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2017+2.23+Collaboration.jpgDefinitions are important. While misunderstandings don't always cause harm – for instance, when I ask my British friend for my purse and he hands me my wallet or the confusion between "first floor" and "ground floor" (or "lift" and "elevator" for that matter) – they can have serious repercussions in the workplace. A lack of clear definitions in organizations can negatively impact productivity, time and resources. It often leads to unproductive meetings and discussions, results in hurt feelings and can even affect employee engagement. Besides, how do you even measure the success of something that isn't clearly defined?

 

"Collaboration" is one of those words that can have various interpretations in the workplace. It's often used as a catchall to talk about not only how we communicate and work together, but as a buzzword to describe the apps, solutions and gadgets we use as well. IT may use the term "collaboration" when referring to workplace productivity tools, while a community manager might have a broader definition that encompasses the way teams interact with those tools and each other to spur innovation. No wonder people are confused!  The more global enterprises become, the more we need to work with people we've never met and with tools we've never used. Just as "purse" can have different meanings in different parts of the world, collaboration risks even more misinterpretation due to factors such as geographical location and the cultural differences between employees.

 

So how do we define collaboration? Nicole Fuselier, Viavi Solutions' Director of Digital Strategy, dives into this issue in her new article for ITProPortal, "Defining successful enterprise collaboration and communication." Nicole talks about how IT departments generally measures collaboration success as the implementation of tools that employees can collaborate with, rather than the solutions they actually do use to work together. She also discusses the fact that measuring success is key – no matter how you define collaboration. "While definitions of terms like collaboration, reach and productivity may vary," she says, "what everyone ultimately cares about is improved business outcomes."

 

We can squabble about definitions all we want, but in the end successful collaboration boils down to a combination of implementation, adoption and social interactions.

 

What do you think? See what your JiveWorks community peers are doing and leave a comment below about how you define and measure collaboration!

Welcome to the latest installment of the How I Work blog series! This month we are excited to present Helen Chen, a community manager from Carbon Black. She is an active member of JiveWorks and is always willing to help her fellow Jive users. She's a pro community manager not only in number of years, but number of communities she has managed at the same time! Her record is running 7 major product communities at once. That's a lot of juggling! Read on to learn more about Helen Chen and her beautiful work campus (with bees & a turkey mascot)!

 

Where do you work?

I work for Carbon Black, a provider of endpoint security software. I am so blessed to work with mpetrosky and historian - both masters of Community and Jive technology!

 

Our corporate headquarters are located in Waltham, MA.  Here are some pictures from our campus which overlooks the Cambridge Reservoir.

 

 

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Sunrise overlooking the patio and bocce court.

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Daytime view of the reservoir.

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Water fountain and fall foliage.

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Rocky ledge on the front driveway. In the winter, the water freezes and makes spectacular ice formations.

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Campus beehives generate local honey.

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Tom, a campus mascot can be an obstacle if he happens to be standing between you and your car.

 

How would you describe your current job?

I am the Enterprise Community Manager, responsible for our internal community called Beehive.  I help our teams understand how to communicate and share information effectively using our Beehive community.  In this role, I teach community members about Jive technology. Together we explore ways to represent their messages and content so that their targeted audiences can find and the utilize information.

 

Sometimes their places are for reference information, sometimes for collaboration and sometimes about discussion. Each team creates a unique place for their audience to join together, to learn and grow. It is a fun journey understanding their individual needs and helping them to build a vibrant home for their teams and audiences.

 

 

What about your community/communities are you most proud of?

I am so proud of how our company has adopted Jive to meet communication and collaboration needs.  We are approaching our 1 year anniversary from launching our Beehive.  Looking over the past year, we struggled in the beginning to figure out how teams could use Jive, and especially how to balance use of other technologies. Now, a majority of the teams are on-board.

 

Examples of things that make me smile:

 

  • Our Executive Team does a great job coming to the community to make announcements in their own blogging space. They often jump in on open conversations and tag other company leaders on threads to make sure that the right teams are participating.
  • Our Human Resources team has a wide range of different use models, which pulls in participation at all levels of the organization.
  • Recently I was doing a presentation at our New Employee Orientation. Several people piped up how helpful and easy to use they found our community. One attendee said that if he had just looked in Beehive for startup questions, he could have cut back on 90% of the questions that he bothered coworkers about!  (That was such a proud momma moment!)
  • Teams know to reach out when they are ready for the next steps with their places or their team's processes.  One team recently invited me to present to their team. Since they do a lot of presentations, I made a point of demoing Jive for Office to simplify their sharing and collaboration. They were so happy for that tip!

