Jivers in-person; we meet and I already feel that strong connection and sense of familiarity. And so I continue to encourage Jivers to be their genuine selves and show that we are all human.

 

 

The ways I work

The ways I play

My goals and ambitions

My feelings

My ideas

My accomplishments

My challenges

My experiences and expertise

My many faces

 

Our profile is where we write our story.

227311_CommCollabRoadshow-SocMed.jpg

 

Did you know that Jive's Connect, Communicate and Collaborate Roadshow Series will be visiting a city near you?

 

We would like to cordially invite anyone who is interested in the forefront of the social business revolution including Marketing, Service and Operations leaders to our Connect, Communicate and Collaborate National Roadshow Series in:

 


Why attend, you ask?We've custom-designed our two track session to cover the needs of IT and line-of-business leaders. Both tracks will cover real-world practices for leveraging Social Business inside( Internal Communities) and outside( External Communities) your organization. You'll leave armed with:


  • The know-how to make social a strategic part of your business
  • Hear from a business leader on how they’ve implemented social to produce measurable business results
  • In our track sessions, learn more about the business value or technology innovation
  • Network with fellow trailblazers who are looking for new ways to engage their employees, customers, and the broader social web
  • Provide better service and loyalty while reducing operating costs
  • Drive co-innovation from customers, partners, as well as colleagues and team members
  • Drive connectedness and alignment with corporate strategy across the team and company
  • Capture, centralize and share institutional knowledge
  • Modernize your intranets and portals to get all employees engaged
  • Foster innovation while maintaining necessary enterprise controls


We believe that our products unleash ideas and inspire the people who matter most to your business. Your employees. Your customers. Your partners.  Imagine your employees informed and aligned. Your customers and partners engaged. Everyone working together in ways that deliver the most value for your business – regardless of where they are, what device they’re on, or how they prefer to work. To that end, Marketing, Business and IT leaders will come together to listen to a keynote by some of our most interesting customers along with the Jive POV, presented by a Jive executive host.

 

These sessions will not be a series of one way monologues. Come prepared to interact, ask questions and connect with others who find themselves facing the same kind of challenges you face and ultimately change the way you view social business.

 

Join us at our complimentary Connect, Communicate and Collaborate Roadshow Series and take the first step to truly engaging your employees and customers. You can't afford not to.

 

See you there!

 

Register now #Jiveconnect15 in #SanFrancisco and #Austin

 

Location:

Marriott Union Square Hotel

480 Sutter Street

San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 398-8900

 

Date: Tuesday, June 23 2015

Time: 3:00pm-7:00pm

RSVP Here

 

Location:

Omni Austin Hotel Downtown

700 San Jacinto

Austin, TX 78701

(512) 476-3700

 

Date: Thursday, June 25 2015

Time: 1:00pm - 6:00pm

RSVP Here

 

*Registration is complimentary


Developer, Partner Community, Jive User Groups, Jive Customers

Gone are the days when customers were faceless names or account numbers in a system. With the advent of online communities, companies can connect with customers in very individual ways by providing care and support as well as an occasional laugh or two. These days, customer loyalty is built on a personal level by virtue of the connections that are made online. The key to building strong customer loyalty starts with the realization that individual people make up the heart of any community.

 

On the outside, building customer loyalty in an online forum looks like a daunting challenge, however, it's really quite simple. Think about the companies and products to which you are loyal. Likely it's a company or product that makes you feel something good! For example, I have an activity watch that I absolutely love. I love my watch because I feels like I have a 24/7 personal assistant for my health. It reminds me to speed up or slow down, how many calories I've burned, when to wake up and even tells me how I slept. I have an emotional bond with my watch that is stronger than almost every other tech item that I own including my phone! I am loyal to the company that makes my watch because of the emotional bond that ties me to their product. Now, I'm not suggesting you become suddenly and intensely emotional with your customers. What I am telling you is that emotional connections between a customer and a company are incredibly important when it comes to building loyalty.

 

Here's how you start: simply connect. Connect with people wherever they are, however they are coming to the party, connect with them at that place.

 

Think of the situations that your customers are in when they come into your community. Maybe you have new users who need a lot of hand-holding. Taking the time to explain how your site works and the benefits for them will pay-off in the long run. After all, we've all been the newcomer before and have needed a little extra assistance. Another common reason people will come to your community: maybe they have feedback because the product isn't meeting their need. Be authentic, give them your time and offer an apology. Commit to taking their feedback to the product team so that future improvements can be considered. The examples are plentiful.

 

4 Tips to Building Customer Loyalty

 

Here are my top four ways to build customer loyalty in a community, one customer at a time:

 

One person, one answer.

Let's face it, a community manager will never be able to answer all of the questions that people post in a forum. But they can select some key conversations and connect with individuals there. Engage additional experts in your product to look for the conversations where their expertise can add value. Encourage experts to share their experience and how they solved the problem. And always, coach all of your community experts and advocates to give the customer understanding and empathy for whatever they are experiencing. Want to make it even more powerful? Focus your responses to the posts of newcomers since early interactions between people tend to carry more weight, allowing you to build loyalty with fewer, more meaningful interactions.

ThinkstockPhotos-464739673.jpg

Interacting with someone directly builds the strongest connection.

 

Connect with a wider audience.

If you are a community manager or company leader/ambassador, you need to have a personal blog. It's a great way to share yourself and your experiences with a wider audience. Plus, blogs enable us to tell stories in a way that answering questions cannot. Do a little SEO research to find out what topics are going to be hot in your community, then write to that topic. Consider pulling in examples from your community and drawing on the customers who you've helped (with their permission, of course). Write from your own experience and use a first-person voice. Be sure to give your audience a feel for the person you are. Being human to your readers will help them connect with you, even if you've never connected with them one-on-one. If you don't want to write about yourself, consider a Featured-User blog (like our How I Work series) where you interview customers showing a day in their life.

ThinkstockPhotos-200545807-001.jpgGet on your soap box and consider writing a community blog to engage with a wider customer audience.

 

Get help from others.

There will be times when you don't know the answer to a question. Or a blog won't solve an issue that a customer is experiencing. These are the times when you'll need to bring in others to help. If you see a situation brewing, engage the appropriate experts to help solve the problem. Bringing your company experts into your community is an essential ingredient to building customer loyalty. If the customer needs help for product support, engage their support team. Ask some pointed questions to help get to the bottom of what they need, then find the right people in your company to help solve it.

ThinkstockPhotos-200226969-001.jpgHelp from others can get your customers back on track.

 

Reward your most loyal customers.

