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To learn more about incorporating game theory into Jive communities, register for the upcoming webinar.


When we were kids, our lives revolved around playing games. Many were just for the fun of it, but others had ulterior motives; our parents knew that making things fun could get us to do things we might not necessarily want to do (think airplane spoons bringing mushy peas into our mouths!) Then we grew up, and for the most part, stopped playing games.  Or did we?


Playing Around: Gamification in Our Every-Day Lives


We are trained from a young age that if we do something good, we get rewarded. As children we earn boy or girl scout badges, as adults we rack up frequent flyer points and coffee loyalty cards. We might not even notice that we are being manipulated to do these things: the reward we receive makes it worth it to change our behavior.


These rewards can be intrinsic, as in these cases:


Piano keys were painted on the stairs to encourage people to use them instead of the escalator. While the reward is "better fitness," people took the stairs because the piano keys made it more fun to do this.
And for the guys: Hitting the fly makes you feel like you have great aim, but what it accomplishes is less mess around the urinal.


Rewards can also be extrinsic:


These Swedish street signs rewarded drivers who stayed under the speed limit with a thumbs up. Speeders were given the usual tickets, but drivers who came in under the speed limit were entered into a lottery - with prizes paid for out of the speeder fines.


It’s clear that we “play games” every day and that many businesses and organizations understand how to use games to motivate behavior. But what about in our day-to-day jobs? Is it acceptable to play games at work?


My answer: Yes, and we already do! Performance review and bonus programs reward us for doing our jobs well. A challenge with these, however, is that they tend to only happen once or twice a year. A continuous supply of small rewards for doing the things that teach us to work differently in support of our company's objectives is an effective (and sneaky) way to effect change within the organization.


Which brings us to Jive Rewards. A gamification program using Jive Rewards can provide substantial benefits to your community and your organization. Wondering how to get started? Try these five strategies.



5 Ways to Boost Engagement

1. Use Jive to onboard new employees into the company and into the community.

2. Create a tiered set of quests to encourage newbies and gurus to engage.

3. Target specific groups of people with quests designed to get them more involved.

4. Give employees a way to recognize, congratulate, and reward colleagues in a public place.

5. Reward activities from outside the community with badges in the community.


1. Use Jive to onboard new employees into the company and into the community.


Using Jive as an onboarding and resource hub for new employees serves two goals. First, it reduces confusion over where to go to do what thing. It also teaches new employees that Jive is an integral part of the corporate toolset while helping them learn the platform.


You can create multiple "onboarding quests" to reward new joiners for different activities. One could be specifically for learning to use Jive, while another could award a badge for completing a checklist of items both in and out of Jive. You can even target the quests for different audiences (departments, locations) based on profile fields to have different new employees do different things.


Some of the elements in the quests should teach employees to perform activities that promote corporate goals. It can be as simple as completing a task to learn about the company's mission statement, or it can be a series of activities that promote the use of Jive to find and mark answers as helpful.  If you're not quite ready to use Jive as an employee onboarding hub, you can still use quests to award badges for completing certain tasks.

2. Create a tiered set of quests to encourage newbies and gurus to engage (and recruit advocates at the same time).


To keep all employees engaged, make it easy for newbies to earn badges and move up in levels quickly so they gain confidence, then make tasks increasingly harder as employees gain experience. You can also create quests that are designed to help identify potential advocates. By the same token, you can tier the levels so they are harder and harder to move up into over time and therefore more exclusive and prestigious.


    Example quests for employee engagement:

    • Learning the basics: A set of tasks oriented toward learning to use the community and onboarding new employees into the organization (can include links to external platforms, etc.)
    • More advanced tasks: Repeatable missions with more advanced activities that lead users into developing the skills that support your organizational goals ("working out loud", providing peer-to-peer support, etc.)
    • Quests that are targeted toward a specific initiative or goal

    Consider rewarding top earners with both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards:

    • "Contributor of the month" tile on the home page
    • Role badges that appear next to the person's name in the community (like the little “A” next to every Aurean in AureaWorks)
    • Free ticket to a conference or event (think Aurea Experience)
    • Physical goods (desk swag that highlights that this person is a rockstar in the community)


3. Target specific groups of people with quests designed to get them more involved.


An excellent example of a target group is leaders. Their support of and engagement in the community is instrumental to keeping employees engaged, but often their engagement is not readily apparent. Use the competitive spirit of the leadership team to encourage them to participate in activities in the community and showcase their participation with a Leadership Leaderboard.


Another option is to create quests that target specific locations and departments with activities that are relevant to their roles - even down to viewing certain documents or videos or posting in specific places. Quests can also be created in different languages and targeted based on a language profile field. Users outside of these audiences won't get confused because they won't even see that they exist.


4. Give employees a way to recognize, congratulate, and reward their colleagues in a public place.


Using peer-to-peer badging allows colleagues and peers to thank, congratulate and reward other employees within the community. Anyone who is following the badgee sees that the badge was awarded in their streams and can like and comment. These badges can be awarded as a standalone item or as part of an @mention. Employees can even give away some of their points for a job well done!