 

 

What's your computer situation... Do you use a Mac or PC (or something else)?

I use Windows laptops at both home and work. From time to time I get confused as my home machine has a touch screen, but my work machine doesn't. I find myself poking at the screen of my work laptop and wondering why nothing is happening!

 

 

Tell us what you use for your mobile device?

Most of my activity is Apple - iphone 6 and an oldish iPad. I have recently added an Android tablet to the mix just to keep life interesting. (It's mostly used for Jive Daily questions and checking recipes in the kitchen while cooking. )

 

 

Besides Jive, what apps/software/tools can't you live without?

I've recently started learning how to use Camtasia for training videos, but have found it to be quite useful making videos for my family and for editing videos for my husband's bluegrass band.

 

 

Do you have a favorite non-computer gadget?

I have to share my two favorites right now.  

  • I have been a Fitbit fan for about a year and a half. My primary devide is a Fitbit Surge, but I also have a Zip for those times I don't feel like wearing a watch.
  • I recently acquired an Instant Pot, electric pressure cooker. In addition to the usual stews and roasts, I also make Greek yogurt every weekend with my beloved cooker!

 

When thinking about this question, what struck me is that an important part of my use model for both of these products is community. It is always so much more fun learning with others and sharing favorite tips rather than struggling to figure things out on my own!

 

 

What you surround yourself with is important, what's your work space like?

Honestly, it's messy.  I seem to like hardcopy more than most people in this day and age. That probably a hangover from my days as an editor.  Scribbling on a print-out helps me figure things out when I get stuck. 

 

Other things you will find around here are a candy bowl for visitors who come to visit and a Buddha collection. My workstation when I work from home is surrounded by cat toys and a dragon collection. :-)

 

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My At-Home Work-Out-Loud buddy!

 

 

What do you listen to while you work?

Of course it varies by what I am doing. You can guess from my comment about my husband's band earlier that I listen to a great deal of Bluegrass music.

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My husband's Band - Moonshine Alley

 

Last week, Eric Clapton's album I Still Do was on endless loop. Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz are favorites while cooking.

 

When I need a change of pace, I turn on IHeartRadio's Country Channel. Actually, Country music is very motivating when doing outdoor chores like mowing the lawn or shoveling snow!

 

 

 

What's the best advice you've ever received (and from whom)?

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My mom used to say something like this when I was small and would come home from school complaining. It holds true for every phase of life, but is especially appropriate for any community manager almost every day of the week!

 

Thank you Helen for sharing how you work with the JiveWorks community! It was a joy chatting with you and learning more about you and what you love! Keep up the great work!

2017.1.31 human analytics for HR.jpgI grew up in a different world from my grandparents. For them, job-hopping was seen as being fickle and noncommittal. Now job-hopping is seen as an opportunity to gain valuable experience. This 180 degree shift in mentality has forced companies to deal with a new kind of problem - how can they keep employees from slipping through their fingers at an alarming rate and at an estimated cost of $75 to $100 million dollars a year due to rehiring and training costs? It's not an easy task trying to demonstrate to employees that your company is THE place where they can find fulfillment and growth in their career - especially when they've already made up their minds to leave.

 

According to the article How People Analytics Can Turn HR on Its Head on CMSWire, the trick is to be available to and conscientious of your employees from Day 1 and utilizing people analytics is a sure way to succeed. People analytics use science to build relationships and understand your employees needs before they start to look elsewhere. Amy Dobler, Jive Software's Senior Manager of Employee Success, talks about how people analytics is changing the game for HR whether it's through finding the weak points in training and onboarding, identifying workers best suited to a role or pinning down what triggers employees to start the hunt for a new job.

 

Amy Dobler's article on cmswire.com covers the benefits of human analytics in HR, such as...

  • Better hiring
  • Improved onboarding and training
  • Flexible staffing
  • Identifying and addressing flight risks
  • Increasing retension

 

What do you think?

How does your company currently keep your employees engaged and feeling a sense of fulfillment?

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