11 Replies Latest reply on May 19, 2014 9:45 AM by tburak

    Causes of Low Participation?



      I want to help some of the members of my enterprise communities; the ones that join but do not participate.  I am looking at the root cause for low participation in hopes of being able to enable a certain percentage of these non-active members.



      I would like to hear from you as Community Managers and you as Members of a community - your observations, your comments, your opinions.
        • Re: Causes of Low Participation?

          Our main causes are:


          1.  People are too busy to spend time on yet another platform of the company

          2.  Don't want their managers to see their names associated with "wasting" time online

          3.  Don't like change

          4.  Feel like notifications via email may as well just use email

            • Re: Causes of Low Participation?

              Thoughts & possible messages/solutions - want to hear other's thoughts too!

              1. Yet another platform is how I feel about many tools.  I was able to solve some of that feeling with our ESN by integrating platform training into other training
              2. Tough one as it deals with perception.  Perhaps giving a list of things that other users get out of ESN such as softskills training, language resources, team problem solving...
              3. Breaking the change down into smaller bits might take away some of the fear of it;
              4. Ah...email hell!  What's not to love about it?    Notification management as well as the positive side of conversations in group instead of mass emailings are good messages....


              This focuses on the platform but it is what we hear a lot...

              I am still interested in experience with people who have joined a group yet do not participate.  This happens to all of us so, please reach inside yourself and try to put into words why you join a group yet do not participate.  Sometimes it is a reason as simple as 'you are there to just read the info to keep your pulse on what is happening'.

            • Re: Causes of Low Participation?

              These are some comments that users tell us;

              - It is optional.

              - It does not necessary for their jobs because they  already have email.

              - The content in the community is not interesting and useful (most of the users are the consumers not the contributors)

                • Re: Causes of Low Participation?

                  When attempting to understand how to build the Organizational Transformation program, the most important question (IMO) most ask themselves when they hear about these new methods of working and engaging is..  "What's is in it for me?”  or WIIFM.


                  Sounds selfish, and it is, but the reality is within many work cultures, change can be dangerous and unless the individuals can see personal benefit FIRST, you will find it almost impossible to transform the culture.  Even with answering the WIIFM question for each person, it is incredibly challenging to transform the company culture.   When I work with Social/Digital change agents/evangelists, I always tell them, every day you need to prove why working in this new social\digital paradigms will help your co-workers, partners, dealers, executives, customers, and company, …..in effect, answering for them "What's in it for me?”  every day.


                  So DON'T just ask them why they don't engage.  Take the time to personally sit with them and have them show you how they work and see where you can help ease their pain, make them more productive,  and eventually help the others around them.  It takes lots and lots of virtual and physical hand-holding to begin the change transformations, and even more to sustain it…



                    • Re: Causes of Low Participation?

                      And chances are that you'll never convince everyone unless there is a mandate or expectation set as there was with email. There are still people who will do everything they can not to answer email, but to instead call on the phone or convene a meeting. But if you know that your manager (or management) expect that you respond in a certain way, you will. I've seen some cases where it is the manager that finds a WIIFM for their team and drives engagement. Lots of different ways to reach people where they are.

                        • Re: Causes of Low Participation?

                          That's right Traci -


                          I can teach anyone if they are willing to learn.  There will always be those that will find an objection to everything.  Sometimes, you just got to let it go.  Eventually, they will have to get on your instance and will ask for help.  Swallow your thoughts and provide a pleasant training experience.


                          I love it when one of those "tough nuts to crack" sees the light!

                        • Re: Causes of Low Participation?

                          We hear much of the same within our organization.


                          1.  We are making sure that content we housed in a public folder is being placed in our instance and we are "locking" those public folders so information can only be found on the instance.

                          2.  For our employees, we found that change is working better by holding their hands.  We are providing massive amounts of training.  Breaking down training by specific topics, specific departments and even by specific job titles.  We are providing one-on-one training for those of our staff that feel they are not comfortable with technology or feel like it's Facebook (a huge problem); we are providing webinars for those that are off-site, we are doing group trainings, we have an overview for our New Employees during orientation.  We have created a group for the specific purpose of providing a place for training events, how-to documentation, powerpoint presentations all related to our instance.

                          3.  Create a connect with word pictures.  Find a way to describe a feature in every day terms.  Instead of Connection Streams try your instance's Super Information Highway.  During a lunch and learn, I described our instance as a stove with many pots.  In order to serve a dinner, we need to take all of the food we prepared and put them in bowls to serve.  We need a bowl for spaghetti, a bowl for salad and bowl for dessert.  When we want spaghetti, we ask for the spaghetti bowl.  It created a chuckle but a week later during another training, my spaghetti bowl was brought up by a previous trainee.  It worked.  Get creative!

