Thanks Grant Costello for asking the question about starting a blog here in the business space - we're both keen to get a discussion underway about engaging people in the companies where we have implemented our Jive community - so, as recommended, we'll start a discussion instead - be keen for the champions to add in here.
Our community is called the ON2net and it is the space where we engage our client companies, empower them to source their tools and resources and excite them about their progress and the possibilities. We have around 12 different companies currently utilising the ON2net for this purpose - and growing! The focus is on having a tool to help share stories, ideas and best practice for implementing change, and to encourage leaders to explore how they can better collaborate within the business. We want it to be the first space they go to when they are needing to find something on how to bring about change or build their internal culture. For us, it's about shaping conversations. It doesn't replace face to face conversations, but it enhances them and enables these conversations to live longer within the organisation we're working with.
During Jive11 we spoke with several internal community managers or leaders who were looking for ways to encourage greater participation in their community. Of course, many of the communities have different purposes for why they exist and what the company wants to use them for, however, most are seeking an underlying objective of greater collaboration, sharing ideas and improving communication.
The key question we hear most from people is: how do you build peoples engagement to the tool (Jive) and get them to be active users?
We're sure that you all have great experience in this area, and we know it might vary from client to client - but we're keen to start off a thread, share some experiences and hear from others.
Does this sound like a thread that would be of interest to others? If so, we'll post some of our findings in the next few days.
Starter for 10
Here are a couple of recent insights we've gained from our clients and our experience - and my apologies if it feels like I'm teaching 'egg sucking' - I'm just going off some of the conversations we had at Jive11
- Get started early. We know that there are lots of things that need to be rejigged and adjusted with implementing Jive but the key thing is to get it up and running, and available for key people to use. Your champions need time to explore it and understand how they will use it actively before advocating it to others. We had our system up and running in 8 days. It wasn't pretty but it was functional and allow the key people to play with it and begin to understand where it fits. Now, as the 'super users' we're very familiar with the tool and love every new enhancement which we can explain with passion to our clients.
- Start with working on the culture and communication. Jive is a great tool - but just because its there, doesn't mean people will use it. We found if we spend some time up front with people helping them explore what they would like by way of better communication and sharing, then when we show them Jive - its the answer to their needs. One client we have had recently - with a demographic that was deemed to be not aligned with social business platforms, has turned out to be our most successful and highest contributing user. Why - we built the need first, and answered it with the tool.
- Actively manage the contribution in the early days. Even if you have to stage it with some important people - C level managers. Identify the influencers in the organisation and sit alongside them to help them contribute. We put a huge effort into linking to other parts of the site, connecting whats happening in the business, patting people on the back, seeding other ideas. Your community manager is vital. We assign a person to each client, but we all have the responsibility to contribute to get the threads going.
- Give users something to go to the site for. We understand that some sites are purely conversation threads, but we use content as a way to encourage people to visit. We drip feed content on a regular basis to ensure users find it of value so will visit more in the future.
Really keen to hear other people ideas and perspectives.