6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 11, 2014 5:00 AM by andbata

    Creating Social Groups

    andbata

      I just wanted to ask what everyone's stand is on creating a social group.

       

      The company I work for has newly introduced the platform across multiple departments. Naturally we want to cover many aspects of a workforce but also want to reinforce a community feel. We are planning to set up a General Interest Group, used to enourage discussions on arts, hobbies and culture.

       

      I would be interested to know if anyone else has had success? How did the users take to this? What were your experiences on things like this?

       

      Thanks

        • Re: Creating Social Groups
          Brad.Fitzgerald

          The higher ups may "frown" on this type of group, but it is very important for early engagement. It will help people get over their fear of the tool if there is something they want.  Once they know the tool, they'll be more comfortable using it for work.

           

          We didn't do it at first and people just saw this as "another work tool" not a community.  It has taken us a long time to move beyond that initial impression (we're still not done, 5 years later).

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          • Re: Creating Social Groups

            I think this is entirely dependent on company culture. At Jive - we have more than a dozen groups that cover anything from cycling and running to home renovation and beer brewing/wine making.. I think Brad is dead on in that introducing this personal feel to the community really differentiates it from "just another tool" or another site/platform to visit. By making the community the hub of conversation both work focused and personal, you set your community up for high engagement and involvement.

             

            The only guidance I would offer here is:

            • Do not over-architect the group. Start a handful of discussions or seed some content, but do not set up 10-20 categories and projects - it will be overwhelming and actually deter engagement
            • Offer up some guidelines, but leave them loose - recommendations for including images or video, external links for more information. These could all be great things.

             

            I've heard many times over that "higher ups might not approve" because of the assumption that people will not get any work done. This is like a tightrope act... you definitely want to encourage engagement and activity, but don't want so much that it outweighs work being done. I would avoid reminding folks of this unless you see a crazy amount of activity going towards the social interactions.

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            • Re: Creating Social Groups
              lindoty

              I agree that some upper-management may frown on it, not understand, see it as time-wasting (as if employees couldn't easily find ways to waste time online if they were prone to do that).  For me, it's no different than trying to build or create community in a non-virtual way. Let's say you have a new project and you need people to work closely and be productive and innovative. If you were me, you'd likely have a project kick off that included introductions, maybe an ice-breaker game. Perhaps after the first day of work, you'd have a team night out or maybe bring pizza in for lunch.

               

              Those sorts of things become more difficult as companies start to see geographical spread - more people working from home, etc. etc.  Jive gives us the virtual elements that we used to get when we were all in the same physical location, although potentially even more effective because in the virtual world, we transcend issues like availability (people can check in on a topic at any hour, based on convenience, etc.)

               

              I highly recommend it because you have to get people out and comfortable with the tool and the platform first before they will fully leverage it.  I think the first group I joined on our Jive community was called "The Water Cooler".

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