Let's face it. All customers are not created equal. There will be customers who are incredibly loyal product advocates. You'll want to go the extra mile for these people. Consider creating a Champion program, where loyal customers get extra perks... whether it's a personal meeting with your product managers or extra support hours for your product. The most vocal champions are better than any kind of advertising you could do for your product. Take them into consideration when building your customer loyalty programs. Consider early access to information or special training sessions as perks that your company can provide to champions free of charge. Be sure to assign your champion program to a dedicated employee who will give them the attention they deserve.

 

ThinkstockPhotos-86512720.jpg

Reward customer loyalty by making them feel like royalty. That rhymes.

 

The thread that runs through each of these tips is clear: connect with the customer. Apply a good dose of the golden rule along the way and you are well on your way to building customer loyalty. Then with some planning and committed company advocates, you can build customer loyalty in your online community through every-day engagement. And that's a beautiful thing!

 

No customer community? You're falling behind!

Check out our latest infographic on our website now.

 

Managing a customer community? Check out External Communities

Libby Taylor and I recently had the good fortune to catch up with the fast moving Kate Bellard, the enterprise community manager at Cameron. She's been a community member for the last two years and we asked her to share her experiences with us today.

 

How I Work - kate bellard .jpg

Kate Bellard wears multiple hats as a community manager although none of them are in this picture.

 

Leigh Pankonien: Let's get started with an easy question, where do you work?

Kate Bellard: I work at Cameron. We design, manufacture, and service equipment used worldwide in the oil, gas, and process industries. You can check it out at:  www.c-a-m.com


LP: How would you describe your current job?

Kate: I'm the Enterprise Community Manager for our internal community, Linx. Like many Community Managers, I wear multiple hats - Strategist, Community Builder/Manager, Project Manager, and Internal Communications/Brand Ambassador. It's a dynamic, challenging role that allows me to meet and work with all levels of employees and be involved in all facets of our business.


LP: Are you familiar with the Jive WorkTypes? If so, what was your WorkType?

Kate: I'm an Energizer and a Connector.

How I Work - KATES WORKTYPES.jpg

Using her two WorkTypes, Kate can meet new people in impossible ways.

LP: How do you think your WorkType plays into how you get work done in Jive?

Kate: I thrive when I'm on-the-go: meeting with employees, running from meeting to meeting, wearing my strategist hat. I really enjoy seeing employees have that "ah-ha" moment when their wheels start turning on how they could potentially transform their business processes and incorporate social business into their daily job. The opportunity to connect with new people and motivate them to do something different really excites me.


LP: So how do you use Jive at work (internal community, external community, etc.)?

Kate: We are using Jive 6.0.3 as our internal communication and collaboration platform. With Linx, employees can search for answers to their questions, connect with SMEs, keep up with the latest Corporate, Divisional, or Departmental news, share best practices and ideas, and engage with leadership. Currently, our intranet is hosted on SharePoint 2013. Almost all company news now resides in Linx, but it's featured on our SharePoint homepage. Essentially, SharePoint has become the front door to Linx and employees can choose to keep their content in a SharePoint teamsite or Linx group/space - they decide which platform best suites their needs. Long term, it's one of my goals to move our intranet to Jive.


LP: What's your computer situation... Do you use a Mac or PC (or something else)?

Kate: It's complicated. The administration of my company PC recently changed to a system controlled desktop (rather than a Kate-controlled desktop). It's like this:

access denied.jpg

If any of you have a controlled desktop, I'd be interested in learning how you work with your IT department to test and deploy Jive downloads. What do you say, Internal Communities and External Communities?


LP: What do you use for your mobile device?

Kate: iPhone 5s - I had to get a new phone after returning home from JiveWorld13 because my purse was stolen in Vegas!


LP: Pick one word that best describes how you work.

Kate: Strategically. I think big picture; I'm one of those people who needs to remind themselves to live in the moment and not in the future. In terms of getting work done, I identify a handful of strategic initiatives for the year and map out smaller action items to help me achieve those goals. For example, this year I'm focusing on:

    • Use cases. Identifying and developing wide and deep use cases with the help of Jive Professional Services. It will be a much easier intranet transition from SharePoint to Jive if the content and places already reside in our community.
    • A knowledge sharing case study. A group of students from Rice University are evaluating Cameron's current and prior attempts at developing a knowledge sharing platform for the company and making a recommendation for a process that will succeed. Recommendations could include tweaks to the Jive platform (enhancing search and navigation and integrating with other document management systems), incentivizing employees to share knowledge by tying activity to performance evaluations, rebranding our community with a second awareness campaign, etc.
    • Jive 8 upgrade. I'm eager to move to Jive 8-n. Some of the features that I'm most excited about are the News stream, ability to auto-subscribe employees to custom streams, place categorization, place pages, and promoted content. Oh, and an improved mobile experience for our employees!
    • Executive Participation. I'm working on a creating an executive participation plan to educate and train our executives on the small and big ways they can participate in the community. I think it's important that they lead by example - most employees see the value of improved collaboration and engagement, but some have been hesitant to take time away from their daily job to participate. If our executives are not only contributing, but also recognizing and rewarding employees who are active in the community, it will help eliminate any concerns about community participation and knowledge sharing in the organization.

bobblehead.jpg

The superhero field service technician bobble head is something that Kate's working on for the next Linx awareness and training campaign.


LP: Besides Jive, what apps/software/tools can't you live without?

Kate: I love my iPad and Apple TV.

house of cards.jpg

LP: How do you stay organized? What's your favorite to-do list manager?

Kate: In order to stay organized, I need to be focused and energized. I turn to exercise to help me remain alert, energized, and in good spirits. I'm a regular at barre pilates and rhythm based spin classes.

barre.jpg

Also, I'm pretty old-school when it comes to my to-do list. It's a great feeling to be able to scratch something off a list, so I keep everything written down and listed in my notebook. At the start of each week, I review my notes from the previous week and start a new, prioritized list of action items.


LP: What you surround yourself with is important, what's your work space like?

Kate: I can't sit still at my desk for too long and I'm often out conducting training at some of our locations around the world. So I'm surrounded with a bunch of swag - either promotional materials from marketing campaigns and fun little trinkets that I've picked up. Below are some pictures from my world travels in 2013.

Singapore.jpg

Kate with her former coworker in Singapore in front of the Marina Bay Sands hotel

 

Bellagio.jpg

Kate says, "I took a boat from Colico, Italy, to Bellagio for the day (sadly, I didn't spot George Clooney!)"

LP: What do you listen to while you work?

Kate: The beat of office chatter, foot traffic, and conference calls. I like to be immersed into the chaos that surrounds me and I feel a little too removed from my work environment if I have headphones on.


LP: What's your best time-saving trick?

