So this won't directly answer your question, but thought i would post my thoughts to get the conversation going.
Our Jive community (Neo) is a mix of work and play. When Neo was launched, i know that i asked our colleagues to have a play and be social so they can get a feel for how a community works. Once they've dipped their toes, they will feel more comfortable with the work aspect of our community. Now i'm in two minds about this way of launching, which i know is not helpful to you now.
It's a great way to engage your users to a community, allowing them to carry out the social functions of a platform so they understand it. It's much more difficult to adjust the thinking of our colleagues on why we implemented this community in the first place. Lots of colleagues use our community to talk to one another or take part in social groups, but are we helping them navigate our communications or use our community to help make them more efficient? I can't be sure of that right now.
We're re-thinking our Neo narrative, i posted this blog in October: What's your elevator pitch? How do you use your Jive community?. In that narrative, we want to emphasise our community to be more about work. It's where you read the latest communication from your senior leader, it's how you can communicate with your colleagues and senior leaders, it's where you network with each other and learn from one another etc. Our narrative will not include the play aspect, as we don't want to call that out anymore. It's there if you want to use it for those reason, but it won't be why you should use it.
We use Bunchball at Pearson, we introduced it a few years after launching our community. We're a lot more strategic about how we use gamification now. It will enable our colleagues to better understand Pearson's business goal by creating clear paths through content in our community in one or more of these areas:
- Promoting a positive company culture by awarding points for cross-departmental collaboration and participation in company-wide programs.
- Rewarding learning activity in Milo (our learning and development system)
- Giving recognition for Neo contributions, which will include points and missions for creating valuable content, as decided by the community.
- Featuring missions and points for completing basic tasks on Neo as part of the on-boarding process.
Here's hoping someone else will chime in with some studies, or papers to help you.
I agree Dina, the difficulty we're having is the social elements sometimes supersede value that a platform like Jive bring (knowledge sharing, collaboration) - to the eyes of senior managements. I feel like we have a steady set of people that use it to 'work' in projects and team sites but those are never really highlighted. And to your point, this is why it's so important to have a narrative, great blog btw! I suppose people pick up on the "social stuff" early on, so there isn't a requirement to push that out as much.
How has your gamification taken shape since launch? I've already set something up for new starters and am looking to expand on this.
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It's gone through some changes, the clear paths i described above is our latest. Initially, it was very much on-boarding and everyone who wanted to create a badge for something, could have one (as long as we could automate it). We're much more strategic now, we have a set of guidelines. We have FAQs around badges and points on Neo, here is our FAQ on suggesting a badge:
Can we suggest or request badges for specific teams or groups?
There are three key points that you should consider before requesting a badge be created:
- What is the purpose of the badge? Badges are meant to drive specific actions and behaviors and create a common ground for all employees. Will your badge support or reward a specific behavior that benefits Pearson and its values? All missions requesting a badge should be global in nature and have the ability to be marketed across our organization.
- Who is the audience for the badge? We understand that every team would like to have their own special badge, but that does not support the goals of One Pearson. The badges are meant to support actions that are in line with Pearson's goals and values and are therefore inclusive of all users. New badges need to support at least 65% of all Pearson or clearly support our business goals, e.g., Brand, Growth Priorities, etc.
- Does the badge support a learning activity in Milo? If you have a course in Milo that you would like to have a badge, does it fall into one of these two categories: Pan-Pearson mandatory learning (e.g., Efficacy/Code of Conduct) or Global learning opportunities (e.g., Welcome to Pearson)?
After considering these points, if you still would like to request a badge be created, please complete this form for your badge to be considered. Please note that badges need to be triggered by an action or a series of actions in Neo. For example, to earn the Like It badge, a user needs to "like" content in Neo. Once the action is complete, the user will automatically earn the badge. We are very limited in creating badges for local champions, award winners, business initiatives, and bespoke local training at this time.
We are pretty open and have quite a few social groups as well as business related ones. However, we're a fairly conservative company so the social aspect has never gotten too far out of hand. We have a water cooler where anything goes and our management is OK with that, but we found that by taking the Popular Content widget off the home page it kept some of the more frivolous or contentious topics from falling into a reinforcing loop. We had noticed that when you have Popular Content on the home page, topics that you might wish would go away will often rather pick up steam because people see them who normally wouldn't visit the groups they are in and then the audience builds, pushing that topic further up the list and drawing in even more participants.
But my feeling is that when we discover an issue like this, 9 times out of 10 it's a lesson for us admins in how to better manage the environment and design it for productivity than it is a behavior issue on the part of the users. Sometimes simple design changes like the one I mentioned above can shift to that behavior you want without having to resort to lecturing users.
I don't know of any white papers but I did just create a blog post on how we are using our Water Cooler as a strategic asset. You can see it here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/water-cooler-strategic-collaboration-tool-dennis-pearce
Having read your blog I like the first bit of advice you give for social areas "As a training ground for the ESN". From launch, we created one group for all the social interactions to occur and in hindsight, it would've been easier to allow people to create social groups as that would at least allow them to experiment.
The popular content widget is a good point, we've stuck to having a carousel point to the social group and that's as much attention as we give it, with moderation of course. You're right about it being a lesson on us and champions, last thing we want to do is discourage people from using the platform.
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I think if you are looking for additional evidence, to highlight the value social interaction, creativity and it's overall link and contributions to intended business outcomes, there's a bevy of supportive research. Not all of it is executive friendly, but below are just a few studies/articles and resources I found in a quick search(full disclosure, I haven't read/evaluated them thoroughly) that might be helpful. If you'd like some of the PDF's you can shoot me a message(academic library privilege magic). Just keep in mind(and sorry to proselytize), that with any kind of social component it's going to be bound by context in which it takes place , meaning that cultural norms are at play with behavior and may be an underlying reason for results. So if you have a vastly different set of cultural norms, even within your organization, it will impact any kind of program you try to put in place . So just be sure to note who exactly the article is sampling.
A lot of these will highlight how social interaction builds trust and rapport, which increases someone's willingness to show vulnerability( trying something new, being creative, speaking up, etc.).
- The processes of social capital and employee creativity: empirical evidence from intraorganizational networks. (Lui, 2013)
- Social Networks as Enablers of Enterprise Creativity: Evidence from Portuguese Firms and Users.( Belo, Fernandes, 2016)
- The Role of Social Networks in Organizing Ideation, Creativity and Innovation: An Introduction (Björk,Magnusson,Mascia,2015)
- Knowledge management, social media and employee creativity(Chalkiti, Sigala, 2014)
Thanks for this Jessica, super helpful. I'm going to have a look at the books you suggested!