The badges themselves can be customized to fit your needs; for example, you can create six varieties of "well done" using imagery with words. Make them mirror your corporate objectives so that employees can be directly matched with the goal that they supported.


5. Reward activities from outside the community with badges in the community.


Use badges as an additional way to recognize employees, especially when they are in multiple locations and may never see this recognition any other way. These activities can be integrated into quests using the custom event, including allowing employees to manually complete the event within the featured quest tile. Clicking an external link can trigger the event completion as well. Quest badges can be awarded manually from the Rewards console. You can even automatically award badges for external activities from other platforms using APIs.


What’s the net-net? That you can - and should - play games at work. Implementing these strategies and more can boost engagement and involvement while enabling your employees to have fun and foster some healthy competition. Let the games begin!


To learn more about incorporating game theory into Jive communities, register for the upcoming webinar with Senior Strategy Consultant Michelle Gantt


Welcome back to our blog series on revitalizing your community. In our first post, we tackled how to optimize Jive for mobile. Today, we’ll discuss one of the most common questions that we hear from community managers: how to improve search.


What to do when search “doesn’t work”


Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard your employees complain that they can’t find anything in the community. This can be frustrating for the employees themselves - the community is supposed to make work easier, not more cumbersome! - and for the community managers who work hard to make their community useful and meaningful. But while it’s easy to blame the tool when search “doesn’t work,” it’s typically the processes that are getting in the way.


While search challenges are rarely the tool’s “fault,” it definitely helps to know how to use the tool most effectively. Check out our recent document on how search works for a deep dive into Jive’s search functionality.


When we discussed these six strategies for revitalizing your community in our recent webinar, we asked attendees how often they review their community for outdated content and places. The answers were split pretty evenly between folks who review it often, sporadically, and not at all.



Why does it matter? Because keeping your content and places current is the most important thing you can do to improve search results. Content adds up over time; more “stuff” is created by virtue of use and activity or the evolution of your brand or products or organization or whatever. But wrangling that content can’t be crowd-sourced. Your internal community needs to be a trusted source of corporate information and that doesn’t happen on its own.


So how does it happen?


  1. Define responsibilities. Content curation should be the responsibility of the content owners and subject matter experts. The job of the community manager is to make sure that content owners are reviewing and updating their content consistently. Once your processes are in place, make sure that SMEs know the rules and understand that keeping content current is their responsibility.
  2. Set your rules. Before you can start freshening up your community, you need to decide how you define “fresh”. When is a piece of content or a place dead? This will vary for different organizations. Some customers call it a year without activity; for others, it’s three months. I think six months is a good average and a safe rule of thumb.
  3. Conduct a content inventory. Once you’ve decided on a cut-off date, it’s time to recruit content and place owners to go through all of their places and content to discover what’s still relevant. While a content inventory can be onerous if it's never been done - or not done for awhile - using Jive’s features can help. Within your places, for instance, you can filter by the oldest activity and quickly see when the last activity occurred.
  4. Start with places. If you haven’t done this in a while, you may find pages and pages of groups that haven’t been touched in some time. It can be helpful to start with the ones that are pretty obviously dead. If they haven’t been used in years and/or the owner is no longer with the company, it’s probably safe to delete them (although if you can track down the owner, asking before deleting is always a good idea.) For places with low activity, work with the owner to decide on next steps. Does the owner need help revitalizing it, can it be retired, is it still relevant? Ask your community owners to actually look at their content within the places before deciding, then determine if it should be updated, archived, marked outdated, or deleted.
  5. Inspect your content. Once you’ve decided what places to keep, it’s time to move on to the content within the places. This is a task for the owner or SMEs . As community manager, you probably don’t know what should stay and what can go. Unfortunately, getting owners/SMEs to go through their content can be tough. This puts you in a hard position: you want to clean up the community content in order to improve search results, but you can’t clean it up without the SME’s assistance.   A solution: archiving. If there is content that you can’t delete but you suspect is nolonger active or relevant, move it to an unlisted or secret group that you create as a holding zone. In this way, the content is still accessible if anyone needs it but it won’t continue to gum up your search results.
  1. Motivate your owners. While the archive hack helps, it’s still important to get community owners and SMEs to go through their content. You can try to motivate them by explaining how a clean community is a happy, active community and how it will benefit their colleagues and team members. You can also draw a hard line and threaten to delete their content if they don’t claim it by a certain date. This tends to work better, but make sure that you have support from a leader to get employees to comply or be okay with the consequences.
  2. Implement a content naming and tagging strategy. Congrats! You’ve cleaned up your community. Now it’s important to keep it that way. One of the best ways to organize and optimize places and content is through consistent naming and tagging. For example, say you have offices in 20 countries, which means that you probably have 20 HR spaces and 20 holiday schedules posted in your community. If they're all named "holiday schedule 2019", users will find 20 versions in their search results - not just the one for their country. That's not very helpful. A content-naming and tagging strategy should be consistent and include things like country, language, department, even a date or a sub-department - things that help people who are searching to really find the content that they want. Tag content with keywords that are not found in the title or content area. You can also bulk tag content by going to the bulk content management area at the bottom left of the content tab to make this process go more quickly.
  3. Mark content appropriately. Marking content “Official” moves it higher in the search results than other versions with a similar name or topic. By the same token, marking something “Outdated” moves content lower in the search results. This is a great option for content that isn’t the most up-to-date but still needs to remain accessible. This can also be done using the bulk content management function.
  4. Promote search results. Now that you’ve got a shiny, spruced up community, you can use some more advanced search features to further optimize users’ search. Promoted search results, for instance, work like a google ad. The community manager can designate specific content that will be pinned to the top of the search results when a user types in a particular set of keywords. This can be a good strategy for things like policies or other documents that you want to make sure people find when they’re searching.