Kate: Prioritization! Set realistic, achievable, and measurable goals. Work SMART.


LP: How do you balance work and life?

Kate: This is always an interesting question to me. For me, going to work, setting goals, and having a sense of accomplishment have become such an integral part of my life that I don't really view my work life separate from my personal life. It's never one versus the other...it's more of blend. Working is one of the things that brings joy and excitement in my life. With that being said, I'm not working 24/7 and think it's important to turn things off and have some personal time to re-energize - that's where working out and social activities on the weekends come in. Mobile capabilities make it pretty easy to monitor things while still remaining unplugged.

Romania.JPG

 

Unplugging in Sinaia, Romania, with her boyfriend (who was living in Bucharest at the time).
They toured the Peles Castle and the Bran Castle, home of Count Dracula.

LP: What's your sleep routine like?

Kate: I typically get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.


LP: Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Kate: I'd describe myself as an introverted extrovert. I'm more of an introvert on a personal level...I tend to observe the environment and people in social settings before fully jumping in. BUT in a work environment, as I've stated above, I really enjoy meeting and working with people and helping them strategically use Jive to solve business challenges. I'd much rather be on-the-go than sitting behind a desk. I think I perform better when I'm in roles or situations that put me a little out of my comfort zone. It forces me to be more focused.


LP: Finally, what's the best advice you've ever received (and from whom)?

Kate: The oil and gas industry is facing some challenging times. Our executives are encouraging all employees to "be engaged, flexible, and focused." I think it's important to carry this mindset at all times, not just in the challenging times. When I was approached about the Community Manager role, I was working in HR. I had no idea what a Community Manager did, nor had I seen myself working in any other realm besides HR, but I was open to the change and optimistic about a new opportunity. And now I can't imagine doing anything else! Life can be unpredictable but if you remain engaged, flexible, and focused, anything is possible.


Thanks so much Kate Bellard for taking time to talk with us about your workstyle! We look forward to seeing where you take Linx and any community updates you provide on your progress.

As promised in the first part of our series on adoption and change management, Jive Talks: What's In It For Me? An Adoption St... | Jive Community, this second installment is all about the do's and don'ts of change management. This will not be an exhaustive list, but rather a list of eight items to help you wrap your head around best practices for change management and avoid some of the most common frustrations.

 

adoption 1.jpg

Developing a plan for change management  will help increase adoption in your online community.

 

1. Focus on the early adopters, not the resisters

Change always brings out two camps of people: resisters and early adopters. Our tendency is to persuade the resisters to embrace the change, which is not surprising since resisters tend to be very vocal. The good news: these vocal resisters are usually the minority and they also tend to be chronically unsatisfied. So, what should you do? Don't ignore them (I know it might be tempting). Hear them out, address their concerns and be prepared to hold the line (stick to your plan). Accept that you will have to be okay with the resisters being unhappy. Address their concerns professionally and with only the necessary time then move on to work with folks eager to adopt.

 

Early adopters will be your advocates. They will be your allies. They will be your enthusiasts. They will be your evangelists. You won't even have to look that far for them. They will likely reach out to you. When they do, find a way for them to participate and be engaged so you can reap the benefits of their desire to help you drive the change.

 

2. Ask why five times

We know resisters are going to resist. While you don't have to modify your plans to appease them, you can't ignore resisters. When someone resists, ask them why (not why they are resisting, but why they don't like XYZ).

 

Keep asking why questions until you get at the root cause. In asking follow-up questions, you will be able to determine if a complaint has some validity and if the feedback is more than just a reaction to change. Getting to the root cause can make the feedback actionable, giving you what you need to modify (as appropriate) your plan for the better. The process of diving in deep to someone's concerns also helps them feel heard. Feeling heard can go a long way in shifting a resister to be an adopter. Try to dig until you have that aha! moment of understanding what's really going on.

 

3. Always think about your audience

Change management requires thoughtful communications. These will help you gain traction during change. Work back from your audience's perspective and formulate your message in a way that will be meaningful to them. We know change can induce discomfort and in some cases, fear. An audience-focused communication plan can help mitigate fearful reactions.

adoption 2.jpg

Use an audience-focused communication plan to map out what to say to each audience and when to say it.

 

At one point in my career, I helped develop plans to reduce a company's energy expenditure. The plan focused on optimization of equipment and processes. At the same time, mass layoffs were occurring. I helped the leadership teams understand that employees made a mental connection between the energy saving measures and layoffs. At one facility, site leadership took this to heart and presented their energy reduction goal both as a percentage reduction and the number of jobs saved. This allowed the site manager to cut through an initial reaction more quickly, have honest communication with his employees, and ultimately secure employee support to help achieve the energy savings goal.

 

4. Believe you can never communicate enough

We are all busy. We get distracted. Sometimes we don't hear everything said during a presentation or read the message thoroughly enough. We miss important information all the time. It's going to happen and that's why it's imperative to believe you can never communicate enough.

 

In your communication plan, map out what you need to say to what audience and when. Ensure that communications are meaningful and actionable. If the communications are "just to inform" be sure to include key information. Here's the trick: look at how frequently are you keeping the various audiences informed of the change. You'll know the right cadence for your organization but don't let too long lapse between communications. Basically, it's better to communicate frequently and make every message meaningful and actionable.

 

5. Be kind and understanding: change is never easy

The only thing harder than making change is accepting it. But seriously, when you're driving change, it's hard to put yourself on the receiving end. You've been a part of the change from the beginning and by the time you start informing people, the change is old news to you. When you've been so close to something for so long it can be a little shocking when people respond negatively and often passionately so. Brace yourself for it. Take a breath. Think about puppies or kittens and drop your defenses. Responding kindly and with understanding will go a long way in disarming a resister and moving them into a productive conversation.

adoption 3.jpg

When addressing a negative reaction, try to respond from a calm understanding place in your mind.

 

6. Assume good intention

When someone offers feedback, especially negative feedback, assume that their intentions are good. Assuming this allows you to process the feedback in a more objective manner. You can then more easily synthesize the feedback into something actionable that will improve the experience and/or the processes driving the change. Plus, assuming good intention will help you stay positive and focused.

 

7. Share results early and often

As soon as you have results, share them. The change doesn't have to be complete before you share results. Remember, results can be quantitative and qualitative (ideally you'll have both). Let the data tell the story. If it's not the story you want, don't avoid sharing it. Rather, share in context with the course corrections you will make to get the effort back on track. Once you start sharing, don't stop. Report results monthly, and maybe even weekly. The data, both qualitative and quantitative, will help you build and maintain momentum.

