Jive-ing with Change at Work

Featuring Chris Dukich, Senior Service Strategy Advisor & Product Lead, Enterprise Service Management

According to his LinkedIn profile, Chris Dukich is a visionary and problem solver that leads people and organizations to achieve their goals. The key is to fully understand business needs and the technologies that make them happen. As a well-rounded business professional and technologist, he identifies and communicates with all parties needed to turn big ideas into a reality.

Chris is another fellow Bentley ’11 alum who I have known since our junior year and have had the pleasure to keep in touch with after all these years. Knowing that he works in IT at a computer data storage company, I reached out to Chris and asked about his experience with ESNs, and he happily spoke to me for almost half an hour about using Jive for work. At MSLOC, Jive is used for educational purposes, providing an online space where students and faculty build a strong and robust learning community, so I was interested in learning how Chris used Jive in the workplace.

Collaborating with Others

As a Product Lead, Chris is often tasked with determining which features should go into the company’s internal software products and services, prioritizing the customization and implementation of these features, and communicating with the business, stakeholders, etc. Using Jive helps Chris and his team collaborate more effectively. For example, challenges he would often face include getting several colleagues to agree on which new features they wanted to showcase to the rest of the company and keeping everyone on his team on the same page. Their private team Jive group is a place for members to post questions and provide status updates; as a result, the platform contributes to fostering organic, real-time discussions both online and offline.

Creating Awareness

In the past, the company had a very formal structure consisting of multiple layers of reviews. By the time the final approval was received, too much time had passed. With Jive, a less formal environment has been created. Chris and his team are empowered to advertise real-time what they are working on, including highlighting all the new features of their internal products and services as soon as their projects go live.

Fortunately, employees at the company were already very active on Jive. The company initially had an intranet separate from its main internal home page, then about a year ago, they migrated everything into Jive. “This was a big step forward,” said Chris, “now anyone can create groups, post content, and become more involved and engaged within the company.” While Chris doesn’t know the numbers off the top of his head, he believes Jive usage increased ~50 to 60% once it became the company’s main internal site.

Chris and his team can easily create awareness of their internal projects simply by posting an update to the all-company feed and marking the update as “Top & Trending”. Their updates typically include a link to the team’s Jive stream, which is accessible to all employees. Their stream allows employees to ask questions and find answers about the internal products and services and receive overall tech support.

Communicating Change 

“Jive is an effective tool to get the word out, engage people in conversation, and encourage employees to vote on things,” explained Chris, “leadership even uses banners on the homepage to communicate key changes throughout the company.” Company-wide and business unit changes that have taken place include several re-organizations due to mergers & acquisitions, benefit plan revisions, and construction updates. Change often brings resisters to change, and some employees are not afraid to voice out their opinions on Jive. This is actually beneficial because designated moderators are able to address concerns almost instantly and manage change more effectively; change agents are also able to more easily identify change champions who can help sustain the changes executed.


Using Yammer to Engage Employees at a Large Multinational CPG Company

Featuring Senior Marketing Analyst Hillary Schnip



Hillary Schnip has over five years of marketing & operations experience across the advertising, consumer products, athletics, and professional services industries. She became an early adopter and avid user of Yammer when she worked at a CPG company and was named a Yambassador, i.e., a Yammer ambassador. Feel free to reach out to Hillary on LinkedIn to learn more about her experience using Yammer, or post your questions in the comments section below.


The Backstory


Amidst our #msloc430 discussions on communities and networks, it is worth mentioning that Hillary is a key example of someone who overlaps across my Bentley community, Bentley alumni network, personal learning network, and social network — and we happen to have the same birthday. It is no surprise Salvation Taco, NYC, 2015.that our conversations span across several topics, including planning our upcoming Spring Break trip to Copenhagen, talking about our existent (or in my case, non-existent) love lives, discussing our graduate school goals and career aspirations, and reflecting on how our work is integrated into our lives.

When I read Samir Desai’s comment on my previous blog post about his interest in seeing how I use my network to research how ESNs drive performance and manage change, I was immediately reminded of a conversation I had with Hillary when we were catching up in NYC back in June 2015. We were talking about what we did for St. Patrick’s Day — Hillary, who usually worked out of the corporate office outside of NYC, had the opportunity to spend the day all over the city because of her involvement with St. Patrick’s Day premium drink promotions. She mentioned how Yammer was such a useful tool, especially with its mobile app, to keep cross-location sales and marketing teams engaged; because of her early adoption and avid use of the enterprise social network, she was picked out as a Yambassador at her company.

