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2 min read

Leaping over the engagement hurdle

Employee Communities—What they can do, and how to get them there, hosted by Community Roundtable co-founder Rachel Happe, touched on several ways to encourage involvement within a community. During the first weeks of a workplace community launch, the newness of a platform will itself drive engagement.

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By Jodi Marsh, SVP, Communications & Digital Services, Ivie & Associates

When striving to increase engagement within a community, there is always the voluntary participation hurdle to surmount. When given the option to interact, fear of the unknown sometimes overshadows what can be a fun, pleasant experience.

Last week’s webinar, Employee Communities—What they can do, and how to get them there, hosted by Community Roundtable co-founder Rachel Happe, touched on several ways to encourage involvement within a community. During the first weeks of a workplace community launch, the newness of a platform will itself drive engagement. But what do we do, as system administrators, when that new car smell wears off?

But what do we do, as system administrators, when that new car smell wears off?

It’s helpful to identify a priority, or the why, behind the community. What do we want to get out of this? What do we want our fellow community members to achieve? For example, do you want executives to gain more visibility with the rest of the company? Maybe you want to decrease email trails and utilize a discussion-type feature within your platform. Whatever the reason, be sure it’s identified and solidified. This way, when you come upon those hurdles, you can refer back to your priorities and put into action a plan for making the leap over them.

Secondly, you want to have a strategy to go along with your priority. During the webinar, Happe made mention of a useful plan to fuel community engagement: model the behavior you wish to see. In today’s workplace, email is king, but if your goal is to encourage messaging within a community, model the behavior by simply refusing to answer community-related questions via email. Direct users to the community platform, where they can be sure their questions will be answered. Also, post critical information, usually sent out in email blasts, only on your community news or message board feature. This is a surefire way to increase traffic within a community, and adds value to the platform at the same time.

Finding the triggers to the old, or unfavorable, behaviors, will undoubtedly assist you in identifying the solutions, or new behaviors, you wish to see within the community. Do not let time discourage you—encouraging engagement within a platform is an ongoing plight. However, when priorities and strategies have been defined, the road to optimal engagement becomes a lot less bumpy.

About the Author

As SVP of Communications & Digital Services for Ivie & Associates, Jodi provides oversight for the service areas providing marketing communications, internal and external messaging, public relations and digital strategy for one of the largest privately held marketing companies in the U.S. She served on the client side of marketing for 11 years and also has agency experience, providing her business acumen on both sides of the business. Jodi also oversees Ivie’s Customer Service Call Center. Outside of work, you’ll find her in the yoga/Pilates studio or reading a good book.

 

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