Here’s the best part: once you implement the steps above the first time, the next time it won't be so bad - as long as you go through this process consistently. The key to a well-oiled search machine is current, organized content. So clean it up and then keep it up, and hopefully those “I can’t find anything!” remarks will be history.


For more ways to revitalize your community, check out the other posts in this six-part series:

  • Optimizing for mobile
  • Improving search
  • Recruiting advocates - coming soon
  • Engaging leaders- coming soon
  • Personalizing your communities - coming soon
  • Sharing your successes- coming soon

Whether your Jive community has been around for six months or six years, whether it’s never been more active or is stuck in a slump, there are always ways to improve your users’ experience. That’s why we focused a recent webinar on new ideas for revitalizing your community - and why those ideas are now the basis of this 6-part blog series.


In today’s post, we’ll start with how to optimize your Jive community for mobile. As we all know, modern employees are constantly on the move. From traveling for work to working from home, more and more communication and collaboration happens away from the office every day. That means that a strong mobile experience is critical to the success of your community.


Optimizing your community for mobile starts by looking at its architecture. In our webinar, we asked participants whether they were using widgets or tiles for the majority of their places, because the answer can have a major impact on your mobile experience. Here’s what our attendees reported:



This is good news for the majority of folks on the webinar that day. Using tiles instead of widgets is one of the easiest ways to improve Jive’s mobile experience.


Switching from widgets to tiles


While Jive widgets work great on desktop, they’re not ideal for viewing and interacting with content on mobile devices. Widgets don’t show up on the narrow browser view of a phone or tablet or in the Jive Daily app. That means it’s a good idea to move your widget overview pages to tiles, even though the prospect can seem daunting.


There are a few ways to make the widget-to-tile transition seem less burdensome. You can start with your most motivated place-owners and/or those who have the greatest need or interest in mobile engagement. Work closely with them to create a new, tile-based standard layout, then replicate that template with other places and other teams. Once the holdouts see the impact of the switch, they’ll be excited to make the change themselves.


If you’re on the cloud, you can keep your widget overview page up and running while you configure your new tile pages. A great option for that configuration is to use the news page as your home page. Many of the tiles available on the news page are comparable to the widgets you may have been using on your home page, and the news page will automatically show up on users’ mobile browsers and in the Jive Daily app, where news is the main landing page. In other words, you can keep your widget overview page alive for desktop purposes while creating a similar (but far superior) mobile version using the tile-based news page.


This strategy does involve maintaining two separate pages, but we’ve heard from some customers that it’s worth it to have experiences that they feel are best optimized for desktop and mobile respectively. You can also, of course, keep the widget home page live while you’re building your new tile-based page(s), then shut down the widget page.


You’ve switched to tiles: Now what?


Once you’ve made the transition from widgets to tiles, there are a few things you can do to further optimize the mobile experience.

  • Plan your landing pages carefully. Mobile users will always see the top left-hand tile first on their page. People don’t like to scroll forever, so it’s important to arrange your tiles in order of relevance to your users with the most important content in the top-left area of your desktop landing page.
  • Take advantage of tiles. One of the benefits of tile pages is that you can have up to five tile landing pages on any place, which create better navigational elements then just being able to have an overview page and maybe an activity page.
  • Test, test, and test again. It’s critical to make sure that all of your pages are working for all of your devices. Especially if you have a mobile-first strategy at your organization, test each page from each place on every device used by your workforce, both on mobile browser and in the Jive Daily app if applicable. Not all tiles are currently supported in Jive Daily, so it’s extra important that the tiles you choose work well and create a positive experience in the app.
  • Promote your fabulous new mobile experience. You’ve put in the work to update your mobile experience - now it’s time to spread the word. You can use any or all of the campaign functionality in Jive, of course, or get creative with it. For example, if you have a large group of users in one location, you could set up a fun photobooth to get people to take a picture to use as their avatar. Training on the Jive Daily app is always a good idea, too, so people feel comfortable using the new interface.

That’s a wrap on mobile. Let us know if you have any questions or ideas in the comments section, and don’t forget to check back for the rest of the series on revitalizing your Jive community:

  1. Optimizing for mobile
  2. Improving search
  3. Recruiting advocates
  4. Engaging leaders
  5. Personalizing your communities
  6. Sharing your successes

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