Kids Included Together, a San Diego non-profit which provides training for organizations committed to including children with and without disabilities into their programs, recently launched a Chatter initiative that was more successful than any we’ve seen. We asked their managing director, CJ Lucke, to tell us how they did it. Here’s what she had to say:
Our largest client is the US military and for them, we travel around the world providing training at their child care centers at each of the four branches. Currently, we are working hard to diversify our client base – and so it became imperative to bring together various information systems within the organization and plan for knowledge transfer as we grow and have staff turnover. Our employee group is very social, as well as technologically savvy, so we started from a good spot when we began our Salesforce implementation. The first thing we activated was Chatter and I followed these five rules to get employees excited about the process and ready to start using it.
1. Create a Buzz. About a month before implementation, I started talking about Salesforce at staff meetings. I sent links to YouTube video overviews of what it could do to all the staff so that they could at least become familiar with its purpose.
2. Take Baby Steps. Expect to have a 6 month implementation process – but start to put information up on Chatter that you don’t put anywhere else so that people have to come online to see what is happening within the organization. Assure everyone that only people within the organization can see their posts. Empathize with the frustration of having to learn a new system and provide documentation on even simple tasks.
3. Make it Fun. The first week, we had a drawing for a $20 gift card for anyone who went into Chatter, added a picture and updated their profile info. Throughout the implementation, we would have small contests and “tests” to help people learn the system in a fun way.
4. Identify Super Users. We have several people who use social media extensively in their own lives – so we asked them to start putting up pictures and writing about social events with the company. This helps to get people excited and interested to use Chatter. On their own, they downloaded Chatter for the Desktop and helped other employees who wanted to access it that way.
5. Keep it Social. While we don’t use Chatter specifically to discuss projects – it is a place where we can give shout-outs to other employees who are doing great work, and in turn learn what they are doing. Employees also post professional development opportunities, what’s happening with their kids, community events they are volunteering for – anything that helps us learn more about each other.
Now that we have Salesforce up and running – I can’t imagine living without it. At conferences and user groups, we meet other non-profits who don’t use it at all outside of donor relations and we are baffled by the lack of buy-in. There are so many wonderful tools with Salesforce to streamline operations and bring people together. We keep finding new ways to use it, such as the automated emails to follow-up on calls providers have made to us requesting advice on a specific child. We have had our moments of frustration – everyone does when they have to go back to being a “beginner” – but the struggle is definitely worth it!
Kids Included Together is a San Diego non-profit which provides best practices training for community–based organizations committed to including children with and without disabilities into their recreational, child development and youth development programs. Their largest client is the US military, for which they provide training at their child care centers at each of the four branches and offer a call-in help line.