This document is a living document. Any member of the Learning and Development group (which is an open group) can edit the document and add a section to it. It was created by Karen Frock and Keeley Sorokti
on July 31, 2015 after a virtual gathering of Jive customers met to discuss creative and effective ways to welcome, onboard and train community members.
You can request a recording of the session by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be shared with Jive customers, partners and staff.
- What are the various ways and delivery methods that you use to orient users to the community and/or educate about new features?
- What is it that we need to help people with or help them understand? What are we trying solve for?
- What challenges have you found that users express when they first come to the platform?
- What is easy and intuitive to users?
- What are the repeat questions that you get most often?
- What creative, effective ways have you found to help people quickly understand and use your community? We don’t want to assume that the only option is formal training.
- What is the frequency of onboarding and training and other activities in your community?
- How do you incentive people to attend trainings or other programming and pay attention to content about how to use the community?
Related Resources (Please add to this list)
Recommendations for Jive Staff
A few ideas surfaced during our virtual meeting about ways that changes to the design of the software might facilitate better onboarding for new users and allow community managers to focus on more important aspects of orienting new users.
- Avatar Photos. All of us expressed that one of the things we need to spend a lot of time on is getting people to upload an avatar photo. There was universal agreement that the profile photo should be the avatar photo by default. Many users never find the avatar and don't take that extra step to select a photo.
- Ability to Create User Profile E-Mail Preferences Templates for New Users. Currently there isn't a way (that we know of) to define what the e-mail preferences are for new users. We would like to be able to define, by group, the e-mail preferences for a new user. For example, some customers want all users to get an e-mail from everything they follow in their inboxes. Others do not want this. We want to be able to set up a new user in a way that makes sense from the beginning. I want to be able to turn quick tagging on for all of my users by default, for example. I want to turn off inbox e-mail but turn on notifications about group invitations.
High Level Summary of Virtual Gathering
Karen Frock will add this soon.
Customer / Partner Examples
We asked attendees of the virtual gathering to share any content, screenshots, etc. that may be helpful to others as we think of new and creative ways to welcome people to our communities. That content is included below.
Please add your own screen shots by editing this document.
The Community Roundtable
Hillary Boucher, Community Manager
We have been discussing this over at TheCR Network because one of our findings in this year's State of Community Management was that investing in new member processes was a powerful way to impact engagement positively.
Some ideas that I've seen generated by community practitioners:
- Introductions thread
- Specific group for new members w/ helpful resources and cheerful community leaders to help with acclimation
- Customizing the intro email (throw away that out of the box email!)
- Better yet, set up a series of welcome emails to help members dig into the community as time goes on. I know a cmgr who set up a 10 week series of intro emails and we're working on modeling a strategy after his model. This is great b/c instead of hitting someone all at once with a lot of information you are slowing introducing micro-content *and* building the habit of expecting to engage with the community regularly.
- New member calls: We've had a lot of success with these and one thing we do that people tend to comment on is that we do not focus on the tool, but instead on the members. We try to learn information pertinent to their membership, something fun or interesting about them, something they want to learn, something they can teach others about and we ask them what they will be using the community for. Most people haven't thought about this and it's a good thing to get them to think strategically about how they will engage. We then open it up for questions and let their questions shape the rest of the call. We use this information to guide our future community management efforts.
- Identifying a welcome committee: often these are a subset of your community champions. Some people just love welcoming new people. Put a little process around it for your most enthusiastic community members and it's a win-win.
Blue Shield of California
Christopher Gilland, Senior Instructional Designer
I am happy to share some information that we use at Blue Shield of California in our community - @shield.
You can see a presentation which we used (a colleague and me) to present our training methodology and approach at the 2013 ASTD Training Conference in Sacramento, California.
The ultimate foundation is social learning.
The approach we use is a comprehensive train-the-trainer in a just-in-time capacity. We discuss much of the whys rather than the hows. We provide guidance and assistance to trainers as they prepare for an upcoming class in which they will incorporate the jive community for a virtual classroom and virtual meeting room.
1. We have a group organized at the job/role level
2. We create a project that serves as the classroom for the specific training date
3. Courseware is designed to incorporate use of jive to facilitate, share, and explore
- Practices are designed to be completed using jive
- Users learn the hows as they progress through training
4. The classroom project exists as a point of reference but also selected Operations (not training) can monitor, provide guidance, suggestions, etc.
This is our attempt to build an infantry of Jive users who can then (tell 2 friends, and so on and so on).
We have had different iterations of our Help and Support areas for resources:
Current: In 2014, the help and support area (reference, resource) was changed to the below:
Available, but not “advertised” – the Learning Library; this was the approach for 2013 as we worked to create a reference resource while building adoption.