                          4.  Prior to a training, we SHARE a Lesson Plan document with those who have signed up.  Within the document, are links to content we have created supporting the training objective.  We always ask if they got the share which then allows us to show the importance of viewing your Inbox and, if appropriate, your Jive e-mail notices.  This also leads into managing your preferences.  The questions we ALWAYS get is, "so I am supposed to go here all the time?"  We respond with "Why not keep it in your tray, just like you do with your outlook, and then you can bring it up periodically to see if you have any messages or "alerts" that way you can turn off some of your e-mail notifications?"

                          5.  Once you start getting those "Aha" moments, use them to show how your fellow employees are utilizing the platform.  It gets their ideas flowing as to how they are going to use the platform.

                          6.  Finally, make sure you communicate with your community managers and make sure that they are creating content that is relevant and removing or updating old content.  Work with them to make sure they have a communication plan with regard to letting folks know that their place or content is available.


                          We are seeing the results of our efforts.  We are already beginning to see the next generation of our instance, but first things first.  Let's learn how to use Jive to its fullest.

                            • Re: Causes of Low Participation?

                              I agree with Kathleen -  I underestimated the amount of training that people would need.  I do like the remote training and videos, but it is a matter of finding the time.

                              We are an extremely small team, so we are leveraging all the resources we can - Office Managers, HR, Business Development, Marketing, PR, as well as our IT Help Desk. This serves 2 purposes - one, we can managing keeping a core small team; and secondly, users begin to rely on normal, everyday, people nearer to them - rather than 'Super Users'. (we have a 'Super User' culture for other technologies within the business, and I desperately wanted to avoid this)


                              It is interesting to see how people experiment with their own personal mobile devices, and personal web surfing, but when it comes to applying that same skill set within Jive, it all goes out the window.  (for example- one of the most important items we needed to stress was 'don't hit enter - let the spotlight search return results'  - yes, really!)  What I thought would be intuative, really isn't.


                              One of our best and most used functionality is 'Message Board' - it is a place where you can post anything - from 'does anyone know this person at this firm' to 'I am running a charity race - please sponsor me' to 'I have a car for sale' Although we do get flack for it being a bit too 'social' it is actually teaching people the skills as to how to post content, respond to a post, to share, etc, and, how to communicate openly.

                                • Re: Causes of Low Participation?



                                  You are right about the "disconnect".  Even those who use a computer at home and "Google", facebook, etc. seem to think Jive is something totally different and those skills are not the same.


                                  We eventually would like to move away from Super users but we just haven't gotten people that comfortable yet.  We are also rolling out several new applications this year and people are more than a little  "tech stressed" at this point.

                                    • Re: Causes of Low Participation?

                                      Agree completely - we launched in a year of 'tech stress' as well - with updates to our expenses system, CRM system, billing system.... and there was general fatigue.


                                      The difficulty is that we have always been quite traditional with our 'IT' roll-outs - attend training, get passcode, use system...


                                      I thought that by avoiding this, and not having formal sessions, but hosting 'Overview Sessions' we would take the 'fear' out of people (but old habits die hard!)

                                      And, it has worked, to an extent.


                                      We do have engagement (we could have more), and I think the real key for us will be mobile - that way, its not another 'company software system' they need to learn, but instead, just a normal app on their phone -


                                      Will keep you posted -


                                  • Re: Causes of Low Participation?

                                    Kathleen, I like your approach.  In the early days of Social Biz transformations, the prevailing thought was the platforms needed to be as simple to use as consumer-oriented platforms without formal training…(i.e. Who gets formal training on GMAIL or FACEBOOK?). 


                                    The big difference between enterprise and consumer Social/Mobile platforms is; we need to look how these Enterprise platforms to actually get work done on a daily basis in a very fast-paced digital world.   This means fundamental changes in existing business processes (where applicable) and differences in how we engage with organizational stakeholders (internal/external).   Couple with these changes, the pressures which exist NOT TO CHANGE too much how the organization's culture exists, makes it challenging for those who have undertaken the task of these Social/Mobile/Digital Transformations.    


                                    Over the past 2/3 years, I have advocated for not just mentoring and coaching on how the company masses could leverage these social/mobile platforms to improve productivity and engagement, but to have formal training, NOT just on the social/mobile platforms, but on how to identify and potentially change the very business processes which cause frustration and reduces effectiveness for employees.    You need a layered approach  to affect the change on a sustaining manner. 


                                    One of my top recommendations (depending on company) is the 180-degree training by GenY towards employees and executives who want to learn how and when to engage using Social/Mobile platforms.