 

8. Celebrate in meaningful ways

Learn how your organization most appreciates celebration. Banners and balloons? Pizza and ice cream? T-shirts? Executive recognition? It's important to celebrate in a way that is meaningful to the audience. What's even more important is to acknowledge something worth celebrating. A celebration-worthy event can be a milestone or goal to which you're working toward. When you're ready to celebrate, don't forget to pause and feel dang good about what you've accomplished.

adoption 4.jpg

Celebrating accomplishments is an important part of change management.

 

These best practices won't alleviate every pain point along the way, but they will certainly help in resolving them faster. They are also a good reminder that change management is hard for so many of us (because change is hard)! Know that you're not alone.

 

Stay tuned for the final installment in this blog series which will feature a change management perspective from one of Jive's customers.

Jive is excited to be co-sponsoring a booth at the Marketing Nation Summit today through April 15 in San Francisco. The slogan for this conference is 'Inspiration in the Nation.' There is clearly a lot to be inspired about with over 6,000+ marketers attending, 100+ sponsors, 100+ engaging sessions, and keynotes from Arianna Huffington, Phil Fernandez, Salman Khan and John Legend.

 

If you have the pleasure of attending, visit the Marketo Community Lounge Powered by Jive at booth #425. Here are the top 5 reasons to do so:

 

1. We've got the power!
With all the tweeting you'll be doing, you're going to need to recharge your devices. Stop by our Powered by Jive charging stations with your charger in hand - we have plenty of standard outlets!


2. Meet Marketo champions
Meet Marketo certified experts and community users - they'll be present to answer your toughest questions. You can always reference this great document by Wim Stoop that shares specifics about the ability to integrate Jive communities with Marketo, which was rolled out in the Winter 2015 cloud release: Marketo integration - FAQ


3. Enjoy Mom's cookies
Every conference has afternoon doldrums. Channel your inner cookie monster because sugar, butter and flour will fix your energy slump.

cookie monster.gif

 

4. AJA: Ask Jive Anything

Do you have a customer community? Do you know how consumers make choices? Here are some interesting stats about customer communities:

92% of global consumers trust personal recommendations over any advertising

84% of worldwide consumers take action based on reviews and recommendations of trusted sources

95% of Millennials worldwide want brands to court them

212631_LinkedIn_698x400_041315_v2.jpg

The Marketo Community Lounge will feature an 'Ask Jive' bar. Stop by to learn about the new Marketo Marketing Nation Community, Jive-x and to see a live demo of Jive-x.

You'll be able to meet these friendly Jivers at the booth: Billy Volpone, Sam Nik-Pay, Jonathan Guzman, Belinda Joseph, Sandra Cheng, Jon Phipps, Stephen Salazar, Jackie McElaney.

 

5. Get a sneak peek of the New Marketo Marketing Nation Community

Marketo's Global Nation Builder, Scott K Wilder,  Marketo's Senior Community Manager, Liz Courter and Jiver Cathy Won will be leading a session: Introducing the New Marketing Nation Community! Marketo's community, over four years old, is embarking on a new chapter in which they will provide members with a new experience and capabilities. Catch a sneak peek of the New Marketing Nation Community launching in May at this session.

 

Marketo employees, are there other activities that we should be getting pumped about at the Marketing Nation Summit?

Glen Lipka, Nathan Brauer, Mark Siciliano, Emir Elliott-Lindo, Bharti Hathalia, Scott K Wilder,Bill VanderWall, Jeff Young, Kenneth Law, Davis Lee, Jenny Chang, Lou Beckert, Lynn-kai Chao, Mahesh Jeswani, Vinish Benny, Vic Madrigal

We're excited to kick off a new blog series called 'Ask The Expert', which involves an expert from the Jive Community sharing on a specific topic that's near and dear to their heart. For a month after this blog goes live, feel free to ask the expert any additional questions within the comments that relate to their topic. These experts are here to help you; give them your rock or single issue that's causing you the most trouble to see if they've overcome something similar.


Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 11.01.48 AM.pngMeet the Expert: Rachel Duran

We want to thank the amazing Rachel Duran, Enterprise Community Manager at Allegis Global Solutions, for being our first expert. Previously, she was an internal and external Jive platform community manager for RadioShack Corp, and before that she served as the Director of Social Media Strategy at Ilfusion Creative. Rachel was also a speaker at JiveWorld and is an active Jive Community contributor. Below she shares some extremely insightful information on internal communities regarding community purpose, management, and reporting.


Discussion Dates: April 8 to May 1

Be sure to sign up for email notifications or follow this document in your InBox. Rachel will respond to questions posted in the comments below during that time period.


About this discussion

Identifying and demonstrating organizational value is one of the most important pieces to the puzzle of establishing, building and maintaining an internal community. Yet, it seems to be the piece that is most often missed and effectively toppled from the edge of the community planning table. Developing brilliant new solutions comes with clout (w00t!) and the responsibility of change management (eek!). Even though your fabulously innovative self intuitively “gets” social business, not everyone in your organization will. It’s time to grab that community value puzzle piece and get ahead of the game with some strategic gumption!

 

First and foremost, any proposed community needs an established purpose, and that purpose should be reflected in everything — the initial proposal, UI/UX design, and community management style. Even the most straight-forward concepts will face at least one internal naysayer that doesn’t inherently understand how online communities support the organization’s goals. Or worse, your user base will flounder without a clear purpose to keep them engaged after a first visit.

 

Start by writing up a clear, concise Community Mission Statement before getting started with any proposals or requirements gathering. Here are some questions your mission statement should answer:

  • Who is your target audience?
    • “Employees” won’t fit the bill for this FAQ. Is your internal audience the entire enterprise of employees, or will it focus on a subset? If it’s a varied group, how will each of those groups be engaged in a way that works for them?
  • What problem is this community solving?
    • Change is hard! (I think I use that line in every community management blog I’ve ever written). What is it about this community that is going to ignite passion for an evolution in communication within your organization?
  • What business goal and/or principle is this community helping to achieve?
    • We all have a set of principles, pillars, standards, or whatever your brand opts to call them. Your internal community should fit into one or more of these categories. If the alignment to a company principle isn’t obvious, be sure to make that connection as clear as possible without being too wordy.

mission.PNG

Now that your mission statement is in place and you’ve worked up excitement in the executive suite with your brilliance, it’s time to get rolling towards community planning, strategy, launch and management. No big deal, right? Well, if you have any other job duties, I’m sure you have a lump in your throat just thinking about how much work this is going to be. You need a Community Manager!

 

Proving business value for launching an online community is one thing, but adding a human resource or an entire team into the project budget can be tricky, especially in smaller or otherwise budget-restricted environments. Before pleading your case for moolah, you’ll want to clarify your needs vs your wants. For the launch of your community, can you live with just a moderator/systems admin, or do you absolutely need someone within strategic experience? Do you need a developer or will you start out with out-of-the-box functionality? How many users will you have and how much moderation will they require? How much technical administration is needed for SSO, news features, analytics, security, upgrades, etc?


