When people just don’t get it…

We see it time and time again, and no one seems to learn from past mistakes.  To all directors out there – LOOK and LISTEN to what is going on!

We have recently been using Jam as an internal platform for communication and social interaction at work.  This has only been rolled out to the HR function at the moment, and L&D being aligned to that division has also had access.  Needless to say, the Curriculum department has embraced this new platform and is contributing to some good conversations there.  Our team were contributing heavily to our Sharepoint platform as well, so we are already a far way down the road compared to some of our HR colleagues.  However….

Our directors are behind this.  Our HR director is enthusiastic about this.  But oh dear…the practical reality is far from exemplary.  I am trying to think of a reply to one of our director’s blog posts.  This post was a ‘newsletter’ which had already gone out to the division by email.  It was if they had suddenly remembered Jam and copied and pasted it over.  This must have been about 3000 words.  The heart sinks and I never got past the 4th paragraph…

Since then, there has been two replies to this post…but nothing from the author.  There has been no feedback from her, or comment on any other posts. I tried to look the other day to see how she is interacting with the division on Jam – what did I find?  Nothing.  So for all the enthusiasm about everyone else using this platform, our leaders don’t see this as a way forward or in any way important (please – don’t use the ‘busy’ excuse..)

By thinking about this strategically, she could have done so much more, and raised her profile with probably little more effort than penning the ‘newsletter’.  These would be simple steps to show how to use the platform effectively..

  • Split this ‘newsletter’ up into bite sized pieces.  If you are too busy to contribute, I can guarantee that other people will be too busy to read a great big post.
  • By spreading these out over a period of time, people get to see your name on Jam, and that you are contributing.
  • Reply to people to take the time to comment on your blog.  It shows you are listening.
  • Liking a comment that someone has posted takes no time at all.  Why not go in when you’re having a coffee and comment on a few posts?
  • Post short bursts of whatever is on your mind.  Throw a question out there – you could get some interesting and innovative replies

Most importantly, this will eventually be rolled out to the business.  Your contributions will be used as a template for other directors/managers in the business.  If we are not demonstrating the behaviours, then what incentive is there for the them to follow?

Are there any more ideas I could suggest to get more interaction?

Thanks to John Stepper’s inspirational blog for these ideas..



7 thoughts on “When people just don’t get it…”

  1. I agree with all the ideas suggested here.

    Another one is to align the post to something topical and timely – for example, a stage in the performance management cycle, or the release of the half-yearly results, or Halloween… anything that connects the message to something of interest in that point in time.

    Having said that, it’s a struggle.

  2. I see this all the time…and have only rarely gotten a light bulb moment from the people with “newsletter mentality”. Seems to me obvious advantage to post items as they arise with the ability of comments/feedback over accumulating content for a newsletter that has content that is dated and with no feedback loop.

    Seems like something that is hard to “get” without actually “doing” and seeing it in action. Maybe one way to make progress is to mine for examples with obvious benefits and use those as examples? I don’t have any answers just many questions around this same issue.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for commenting Mike. Well, baby steps so far-another huge newsletter went up, but credit where it’s due, she is now posting replies and what she’s up to, sites visited etc. not much more depth than that, but an improvement on last month!

      1. Yes, baby steps indeed. I often have to remind myself that not everyone just “gets it” and as long as we’re going forward even in the smallest of increments and not backwards we’re making progress.

  3. Update Sam. She did reply to my comments – but then wanted to send out a survey to find out how people wanted this information conveying. Feel that she still hasn’t grasped what this is for….but we’ll see!

  4. Have you fed back to them Damian? Senior Execs tend to find this kind of communication pretty unnatural in my experience, unfortunately it can be difficult to give them candid feedback too, though I’m sure most would actually appreciate it. We have a similar situation only we use Chatter and to be fair to our HRD she does back it and does post things she thinks are relevant, probably more than most. Maybe you could offer some discreet advice to yours?

    1. Hi Sam – thanks for that. I did leave some feedback on the blog, but then if she isn’t looking at it, she won’t see it. I might email separately. I do think this is a shame when they talk about the new company and values, but then revert to type. We’ve got a great opportunity now to create something new and different. I’ll see how I get on.

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