Tracy Maurer, Collaboration Systems Manager
Tracy shared her table of contents for some training content she developed that includes short video topics in this discussion: https://community.jivesoftware.com/thread/284690
I wouldn't recommend a slide deck. I think the best way is to show live how to use the system. The most important thing to do is to frame it through the lens of why - what's in it for the user?
We are currently revamping our training to be a collection of short (under 4 minute) videos covering different how-to topics, and then grouping them into modules. That way, people can decide what they want to learn and progress at their own pace. I can't yet say if it works because we haven't rolled it out.
Keeley Sorokti, Assistant Director / Community Strategist
We have a New Students Group that is the first stop for new students who join our program on a quarterly basis. The group includes a Getting Started Guide that includes various checklists that they need to complete as part of their onboarding process. This includes some items related to Jive and many other regular onboarding activities related to being a student in our program.
The heart of the group has become a welcome introduction discussion where each new student introduces him or herself and shares an interesting picture. This happens without any training at all and is intentionally designed so that they are using the system in a non-threatening way right off the bat. They end up training themselves on how to reply to a discussion and upload a photo. Then when they have to write their first blog for a class, it doesn’t feel quite so overwhelming.
The New Students group community manager looks for ways to bring others in the community into the introduction discussion by @Mentioning them if they live in the same city as the new student, for example. This ends up engaging others in the community who then welcome the new students.
We also have a Hive Information space that has a Hive 101 document that walks them through the important first steps to getting to know the community. I introduce them to this Hive Information space by linking to it from the New Students Group which is their main touch point when they first start.
Another important aspect of inviting new students into our community is the welcome e-mail I send out. As Hillary Boucher, mentions above, it is important to customize this welcome e-mail. Students are invited into our community one to nine months prior to taking classes or attending orientation so this e-mail is an important touch point.
Subject: Welcome to MSLOC & The Hive: Important Information for Your Fall 2015 Start-Up
Dear [Student Name]
We hope you are getting excited about starting your MSLOC journey--we're definitely excited about your joining us! We have some important activities for you to do in order to get ready: 1) Log into The Hive; 2) Visit the MSLOC New Students Group; 3) Start working on the Getting Started Guide; 4) RSVP for August Virtual New Student Orientations; 5) Save the dates for the September 12 all-community social event and the start of fall classes.
- 1. Log into The Hive, MSLOC’s private online learning community and communication hub powered by Jive Software
To get started log in now at [URL] (bookmark this URL in your browser).
YOUR USERNAME: xxx
YOUR TEMPORARY PASSWORD: xxx
? Questions ? If you have any questions about accessing The Hive contact Keeley Sorokti at email@example.com or 847-xxx-xxxx. Once you are in The Hive you can ask questions in the MSLOC New Students Group or by going to Create > Message in the blue banner at the top of the screen to send a private message to someone.
- 2. Visit the MSLOC New Students Group in The Hive
The MSLOC New Students Group [link to group] should be your first stop in The Hive. It walks your through the onboarding process. You are already a member go to the Student Services drop down in The Hive to find the group. In this group you will find easy access to complete the following action items:
- 1. Complete items in Hive 101 Quick Start Guide
- 2. Introduce yourself to your fellow new students in the New Students Group
- 3. Review the Getting Started Guide
The Getting Started Guide walks your through your onboarding journey. It contains several checklists that you complete over the next several months. Access the Getting Started Guide [link to URL] from the New Students Group.
- Checklist A needs to be completed by August 17, 2015
- 4. RSVP for August Virtual New Student Orientations
We have designed two online sessions to ensure you are familiar and comfortable with graduate life. You will need to start preparing for the orientations one week prior to the start of the first session. See the New Student Virtual Orientation Sessions [link] document for more information.
- 5. Save Important Dates
SOCIAL EVENT: On Saturday, September 12 the MSLOC community will gather from 6:30-9pm at the new Northwestern Visitor’s Center for an evening of socializing and networking. More information and an RSVP will be posted soon. This event is free for students and guests pay $20. Faculty, students, staff and alumni are invited.
We are looking forward to getting to know you better in the months leading up to the beginning of fall quarter. If you have any questions, please do contact one of the MSLOC staff. If it is an urgent matter call the MSLOC office at 847-491-7376. We're ready to help you make a great start!
P.S. All of the information in this e-mail (plus much more) is also located in The Hive New Students Group.
Amy Castillo , Talent Development Senior Learning Consultant
gmeUniversity is a learning community for medical residents
Allegis Global Solutions
Rachel Duran, Community Manager, Talent Acquisition (now at CA Technologies)
During the virtual gathering, Rachel shared how she used google analytics to create heat maps in order to understand user behavior which then drives the onboarding and training experience and content.