Capture.PNG

communityroundtable.com

 

After you’ve evaluated your resource needs, be sure to do your research on salaries, job descriptions, experience needs, etc. Any community manager you speak to can probably tell you how many of these job posts are way off base from actual community needs and market demand. The Community Roundtable and the Jive Community are both excellent resources in sourcing a team that is set for success.

 

After your staffing needs are assessed, prepare yourself for the sell. Think of other major communication changes in the past that have required implementation resources other than technology. My favorite anecdotal metaphor is the introduction of email. Execs that have been around for a while will remember quite well that they didn’t just buy email technology and turn on the switch. Help them understand that, similar to email, online communities are not a trend, but a necessary adoption of modern communication. I rarely hear stories of enterprises with a lack of technology, but I often hear complaints about a lack of full technology utilization. That lack of utilization can be due to a number of manpower issues, including mediocre strategy, lack of training, and poorly communicated implementations.


jpark_meme.png

spiceworks.com


Once you’ve convinced the decision maker to give you what you need to build a successful community, you’re expected to prove business value! That old dreaded phrase starts to come up: “Community ROI”.

 

Have no fear! You’ve already done the hard part by establishing your community purpose. Now you just need to measure those activities that tie back to that purpose. External communities are sometimes able to see a clear connection through CRM data or shopping cart referral stats in Google Analytics. Internal is often a little trickier and may require a soft value dashboard that displays quantitative results against the previously established qualitative goals.

reporting.PNG

For example: If you have an internal support community, like the one I previously managed for a major retailer, you may want to report on things like:

  • Average views per answered question
    • Why – To show that the most of the time that was taken up by community interaction was used for business purposes that improved productivity. Views of previously answered questions count as repeated inquiries, since the user saw their question pop up while they typed what would have been a new one.
    • This is now a native report in Jive Cloud and Jive 8!
  • Questions as a percent of total content
    • Why – To show that the community was mostly being used for its primary intended use case (Q&A, Knowledge Base).
  • Average time to answered question
    • Why – Same as above
    • Expectation was 30 minute average (due to customer-facing urgency)
    • Expectation was for avg to continuously decrease as the community matured
  • Typical adoption, site use, and content creation reports
    • Expectation was to continuously grow
  • Average user time spent on community per day
    • Why – To show that the community was not taking up otherwise valuable labor time.


As you can see, these examples show community growth that related back to its specific purpose, even if it can’t spell out traditional ROI measures, such as sales increases. This is a great basis for developing an executive dashboard that is repeatable on a monthly or quarterly basis. Be sure to establish what success looks like before you put out a single community report. The most important part of this process is not just reporting data, but comparing that data against goals over time. “We have 15,000 page views per week” doesn't mean anything unless you've compared it to your page view goal and/or difference to last week or, say, a six week trend.


keyword-planner-meme.png

searchenginewatch.com

 

It’s also a good idea to work with other departments to single out a possible community event and analyze how that event’s activity tied directly to increases in its category focus without any other variables. I’ve accomplished this with community-only product knowledge contests, where the overall sales trends for said product are tracked over the promotional period. Having case studies like this in your back pocket can be a great get-out-of-jail-free card if community ROI faces unexpected scrutiny in the future.


Together, a community mission, excellent community manager(s), and a strong analytics plan create a framework that sets your project up for success. Executive buy-in and strategic planning are key to a strongly adopted and engaged internal community down the line. Once your internal community shows some major steps toward helping to reach company goals, you’ll have set yourself up for making an even more profound impact on the enterprise through added capability like gamification and recognition systems. At that point, it’s difficult for anyone in the organization to deny the power of social business. You’ve got a powerful piece in the palm of your hand. It’s time to solve your enterprise’s communication puzzle.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us, Rachel!

Feel free to ask Rachel any follow-up questions within the comments through May 1.

Adoption. There, I said it. I got it out of the way. In fact, I'm gonna say it again: adoption. When I work with our customer teams responsible for rolling out and/or maintaining Jive, that word (adoption) evokes a bit of uneasiness. It's as if adoption has become synonymous with monster and it's easier to look the other way than stare it down in its brutal face. And for good reason.

monster.jpg

  He's not very scary once you get to know him.

 

Driving adoption calls upon us to be good (I mean, really, really good) at managing change. See, therein lies the catch: change management is more or less dealing with change for other people. It's not just your own reaction to the change that you have to worry about. No, it's the reactions of hundreds or thousands. In order to truly drive adoption, we have to anticipate how the people within our organizations are going to react to the change and have a plan to address those reactions.

 

It doesn't matter if you are about to launch Jive or launched Jive several years ago, change management is equally relevant to preparing for launch as it is to expanding the use of Jive across your organization over time. And it really doesn't have to be as daunting as it may seem. This blog series will focus on change management as the foundation from which you can successfully drive adoption. The series will focus on three topics:

 

  1. The basics of change management
  2. Do's and don'ts of managing change
  3. Lessons learned from our customers

The series will focus on internal community challenges though many of the points are certainly relevant to external communities as well.


What is change management?

Change management is an entire field in and of itself. As a field, it was born by combining the engineering field's mechanical focus on change (systems and processes) with the psychology field's human focus on change (people). In large part, this is because the concept of change management began in the manufacturing industry and that industry's focus on achieving efficient, systematic quality. For our purposes, let's simply think of change management as a methodology that is used to transition teams and/or organizations from a current state to a desired future state. It's a mouthful, I know.Let's break it down as it applies to a Jive internal community:

  • The current state = the existing intranet, email, and/or other tools that may be used inconsistently across the organization
  • The desired, future state = all employees on Jive, using it consistently across the organization
  • The transition = everything that you're going to plan and do to make the desired, future state a reality -- to get all of your employees on Jive and using it consistently across the organization

Or, if your organization is already on Jive, it might look more like:

  • The current state = Department A using Jive as if they wrote the book on best-practices, but Department C avoiding Jive altogether and using email
  • The desired, future state = Department C using Jive even half as fantastically as Department A
  • The transition is everything that you're going to plan and do to make Department C use Jive even half as fantastically as Department A

 

See, the transition is where the change management happens. Articulating the current state is comparatively easy. Articulating your desired, future state is also comparatively easy. The hard part is figuring out what you need to do to make the change happen: the transition.

fish.jpg

   Change management in action: the transition is life or death for this little guy

 

If the transition is where the change management happens ... how does it happen?

