Using intelligent communications to engage your employees

intelligent communications to engage your employees
Picture of David Quilty
David Quilty

Recently, the team at The Josh Bersin Company showcased Atrium Health’s tactics to connect with its 70,000 employees as part of their report, The New World of Intelligent Employee Communications, Creating an Irresistible Employee Experience (PDF download), all about the critical role of communication in shaping the employee experience. We were excited to have them join us for this one-of-a-kind webinar event, now available to watch on-demand! 

Chris Berger, Vice President, Head of Enterprise Communications at Atrium Health, Kathi Enderes, Senior Vice President of Research at The Josh Bersin Company, and Mike Vilimek, VP, Marketing Solutions & Alliances, shared real-world examples and tips for using intelligent communication at work, including:

  • insights on how to create an irresistible employee experience
  • techniques for crafting personalized employee experiences 
  • ideas for how HR and comms leaders can effectively reach deskless workers
  • which industries struggle the most with deskless communication
  • plotting a strategy to deliver personalized, localized, open, and timely content

The team discusses the report, explaining the critical role of communication in creating the employee experience, and guides us through how the employee experience is a cross-functional collaboration among HR, legal, compliance, IT, facilities, and senior leadership, as well as the four Cs of designing an employee-centric communication approach:

Collaboration: Employee experience is a cross-functional activity, and communication needs to be a cross-functional collaboration among HR, legal, compliance, IT, facilities, and senior leadership.

The right content is not necessarily coming from the corporate communication team; it may come from the environmental services teams in one of our locations.

— Jolie Shifflet, Senior Director of Internal Communications, Atrium Health

Content: What is put into the platform is extremely important. If it isn’t useful, people will stop visiting. One option is for companies to PLOT (personalized,

localized, open, timely) content to enhance the value perceived by employees.

Communication platform: A modern, insights-rich, personalizable, and multichannel platform for communication is the foundation for success.

You can’t just build a communication channel and wait for employees to automatically interact with it. At the end of the day, good content is still king. To make content irresistible, you need to design it right, measure its effectiveness, and improve continuously.

— Chris Berger, Vice President of Enterprise Communications, Atrium Health

Culture: An environment of free communication where employees feel safe voicing their opinions, leaders can be authentic, and communicators can collaborate across agendas or boundaries is key.

And while most of the report does focus on deskless employees and their needs, the recommendations also apply to the “deskbound” employee population. 

Lessons learned

Atrium Health realized several lessons while learning that company-wide, simple, and easily accessible communication can have an enormous impact on the entirety of their workforce, including: 

Meet people where they are: “Like it or not, employees want to consume information in an app today, just like they do for all other social media. They don’t want the only option in the form of an old-school desktop or laptop portal,” said Berger.

Push and pull: “Leaning into the app and using push notification at appropriate times has been key and really helped us get key information to our clinical workers,” explained Berger. But employees can also ask questions, engage in dialogue on the app, and share stories they resonate with on their personal social media channels.

Design: don’t just execute: “We have so much going on at any given moment, we needed to take a step back and think about how we don’t overwhelm people with information,” said Shifflet. Having the different councils to drive strategy, design, and execution helped. 

The digital employee experience is critical in crafting meaningful moments across your organization. Do you have intelligent, timely, and personalized communications to reach your workers when they are onboarded, receive a promotion, have a life change, or more? Watch the on-demand webinar to learn more about creating an irresistible employee experience.

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