The Interview

What sparked your interest in using Yammer?
This CPG company has about 33,000 people globally — people are in different categories, so it can feel very fragmented and siloed. Because we are one company, I believe that we should be able to leverage all skill sets. When the company rolled out Yammer, I saw it as a way to not only instant message other colleagues, but to also put faces and personalities to names through their uploaded photos and Yammer activity.

How did using Yammer change your work environment?
Using Yammer helped create a more casual environment compared to other enterprises of this size, by allowing people to share their experiences both inside and outside of work.

For example, I learned about which company-wide resource groups my colleagues were a part of and/or supported in addition to what activities they were involved with in the community. The more we used Yammer, the higher the participation in group events and volunteer experiences. Employees were becoming more involved as they saw their peers participating, creating a sense of admiration that they too wanted to be a part of.

We also met colleagues from different offices and functions within the company and had the opportunity to get to know each other on both a professional and personal level. Colleagues who already partook in the resource groups in-person typically networked with others from within their functions and/or regions; however, using Yammer groups allowed them to build stronger relationships globally, showcasing the great work being done and not just within their current office, but also across the world. This created several good conversations and drove sparks in encouragement and engagement.

How did you become a Yambassador?
As a marketing professional who works heavily with sales, I noticed that several of our sales employees tend to feel very under-recognized because they primarily work in the field or remotely. I took the initiative to use Yammer as a way of building a sense of pride among the sales teams. I started to publicly congratulate them on our all-company page, and other colleagues “liked” these posts. Shortly thereafter, others started to post on their own; the organic growth of this tool was so exciting to see and encouraged others to keep working hard. Leadership took notice and coined me as a Yambassador.

What did you do as a Yambassador?
As a Yambassador, I would coach and encourage others to use Yammer by leading small-group training sessions and showing my colleagues examples of how to use this tool. I was also tasked with helping other functions and smaller teams create private groups for work collaboration, which in effect increased productivity.
When someone would bring up a good idea in a meeting or e-mail an event photo to me, I’d say “That’s great! Post it to Yammer!” even though I could sometimes sense a little resistance. Often times my colleagues would ask me to post it on Yammer for them, but I empowered them to post it themselves by explaining how it is a new way to get involved and get noticed at work and how it aligns with our company’s values (e.g., being proud of what we do and valuing each other). After a few months, Yammer usage started to become more organic, especially when my colleagues realized that it takes very little effort to learn and use and how much it can increase employee morale through simply sharing pictures, articles, etc. and “liking” posts on their newsfeeds.

What were some challenges you faced as a Yambassador?
People were often resistant to change and claimed that they preferred e-mail, even though they hadn’t given Yammer a shot. Some of those who did create a Yammer account were still hesitant to post because of how similar it is to Facebook. Some people are just anti social media and they don’t want it intruding their workspace.

Another challenge was trying to ensure that Yammer did not replace certain in-person meetings. For example, requests that are extremely urgent along with high-profile and confidential information should not be transferred through an ESN, but through other secure and immediate channels. We had to find the right balance of what was Yammer-appropriate (e.g., the “nice to know” community involvement items and team collaboration efforts) versus inappropriate (e.g., sensitive data).

How did you use Yammer to drive performance?
I used Yammer to instill a friendly competition, particularly among the different sales teams. In the CPG industry, we rely heavily on sales and emphasize the importance of hitting our target numbers. During St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it would be fun to see which sales managers could get the most displays in the market, and they needed to post photos or other “evidence” on Yammer within a certain timeframe. This competition between the different sales teams was a good team-builder because it allowed team members to collaborate and discuss their strategies, and non-sales employees at the office also had the opportunity to engage in the competition through commenting on and “liking” Yammer posts. Everyone had a blast! This even became a success story of how having fun through Yammer helped our sales teams exceed our target numbers by far!

What do you like the most about Yammer?
I really love seeing what my colleagues are doing all around the world, not just in my immediate office. There are several instances where people from the NYC office tagged people in the London office about their travels, either for business or leisure, to London and how they would appreciate any local recommendations. Some London colleagues not only responded with their suggestions, but also took the time to meet up with NYC colleagues and show them around, and of course post photos of themselves together on Yammer!

Additional Resources

A few weeks ago, I came across the EY Performance journal article, Change 3.0: using social media to engage your workforce, which includes the following examples of social collaboration tools that can be used to engage employees:

430 EY Screenshot

Enterprise Social Networks: Driving Performance and Managing Change

In March 2014, I toured Northwestern University and sat in on Jeff Merrell’s MSLOC 430 Creating & Sharing Knowledge course. I remember #NerdingOut while reading the assigned articles for the class and observing the collaborative nature of the students — this confirmed my desire to apply to the MSLOC program.

Exhibit 1. Throwback to my MSLOC visit.


Flash forward almost two years later, and I am now in my third quarter and enrolled in Jeff’s #msloc430 class. While there are a number of topics I am interested in exploring, I am focusing on how Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) drive individual and team behavior and/or performance in the context of change management.

Performance in my Personal Life

Like several people, I have fallen on and off the workout wagon more times than I can count.

I am an early adopter of Fitbit (I’ve had a fitness tracker since December 2012 and I am very pro #WearableTech), but I knew I needed something more interactive to complement the Fitbit challenges and daily step goals.  Fortunately last fall, a fellow Bentley alum, Ashley, reached out to me via Facebook. She became a Beachbody Coach and planned to co-host a private #NewYearNewYou Fitness Challenge Facebook Group with another Bentley alum, Jen. I was hesitant to participate in such groups in the past, but since I somewhat knew these two ladies from college (and I needed a little extra motivation for the winter), I kept an open mind and was more comfortable to give the group a shot (#trust).

Ashley worked with me to discuss how I can incorporate Focus T25 workouts with the 21-Day Fix Nutrition Plan. One week before the challenge started, Ashley and Jen posted meal prep tips and recipes along with other #fitspiration quotes and images. Every day since the challenge started, the hosts have shared daily posts that encourage members to participate in a task and earn points. For example, on Motivational Monday, we were asked to post our favorite quote, picture, or message, and on Tasty Tuesday, to post a picture of a healthy meal or a link to a favorite recipe. I was very involved in completing the tasks during week one, but during week two I started to get extremely busy trying to balance work, class, and recruiting events, and I barely commented on the posts of the day. I still managed to squeeze in my T25 workouts, but I could feel myself having the urge to order take out even though I had already meal prepped for the week. Ashley reached out to me individually to check in, and I was actually surprised how much this simple act helped me stay focused and on track. I know the next two weeks are going to be even busier with travel plans for the next round of interviews, so I posted in the challenge group to ask about healthy eating tips while traveling and for healthy restaurant suggestions in NYC, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Within minutes, Ashley and Jen provided sound advice, and I am even more determined to hold myself accountable for not only eating portion-controlled nutritious meals while traveling, but also completing T25 workouts from the comfort of my hotel room.

Number 18 on my Thirty Before Thirty bucket list is to maintain a healthy diet through clean eating and weekly meal preparation — I am one step closer to reaching this goal. I am happy to say that I am officially 5.1 pounds down since January 1st, and I have Ashley, Jen, and the challenge group participants to thank for 1) helping me transition to a portion-controlled diet and manageable workout routine, 2) keeping me motivated to sustain this change, and 3) contributing to my overall individual performance!

Performance in the Workplace

As I reflect on how social media has influenced performance in my personal life, I’d like to examine how enterprise social networks drive individual and team behavior and/or performance in the workplace.

The Change Management Institute describes the evolution of social business and looks into the future of social fusion, or the reward systems and organizational power structures based around thought leaders, virtual systems and fluid networks replacing traditional organizational structures.

Exhibit 2. How to use social media with other change management tools, Change Management Institute.

Social Media CM1

When I think more about the involve (ability) and recognize (reinforcement) steps, I am reminded of Yan Huang et al’s article, A Structural Model of Employee Behavioral Dynamics in Enterprise Social Media (2015), where the authors describe that:

Work-related blogging allows individuals to communicate their expertise to a broader audience at a relatively low cost and develop their reputations. Once employees are identified as “experts” in certain domains, they may benefit from economic incentives, such as promotions and salary increases (Kavanaugh et al. 2006, Aggarwal et al. 2012). Leisure-related blog posting, on the other hand, can improve employees’ popularity among their peers and make them “opinion leaders” on select topics. Reading blogs also provides benefits. An increase in work-related knowledge from reading blogs may help employees become more professionally productive, more informed about new ideas, create new opportunities, and so on (Huh et al. 2007, Yardi et al. 2009). Leisure-related information can satisfy employees’ interests and allow them to relax (Singh et al 2014), thereby indirectly improving their subsequent productivity… If employees feel that they are involved in the conversation, one might observe greater loyalty and productivity.

When I was involved in the fitness challenge group, I demonstrated a higher commitment to stick to my fitness and nutrition goals, so yes, I agree with Yan Huang et al — if employees are more involved in the conversation related to changes at work, such as a technology adoption, I believe that employees will be more open and susceptible to change. I’d love to hear what you think!