There are many schools of thought about change management. Most notably, there is John Kotter's seminal eight step process and Jeff Hiatt's ADKAR model. If you have time to study Kotter and Hiatt, I encourage you to do so. If you don't, then I humbly offer a synthesized version of all I've learned and taught about change management as it relates to Jive through the Five W's + H + R (the R is my addition) that many of us learned in grade school: what, why, who, when, where, how, and report. The R is pretty important to change management.

 

What

You have to be able to explain what it is you are trying to accomplish. Customers who have worked with me probably get sick of me reminding them to focus on the what first and before anything else. It's very easy to jump straight to the how. After all, that's where the solution is and it's way more fun to think about the answer. But first, tell me: what's the what? Your "what" may be similar to the statement that describes your desired future state. Or, this may be refined to be a bit more tactical. Try to find a way to state it in one sentence or a even better, a few words. Think of defining your what as if it's a tagline you want everyone to remember. Think about it from the perspective of the audience. Think about it in terms of an actionable statement (hint: actionable = using a verb). For example, "Enable online collaboration hub for reseachers" is a much stronger statement than "Researcher collaboration group."

 

Why

Once you are able to articulate the what, you need to be able to state why it matters. This is essentially a matter of stating the value proposition. Think about it in terms of your audience wanting an answer to the question "what's in it for me?" There are times when the reason why it matters cannot be articulated by thinking through why it matters for the audience. In these cases, think about engaging leadership to communicate the what and why statements. In so doing, your why statement essentially becomes leadership directive, which is often an excellent motivator. If you can get leadership to deliver the what/why messages, even if it's not a leadership directive, it creates a valuable sense of urgency and natural buy-in.

 

Who

This one is simple but easy to overlook. Who will be impacted by the change? Really, really think this one through. It's easy to overlook all who may be involved, but this is critical to understanding if different populations require different messaging and/or instructions. Often it takes thoroughly diving into individual use cases to identify all of the parties involved. The time is well spent since the second part of this step is understanding the population(s) in order to tailor communications to them and more effectively socialize the change. For example, you might find that your who consists of end users as well as organizational managers.

 

When

Timelines help us process and accept the change we may feel inclined to resist. It's the difference of being told you have to have surgery vs. you have to have surgery next week. The latter allows us to more readily accept what's about to happen. The former creates more anxiety because we are not sure how long we will be in the uncomfortable state of certainty. When you think about communicating the timeline, allow yourself a bit of buffer in your all-employee communications. For example, if you are targeting an April 15 deadline, tell your general population the change will happen in the second quarter. As you get closer, refine the communication: it will happen in April; it will happen in mid-April; it will happen on April 15. Of course, you will have to communicate the dialed-in timeline to leadership and the project team, but you can save yourself from having to reset expectations by keeping it vague at first and refining along the way.

 

Where

Think about this in terms of where the action will happen. If it's an intranet replacement, this may be as easy as turning on your computer, going to your bookmarked URL and voila you're in the new intranet. If this is a more in-depth use case, the "where" is likely a container in your community. For example: A space in which to do X or a group in which to do Y.

 

How

Once you have your users where you want them, it needs to be very clear what actions you want them to take (or they can take). This will vary use case to use case, but if you think through the details of what the user will do, then you can design places within your community to facilitate these actions. For example, going to a help space and not having it be immediately clear how to find an answer or ask a question creates a frustrating user experience. Design to facilitate desired actions whenever possible with lightweight how-to instructions available for those who need such tools to reinforce their learning process. Try to keep the detailed how-to instructions to more complicated processes.

 

Report

Finally, it is crucial to determine how you will know you've been successful. What will you measure? How will measure it? To what will you compare the measurement against (baseline) to demonstrate improvement over time? But here is the more crucial part: once you know, share it. Report out on your organization's progress. Celebrate the wins and be transparent about where there is still room for growth. Even better if you can put a goal around it that leadership supports as a key priority.

future.jpg

  These change management steps will help you get to the future state

 

Now what?

You may arrive at your five W's + H + R in a different order than what's shown above. That's okay. For any future desired state, you may have numerous W's + H + Rs. That's okay, too. For every what, you may have multiple why's and who's, etc. That's also okay. Just remember to phase what you tackle so that it is manageable. Taking a phased approach not only keeps your workload more sane, it also makes the change easier to manage for your organization. Guide the change you want to see and let the structured methodology of change management help you drive more adoption across your organization. Think about what that is meaningful to you right now. Then think through why it matters. Then think of who it will impact, when they will need to make the change, where it's going to happen, and how they will do what you need them to do. Then, think through how you will measure your success.

 

Put together your plan and you'll be ready to start driving adoption!

 

In the next part of this blog series, we'll cover the do's and don'ts of change management.

 

See: Part 2: Best Practices for Change Management in your Community

Welcome back! This is the third and final post in my series about using Jive Projects as a communication and collateral hub for project managers. In my first post, I discussed the value of using Jive for project management, the information architecture of projects, and the content types available. In post #2 I talked about laying out the Project landing page using Overview, Activity, or Place Pages.

 

In this post, I'll discuss running the Project; the processes I as a project manager use to rev the engine and bring the Project to life.

 

Following your project

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 7.36.13 PM.pngBy default, when you create a Group or Project within Jive, you 'follow' it in your Connections Stream. I find, however, that as the manager of a project, it's critical for me to be constantly tracking the conversations happening in the Project in order to understand the issues and blockers and be able to succinctly articulate the status of everybody's efforts to project stakeholders. For that reason, I follow all of my projects in my Inbox. I do not, however, have e-mail notifications turned on for everything in my Inbox; only for direct replies and mentions (this is just my personal preference to cut down on the amount of e-mail I get). Every morning when I open my Jive Inbox, I have a list of updates to catch up on and acknowledge via my Inbox, and for the ones that I need to address discretely, I open them into new tabs to address one-by-one once I've finished my morning review.

 

If the flood of notifications becomes too much to bear, or if one Project in particularly is noisier than others, I find it helpful to use Custom Streams. I can either create a stream for all of my Projects, or one stream dedicated for a particularly noisy project.

 

Discussions, questions, and answers

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 7.40.51 PM.pngAs the Project Manager, I ensure that all issues, inquiries, or actions are entered into the project as Discussions marked as Questions. One of the key benefits of using Jive instead of email is that everybody on the team works out loud. Our conversations are open for everybody on the team, and as a result everybody on the team benefits from the reduced friction and the transparency. That value is only realized, however, when our teammates buy into that philosophy by posting to Jive instead of writing an email. This can take some gentle 'reminding.' I will often use Jive Anywhere OWA cartridge to convert e-mails to discussions to encourage the sender to collaborate on Jive to find answers.

