Wednesday, February 11, 2009

5 ways to get staff wearing comfortable shoes (or using the web)

One of my first posts on this blog still gets some considerable traffic, 5 secret ways to trick your colleagues into becoming content creators for your website. So in that effort I am going back to another list of 5. This post was inspired by a comment from one of my readers (didnt even know I had any). Thanks Rebekah.

"I think easing them into using the intranet for communicating is a good way to start and I'm hoping it will work! We're thinking of starting an internal blog to introduce blogging and show them how easy and potentially useful it could be for us. Maybe my trickery will be as effective as yours." Rebekah

5 ways to get staff comfortable with using the web

One basic key is just like breaking in a new pair of shoes, wear them enough to get worn in but not too much to avoid blisters.

1. Start with your own shoes. As Rebekah says above, implement functionality and tools within your commited network of staff before launching to the public and expecting staff to understand and participate. So get a blog, tag cloud, RSS feed, photo sharing, discussion boards, comments, etc and get staff to try them in a safer staff environment.

2. Get some people showing off their kicks. Find some staff that are more excited than others and get them to try out some of your web tools. Build up some examples, stories and champions.

3. Look for the best fit. Dont just focus on those people that ar the most willing. Look for the groups that these tools will have the biggest bang or impact with an audience that is a natural fit for technology. For example, setting up a myspace page for groups that work with teens, have a swim team create a ning social network, Camps start a disscussion board for alumni, etc. Maybe dont start with a newer program where people dont know each other yet, program areas with wide topics like an aquatics social network (keep it focused), etc.

4. Leave some footprints yourself. Why even bother to try convincing others if you havent even tried the tools yourself?

5. Display the shoes. Before you make people try out the tools communicate several different times and ways that they are coming and post some demos or sand boxes for them to touch the tools or try them on. Here is a possible set of waves of communications, blast general announcement, run a webcast, run a training, have a colleague blast a story how they used it, send out an example of others using it, one on one conversations with key people, start the training all over, do another webcast, etc.....

6. Make it personal footwear. Dont focus on how the shoes were made or how they work. Make it fun and exciting, focus on what it means to the individual. Let the individual make the footwear their own, in their own time.

And yes, keeping with tradition, my list of five things includes 6.

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