 

I also ensure that all Questions get answered. I use the Unanswered Questions widget to keep track of open items, and I place it front and center so that those hot topics are the first things anybody sees when they navigate to the Project. I can answer Questions myself if I have the expertise to do so, or I can @mention a subject matter expert to address the question for me. Replies that are Helpful or Correct should always be marked, and if the Discussion author doesn't do it, then I as the Project owner can do it as well. Once Questions are answered, they no longer appear in the Unanswered Questions widget-- Checking them off of our to-do list, but retaining the information for the record of the Project.

 

Publishing important documentation

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 8.11.57 PM.pngA project isn't just about the conversations, but also the project collateral and documentation that is published. Jive Docs can be used to publish a project charter, project plan or WBS, tracker documents, requirements documentation, meeting notes, configuration guides, rosters, procedural lists -- or just about any other kind of documentation you can dream of. Anything that you would otherwise publish with a word processor and email out to people or post in a network drive, you can publish natively in Jive to give quick access of that information to everybody in your project.

 

Other people in the project will by default have editor rights on all of the documentation you publish, giving them the ability to contribute to the final product. Versioning helps users understand what's changed in a Doc over time, and revert to older versions as required. Structured Outcomes gives the team the power to designate content as 'Official,' increasing its search ranking, 'Outdated' to decrease its search ranking, as well as drive a variety of other actions.

 

The advantages of documenting this way goes back to our philosophy of working out loud. By making all of the information about the project easily accessible to all team members, on any desktop or mobile device of their choosing, people can collaborate more effectively because the barriers between people and information are broken down.

 

The Project Blog

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 8.17.12 PM.pngMy Project Blog is critical for me. As I mentioned before, the Blog is where I post regular status reports. Just like any Blog on the web, it needs regular updates to stay useful, fresh, and curate a following. I recommend posting at least one new Blog Post every week for the duration of the project.

 

One really great thing about using Blogs instead of just regular native Docs is that Blogs can be followed discretely without following the entire project. If I navigate to mycommunity.mycompany.com/groups/mygroup/blog I am presented with a page that contains the full text of all of the Blog Posts published in that Place. In the right-hand menu, I can 'Follow' just as I would any other Jive Place, but when I follow a Place's Blog, I only get updates when there are new Blog Posts. This is extremely valuable for project stakeholders, executives, or teams working tangentially to my project, who only want to follow the regular status reports without following the rest of the content in the project; it allows them to follow only what's important-- the updates that the project manager provides through Blog Posts.

 

With the introduction of News in the latest release of Jive Cloud, subscription streams can be setup to point at Blogs.  News provides a vehicle for high-profile projects to be showcased for users across the organization via the project manager's blog posts.

 

Beyond the functional advantages, Blog Posts *feel* different from Documents. It's not just about recording details in a report-- it's about telling the story of your project as it unfolds.

 

Finishing your project

Two things signify to others that I've closed out a Project; publishing a retrospective, and archiving the project.

 

I typically conduct a retrospective meeting with all of the project stakeholders and personnel. This is a pretty common practice, but publishing the notes from that meeting gives others an opportunity to include their own feedback to be documented as outcomes in that same retrospective doc. I also link out to any key reports, discussions, or deliverables that were key, and I ensure that all open Questions are marked answered.  The final leave-behind for the project is a single Doc that has a summary of everything that happened, what went right and lessons learned, and an index of all of the useful or important project collateral.

 

The last to-do for closing out my project is archiving it. By archiving a Project, the content in the Project goes into a 'read-only' state. It will still be indexed and discoverable by search, but users can no longer modify or reply to the content inside of that project.

 

Final thoughts

I've really enjoyed walking through the use of Jive for Project Managers. I look forward to your feedback on this series, and I encourage everybody to share your thoughts, ideas and best practices here in the Jive Community. Thanks for reading!

About a year ago, I was the internal enterprise community manager for a high tech company in the San Francisco Bay Area. I can tell you, employee engagement was always on my mind. We had a large population of employees nearing retirement age with an average length of employment around 20-30 years. On top of that, most of our new hires were recent college grads, so we had an influx of millennials and all of the challenges that came with it. I like to think of it as the double-whammy of employee engagement: how to keep the tenured employees stimulated while engaging the millennials in any way possible.

 

There's a lot of blog posts already out in cyberspace that talk about employee engagement. We can learn about it from an academic point of view, we can talk about it theoretically, and we can even put it into a cool infographic. And while I do love a good infographic, I want you to come away from this blog with actionable things that you can try in your communities. Let's start with the low hanging fruit.

 

1. Make existing programs better by bringing them into an online community

Do you already have employee engagement programs in place at your company? You can add dimension and depth (as well as increased employee engagement) to these programs by bringing them into your online community. You can use your community to better support the program's objectives by implementing things like transparent leadership communications, online Q&A, information sharing, and public acknowledgement of goals and rewards.

 

Some employee engagement programs that work well in a community include:

  • Innovation award programs
  • Idea jam sessions
  • Employee recognition programs
  • Employee volunteer programs
  • Group fitness/health challenges

495193237.jpg

  Idea jam sessions like this can be conducted easily in an online community

 

One note of caution: if you are looking to increase employee engagement in a community setting, you first need to be sure the right program strategy and resources are in place within the corporate organization. Do this by starting upstream from the community. What exactly does that mean?


It's not enough to have an employee volunteer program, then open a group in the community called "Employee Volunteer Program." That bird is not going to fly. You'll need to make sure you have the right components of a volunteer program already in place such as: team leads for each of your sites, an active group of volunteers from each of your buildings, and ideas for volunteer activities that are both supported by the company and fit the passions of your employees.

 

Then when you create your online communities to support these activities you can add more layers to the employee engagement cake, such as assigning a community manager for the group, recognizing an outstanding employee volunteer each month, supplementing the recognition with pictures from the real-live party you threw for them, and asking their co-volunteers to congratulate them on their work. Do this every month, talk about it in real life and talk about it online and you will have a more engaged employee volunteer program (and more engaged employees as a result).

 

One little trick Jive has used in the layer cake of employee volunteer engagement is giving back to the givers. Within our "JiveGives" group, Jivers raised money for a kitten and puppy Snuggle Express event for the volunteers at our Portland Office which in turn raised enough money to host another Snuggle event at a local school, see The Snuggle Express rolled into Portland thanks to some Jivers!

 

2. Face the facts: Engage with employees how they live.

Admit it. You've been looking the other way as employees started using their mobile devices (like iPads and mobile phones) at work. You may have even denied the fact that you use your own mobile phone to check emails at night. I'm going to hold your hand and look into your eyes when I tell you this, these little devices are a powerful and integral part of the future of work. Another thing you might have noticed more is people are working outside the office (gasp) or even making their own work hours (what?!). The good news is that this digital transformation plays into employee engagement because employers can choose to support these new habits rather than discouraging them.

155785755.jpg

These days, we're just as likely to work from a sofa as a desk.

 

At Jive, we are admittedly ahead of the crowd. So I will tell you what I've learned about engaging employees by embracing how they live:

 

  • Figure out how to make your systems work with mobile. THIS. IS. HUGE. Go on and get your IT and Engineering teams fired up because this is a challenge for them. If you are an email work culture, better figure out how employees can receive emails on their mobile devices (I really hope you've gotten that far already). If you have systems that employees need access to after hours, such as Concur for expenses, consider encouraging the use of the mobile apps provided by these companies. Provide clear instructions for your employees on how to use them (if they are not available or obvious already). Make sure your fabulous online community is set up to be mobile friendly. Depending on your version and whether you are on-premise, hosted or cloud, the actual how-to will vary.
  • Give employees a longer leash. 100% transparency here, I take the train to work and often have to leave early to catch a train to pick up my kids from school. Then I often work from home in the afternoons and at night. Do I take conference calls on the train? Oh yeah. Do I hold video calls when my kids are in the next room? Yes I do, regardless of the fact that the kids have been known to video-bomb on occasion. I need my work and my life to be integrated, not separated. And my work gets done when and where I need it.
  • Autonomy is key. Do you tell your employees what to cook for dinner or how to get their kids ready for bed? We assume that you hired competent professionals who are awesome at what they do. Give them the freedom and autonomy to choose how to get it done. It might not be the way you would do it, but guess what? Autonomy is one of the key components of employee engagement. Don't believe me? Watch this cool video by RS Animate and Drive called "The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us." It's one of my favorites mostly because I want to draw this fast. I really do.

3. Erase the line between leaders and employees.

Do your employees know the details of the company's annual strategy? Do they feel comfortable chatting with the vice president they meet in the hallway? It's highly likely that there is an invisible (but very real) line between your company's employees and its leaders. At one company I worked at, one executive made a point of looking away whenever he passed employees in the hallway. This is the worst sort of disconnect. How can we engage employees when our executives are actively disconnected from them?

 

Connecting execs to employees can be a pretty big challenge. After all, company leaders tend to be the busiest people around. The last thing they have time for is kissing babies and shaking hands. I would argue that just like in politics, company leaders would do well to get out among the people and do more baby kissing.

 

So what does this look like? At Jive, we encourage, inspire and assist our executives in regular personal blog posts. They write about what is important for the company, for employees, and for themselves in a personal voice. They encourage employee comments and feedback. We take these blog posts and pull them into a news feed specifically for leadership content which is featured on our Jive internal community home page News feed.

dv1492011.jpg

Executive communications via megaphone are ineffective. Try blogging instead!

 

Do you have leaders that refuse to blog? Convince them to participate in an Ask-Me-Anything session. It can start as a yearly event or even quarterly if they are up for it. Develop a list of questions in advance and allow people to post questions in a community group dedicated to the event or if the event is WebEx, have participants send the questions in chat. Provide notes and follow-up conversations in your community group.

 

4. Keep it real and make it personal. Feel something.

Your attitude, especially the attitude you take to work, can either build or erode employee engagement. On top of that, every interaction you have with another employee as a chance to increase engagement. Make each conversation you have online authentic and strive to be positive.

 

How can you be more authentic at work? Tell your story. If you have a community (and the blogs are enabled for your site), you have the power of blogging in your hands. Don't waste it. Write a blog about your experiences on the job. Write about a team outing, write about your weekend activities (as long as it's appropriate for your community and work culture). Take the risk and put yourself out there.

 

At the last company I worked for, we launched Jive as pilot with a very limited number of people. We set very few rules. What happened was a beautiful thing. We had people blogging and meeting online. Collaborating on ideas and chatting about work. People met across time zones and geographies in a way that is impossible in a real life setting. We started to feel something about going to work. And isn't feeling something a huge part of employee engagement?

100030395.jpg

Telling your story connects you to others on a human level, making it easier to get work done.

 

Within Jive, employees are encouraged to blog. We are asked to post a blog after our first week of work and are actively encouraged to keep them coming. We've had people share some incredibly personal life details in their blogs. And while it doesn't directly tie to the company's bottom line, feeling connected personally to my coworkers, even the ones I've never met in person, is a powerful thing.

 

5. Finally, never underestimate the power of fun.

Having fun is a natural part of life. Think of the times in your life when you felt the most fully alive (or engaged in the experience) and I bet that you were experiencing the phenomena known as FUN. Fun can be a tricky dance partner, however, especially when you attempt to bring her to work. And like rainbows and unicorns, fun can be an intangible thing for some organizations. Granted, it feels like Jive is on the "more fun" end of the spectrum with our endless beers on tap and a gigantic stuffed ape in the office, so I realize this might be a little hard to pin down for some.

 

My advice on this one, look to the natural cheerleaders in your company. Ask their advice. Fun for your company might be an annual cubicle decorating contest for the holidays, or dressing up on Halloween. Fun might be getting everyone together for a Bike-to-Work day or having a summer BBQ up on the roof of your building. Figure out how fun works for your employees and make it happen.

 

Bringing fun online with Jive.

I think it's important to know what's possible even if it would be impossible at your office. Everyone needs stretch goals, right? Besides the beer, the amazing free snacks, the cocktail hours and cupcake parties, the way Jive has fun the most is in our online community. Employees have started some really hilarious groups, with stellar examples such as "Let Me Photoshop that for You" and "A Group Where We Post Nothing but Kittens." And admit it, at 3:30 in the afternoon, would you rather have another cup of stale coffee or this waiting for you in your community's activity feed?

200.gif

I'd take a playful kitten over coffee any day of the week.

 

Take a deep breath and repeat after me, fun is good. That didn't hurt much at all, did it?

 

To sum it up, employee engagement comes back to one key focal point: people. Bringing people together, removing barriers between people, encouraging honest and open communication, and having fun! Each of these factors increases employee engagement. And using your online community for these things can put more power behind your engagement efforts.

 

So tell me, how do you use your online community to bolster employee engagement? Send me screen captures of your kitten groups today!

 

Every_screen_desk_2015-03-27_1258.png

Check out our new white paper called "Every Screen is a Desk: Engaging Employees in a Work-Anywhere Era"



Slideshare_every_screen_2015-03-27_1300.png

And if you're a fan of slideshare, check out: Employee Engagement in the Work-Anywhere Era

Filter Blog

By date:
By tag: