Creating Fun Content with Southern Co. Gas & City of Hope


Nathan Lammers


J.P. Salman

Creating a Content Funhouse

Join experienced internal communicators as we dive into the art of creating a content funhouse, where unconventional and engaging content reigns supreme. Learn innovative approaches, storytelling techniques, and out-of-the-box ideas to captivate employees, spark their curiosity, and build a vibrant workplace culture through fun-filled communication experiences.

Video Transcript

Speaker 1 (00:00):
Show us that it’s absolutely possible to put fun in fundamental internal communications. Without further ado, I want to go ahead and pass it over to Nathan to kick off our session.

Speaker 2 (00:12):
Alright, thanks Nicole. Alright. As Nicole mentioned, I’m here to let you know that there is life outside of the long internal communication article. So just, I am Director of Stakeholder Communications at City of Hope. We are one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the nation. We just, if you’re familiar with Cancer Treatment Centers of America, we just integrated with them. So now we are a national health system dedicated to cancer research and treatment, serving five of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation in la, Georgia, Chicago, Phoenix, and Orange County. Orange County is where I serve. I serve the Orange County region and we’re fulfilling a $1 billion expansion project to build a cancer center and a hospital and network of care for the region’s sixth largest county.

Speaker 2 (01:09):
So working at City of Hope is a very serious place. Just to give you a little background on what our employees do every day, we are here to develop the latest technologies and drugs to treat cancer. So the discoveries we’ve made over the last 110 years since we’ve been in existence are benefiting a hundred million people across the globe every year. We’ve created four of the top world’s most widely used cancer drugs. They originated at City of Hope. We also invented the first synthetic human insulin used for diabetes treatment. Recently, the first HIV patient went into remission after receiving a stem cell transplant. At City of Hope, we have 800 clinical trials, very large research base. So we’re working with some very smart, very scientific people. But the most important thing that I want to mention is that cancer is a very debilitating disease.

Speaker 2 (02:10):
And I’m sure all of us in this room have been impacted in some way or form by cancer. And our caregivers hold our patient’s hand from the moment they’re diagnosed and many times into survivorship. So they make that connection with them, but then they also have to go through the end of life process right alongside those caregivers. So it’s a very meaningful mission to be a part of, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be a serious place to work. We are all human, we like to have fun. And so our team really caught onto that and said the traditional communications that we’ve been developing for internal comms aren’t really performing that well. How do we rethink our content strategy so that we’re better engaging our staff, getting them into the tool and helping them stay in the tool. So just to give you some examples, here’s a couple run of the mill internal comms articles.

Speaker 2 (03:08):
A large portion of our staff aren’t researchers. So we wanted to explain what is a clinical trial, how does it work, what are the different phases? So we drafted a really informative long article, 11% engagement, meaning only 11% of the employee population read the article. Same thing, we launched a new clinic. That assessment intervention. Basically if a patient’s coming in and presenting symptoms other than cancer, we will help diagnose it and then send them to where they need to go. 13% engagement. I mean, these are really cool things that we’re doing and staff really weren’t reading ’em. We started blood transfusions. We just opened our cancer center in Orange County. The blood transfusion program went live, 15% engagement. So at that same time, we really decided, you know what? It’s really time for us to start rethinking how we approach our content and get away from that boring article.

Speaker 2 (04:03):
People don’t really have time to read those long articles at work. So how do we make it short, succinct, but also fun? And how do we also develop content that’s going to make them feel that connection with their employees? So before we dived into this, we really looked at the data. I mentioned about 10% engagement was what we were getting on our traditional articles. And we noticed that at City of Hope, the majority of staff are reading the content after hours. So when you’re on your commute home or you’re sitting at the dinner table, not that you should be reading your phone at the dinner table, but if you’re at home, I’m sure people don’t want to be scouring Firstup for the run of the mill content. So how do we make it fun that they really want to come into the tool and stay?

Speaker 2 (04:50):
And we noticed that the social media team on the external comms team had been trying new things with reels on social media and they had been performing really well and they were starting to really engage traction and growth on our social media platforms. And we said, Hey, I’m thinking that you’re developing such great content on social media with videos and reels. Why can’t that content also be used internally? And then we can cross share and cross pollinate our content for both audiences? And it was really kind of an eye-opening experience because we realized that it’s going to actually allow you to produce more content more efficiently. And it’s also going to make it a little more fun. It’s going to start treating Firstup like a social media platform.

Speaker 2 (05:38):
Alright? So once we formed that partnership, we really started getting a little more creative with our content strategy. I mentioned that the tighter partnership with social media and we put more emphasis on shorter articles, really homemade videos, but also we invested in a hundred dollars account. I don’t know if anyone else is a fan of Canva, but that has been a game changer because now we can make infographics easily. We can turn for here you have a parking update, time to move your car because cleaning the second floor of the parking structure, why does it have to just be a boring article? So a really easy way to make it way more graphic and visual. And then also you have the ability to also post videos. So why not use your phone to do that?

Speaker 2 (06:30):
And then one of our biggest ways is also, and this has really been a key driver in driving our engagement, we are now at a 70% click-through rate in any given month with our staff. And that’s because we have launched contests where people share what’s going on in their department or their personal life. And we have people vote on their favorite photo, their favorite pet photo that’s also gotten them to get into the app and then they stay and read the other information. And I mentioned the gamification. So when we started doing our out of the box content, we noticed that on average the stuff that is a little non-traditional is actually performing at 30%. Meaning 30% of the population is reading it or clicking it or liking it, which is a really great thing. So I’m here to share three tips with you of how we have approached this work.

Speaker 2 (07:22):
The first is, as I mentioned, use that phone. I mean we have the most powerful camera in our pocket. Go out and capture that content. It doesn’t need to be high production, it doesn’t need to be fancy. We don’t need to hire fancy video crews to come in and record all the time. There’s a time and place for that. So I’m going to show you one example. So I’m sure we all experience this. There’s always some kind of career observance week. So I dunno, healthcare week or nurses week or nurses month. Instead of having that long article from the chief nursing officer or the C E O, why don’t you actually produce a video that actually shows that team at work and highlights what they’re doing? So we picked the supply chain team. They’re actually a very historically underrepresented team in my opinion, not really many people get a lot of love in supply chain.

Speaker 2 (08:17):
So we said that box of gloves you’re getting from the shelf to interact with your patient, where’s that box coming from? It’s a whole team that works in the warehouse that’s unpacking all your stuff. So let’s feature what that team does in a typical day. So they set up a camera, they actually did it themselves. They set up a camera, they put it on time-lapse mode and recorded their entire day at work. And then my team came in and sliced it all together on Canva and created a really nice video. And you can see it got a lot of engagement from staff. All right, so that was just a little one minute video. It gave the love to the supply chain team. They were really, really grateful for being featured. But we see all the comments and people are really grateful for that behind the scenes support. At the same time, we also try to do some games. So this video was also joined together with a game that the supply chain team ran to see who could guess what was inside the box.

Speaker 3 (10:21):
Hi, my name is Brianna sbo and I’m a material specialist with supply chain. And today we’re going to play a game with guess what’s inside the box. So I’m going to shake it up. Let’s see what’s inside three clues about what’s inside the box. Number one, it comes in many different colors, shapes, and textures of number two, it’s in household and clinics. And number three, there’s even a song about it. Can you guess what’s inside? Write your guesses in the comments.

Speaker 2 (10:57):
All right, who can guess what it was gloves, soap. It was bandaids. Bandaids. So the winner won a Starbucks gift card. The second thing that I would really recommend is Trend Spot. You can see here the wonderful shoes that we all recognize on Gen Z. I can’t get into them still, but we said social media is very trendy, so why can’t we be? And so this summer our cancer center celebrated its one year anniversary of being open and we really wanted to come up with a really out of the box way to celebrate that, but also take people on a tour of just to remind them of the beautiful facility that we are in. I mean if you see it, it doesn’t look like a hospital. It looks like a hotel. So we did this by tapping into the Barbie craze. So we did Barbie’s Dream Cancer Center and Barbie took us on a tour of the cancer center and walked us through some of the coolest rooms in the building.

Speaker 2 (12:03):
Here you can see the interventional radiology suite. It’s the first of its kind in California, so it’s super, super cool. It basically can allow you to target a tumor to a millimeter. And so Barbie took us on a tour of a couple different rooms, our healing garden, we have medicinal plants outside. There was also the cafe, the lobby, the art gallery that we have for patients. And this was probably one of our top performing posts out of the entire year. And you might say, how do I get my leadership team to buy into featuring Barbie?

Speaker 2 (12:42):
I would say just lean into that data. Show them that your employees aren’t reading that news. So let’s try something new. Let’s get them out of their comfort zone. And you’re going to actually see that they’re going to click through and read it. The last thing I’ll leave you with before I turn it over to JP is we are all human. We all have a social media platform. We like comedy shows. We dress up at Halloween. Why can’t we do that at work? Why can’t we showcase our humanity to each other? So I’m going to leave you with one final video. We celebrated Father’s Day and we featured dads from throughout the organization on some of their cringes, AST dad jokes. So instead of having a nice message that said, we’re celebrating all our dads, we actually put our dads front and center and had them share some of their cringey jokes. Happy

Speaker 4 (13:36):
Father’s Day, everyone. I just want to say Happy Father’s Day to everybody. And I am honored to be the father of two beautiful girls. My 22 year old daughter Nadia and my one year old daughter Noemi truly are the best part of me. And in celebration of Father’s Day, I want to hit you guys with a couple of my best dad jokes. Why did the chicken go to the gym? You don’t know to work on its pecs. What do you call a sheep falling down a hill? Landslide. What type of doctor was Dr. Pepper? A physician. And last but not least, have you heard the one about construction? No. They must be still working on it. Happy Father’s Day, everyone.

Speaker 2 (14:33):
All right, so as you see, this isn’t necessarily the stuff people need to know. It’s nice to know, but it does create that connection. I will say that now Firstup is really the talk of the town because now they’re asking us what’s the next best thing you’re going to post on there? We had a pet contest over the summer. It really meant that I think it was 50% of our users submitted their pet photos, so it flooded the feed, but it meant that our engagement rate for that month skyrocketed and everyone was in the app and all the content that was around the pet photos was getting engaged with. So I would really encourage you to try something out of the box. It doesn’t always have to be Barbie, but really feature your staff, feature them in their human state, not their job. And I think you’re going to pay off dividends in engagement. So I’m going to turn it over to jp. JP is going to talk about some of the stuff they absolutely need to know, but how to make it fun.

Speaker 5 (15:36):
Awesome. Daniel said he was actually nervous about this. I think he crushed it. So I said Daniel, Nathan, I think he did. I’m about to show y’all Daniel in a minute. That’s why I said that Nathan did a great job. So his company’s doing some when I met him for the first time this morning, but I met him virtually a week or so ago. And I looked up the organization and the work that they’re doing with cancer and H I V and things like that. And man, they’re doing tremendous work and it made me feel almost embarrassed a little bit to be up on stage with him. But my company’s also doing some really great stuff in terms of solving the global warming crisis and things like that. So I don’t feel too bad, but I’m JP Salman. I’m the director of internal communications at Southern Company Gas.

Speaker 5 (16:22):
And just real quick before we jump in a little bit about us. So we are a family of natural gas utilities and we’re spread out across the country mainly in Georgia and Illinois. Those are our two biggest utilities. We also have employees in Virginia, Tennessee. We even have a couple in Texas out to California. So we’re geographically spread out all over the place. We’re also very, so we’re diverse in our geography. We’re also very diverse in terms of the work that we do. So we have a little less than 5,000 employees, but we’ve got folks in the office in front of a desk. We’ve got folks, they’re out working on pipelines. We’ve got folks that are at customer’s homes. We got folks in the trucks on the way to customer homes and all that kind of stuff. So we’re just spread out all over the place.

Speaker 5 (17:11):
So we needed a solution, a platform to be able to first before we could ever get fun to actually engage and get a way to reach these people before we could ever think about being fun or creative. So a few years ago we did just that. We partnered with Firstup and we created a platform that we really wanted to be sort of cool and high energy and innovative. And so when we launched this, we did so with a video that we thought was hopefully going to capture that spirit, the high energy, the fun, the connectedness that we hope this platform will bring for the organization at Southern Company Gas. The future has arrived, an employee engagement evolution, introducing a more connected and more effective mobile communications platform, a new digital application that allows us to change the paradigm with purpose to communicate, engage, work, and deliver in a smarter, faster way.

Speaker 5 (18:17):
Now we can and we’ll mutually walk, equip you with the content, tools use and information you really need. Now we take action in real time now, our steadfast commitment to you and to be the best continues fuel. This is for life, so that’s great. But unfortunately, as we all know, as internal communicators, we have a really awesome fun job a lot of times because we get to work with every part of the business. So we get to work with HR and and every part of the business, and that’s great. That makes our jobs fun. But a lot of the stuff we have to work on sometimes if we’re being honest, it’s kind of boring. I mean it not always fun. It’s not always a bunch of sexy stuff we get to work on. So for example, who in here has as part of your culture performance reviews every year, right?

Speaker 5 (19:23):
Yeah, most of us. So we do too. Now we view ours slightly different. So we call ours Connected Conversations, and you’re supposed to have conversations throughout the year with your folks, usually once a week or so. And then at the end of the year you do have a performance review. And in a second I’m going to introduce you to Daniel, which is why I had Daniel in my mind. And he’s going to show you how to not do a performance review. So the point is, is that we have these things that we all have to work on that aren’t necessarily fun, but we can start to make them fun. So Nathan mentioned lower production videos, lean into that, right? iPhones, they’ve shot full length Hollywood movies at this point with an iPhone. These are great tools. We almost all have ’em in our pocket. It works so well with this platform.

Speaker 5 (20:11):
You can deliver content from an iPhone and push it out on this platform so easily and it’s made our job so much more fun. So I’m going to show you Daniel, and I’m going to show you two videos of how to not do a performance review. Because what we were thinking, it’s like, man, this performance review time, again, this is kind of boring. We could send out another long email to our leaders of people for how to have a good performance review. But see, I’m already getting tired and I was thinking, well, what if we just show them how to not do one? So I’m going to introduce you to Daniel and he’s going to show you as a how to not do a performance for you. I hope I am. There we go.

Speaker 6 (21:06):
Well, let’s see. Christina, just give me a sec here to find out exactly what your goals were last year.

Speaker 7 (21:18):
No problem, Daniel, but my name is Ashley Tina.

Speaker 6 (21:22):
Okay, whatever you say, Christina, I’m just going to dive into it here.

Speaker 7 (21:29):
He didn’t seem very prepared.

Speaker 6 (21:32):
Go ahead and tell me about some of your goals.

Speaker 7 (21:35):
Well, I’m really excited about some of the things.

Speaker 6 (21:38):
I hate to interrupt you, but gosh, there is a million bullet points here. Do you have a Cliff Notes

Speaker 7 (21:44):
Version of this? I have not. I did have some things I wanted to say. Peace survived. The things that I’ve done that are so great. Go ahead and I mean

Speaker 6 (21:54):
That’s all good and well, but check this out. I just started gaming a new putter.

Speaker 7 (21:59):
Hello? Hey. Oh

Speaker 6 (22:01):
Yeah, as your work.

Speaker 7 (22:02):
Yeah, all of it’s supposed to be important. All of it is supposed to be supposed to is a keyword. It’s quote what?

Speaker 6 (22:09):
Did you do any actual work this year or did you just write the goals? It’s

Speaker 7 (22:13):
Listed right there. Do you not see it?

Speaker 6 (22:15):
Yeah. I mean I see that you spent a lot of time this year writing goals, but did you actually do any work or just make this Word document?

Speaker 7 (22:23):
I did. If you got rid of some of this stuff, then maybe we could have some conversations. Goodness, I was hoping we could focus on my objectives from last year. I was so proud of what I accomplished. Can we talk about my accomplishments? I

Speaker 6 (22:38):
Mean, I want to talk about my accomplishments.

Speaker 7 (22:40):
It’s not about you, it’s about me. It’s about your employees, I suppose. It’s about us connecting, having connected conversations.

Speaker 6 (22:46):
I’m just wondering if, based on all the things that I’ve told you in this review, if you’re clear on what you need to do for next year,

Speaker 7 (22:58):
That wasn’t much of a conversation, especially a connected conversation. We did not connect on those next steps.

Speaker 6 (23:06):
You know how you get promoted around here? How is that? You get on the scramble team, you hit bombs and you sink putts. I don’t. I can’t. I just can’t. So did you get all that Christina?

Speaker 7 (23:22):
My name is Tina. I’m sorry, Christie.

Speaker 6 (23:25):
I got that.

Speaker 7 (23:25):
Oh my goodness gracious. I am not sure what just happened, what just happened. And it’s Tina. My name is Tina. Go figure.

Speaker 5 (23:50):
So that’s more fun than just sending out another email about getting ready for performance reviews. So I would point out that we literally had two people that shoot, took us 15 minutes. We did it on an iPhone, used Canva with about 30 minutes worth of editing and boom, that’s ready to go. So it’s actually probably, and a lot of times we also spent about 15 minutes developing the script. So it’s probably even quicker a lot of times than typing out that email and working on it that way. So again, it’s a different way to have fun when you’re communicating to me. That’s a lot more fun. So next I want to show you Daniel as an employee, which is probably even worse. So for employees, if you’re just an employee, here’s how to not have a good performance review. You

Speaker 7 (24:42):
Hi Daniel. Make yourself comfortable.

Speaker 6 (24:45):
Don’t mind if I do, Gina.

Speaker 7 (24:48):
Okay. Maybe not that comfortable.

Speaker 6 (24:51):
Do you like my silly socks? They’re from Sonic

Speaker 7 (24:54):
Chit check.

Speaker 6 (24:55):
Less comfortable.

Speaker 7 (24:55):
Less comfortable. Too

Speaker 6 (24:56):
Comfortable. Too comfortable.

Speaker 7 (24:57):
Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 6 (24:58):
Got it. So

Speaker 7 (24:59):
Let’s move forward. We’re here to talk about connected conversations. Are you ready to talk about your goals from last year?

Speaker 6 (25:04):
Yeah, probably. Let me check this text real quick.

Speaker 7 (25:06):
When I think about everything that we’ve accomplished, we’ve talked a few times, we had a chance to go through some of these cards, look through some things together, and I’ve been tracking your progress throughout the year.

Speaker 6 (25:17):
I think I saw an email about that. But you had mentioned goals. Can you define goals?

Speaker 7 (25:24):
So our first step last year was to set Daniel’s goals together. So I think I need to define, set

Speaker 6 (25:31):
Some goals

Speaker 7 (25:33):
Are the things that you’re held accountable for each year. These are the things that you should be doing every year

Speaker 6 (25:41):
That we talk about. That’s coming back to me a little bit now, I think. Okay.

Speaker 7 (25:44):
So did you complete the self-assessment that was

Speaker 6 (25:47):
Recommended? Yeah, that’s going to be a no.

Speaker 7 (25:49):
Okay. Pick a card. We did a pick a card. Let’s have a conversation right now. Okay. Alright. How is the

Speaker 6 (25:55):
Question? What’s your biggest strength in the workplace?

Speaker 7 (25:57):

Speaker 6 (25:57):
Well I think look, I mean not to talk over you, but kind of to talk over you.

Speaker 7 (26:01):
Yeah, that’s what’s happening right now.

Speaker 6 (26:03):
I mean, I think it’s my assertiveness. I think my accomplishments though, they pretty much speak for themselves.

Speaker 7 (26:11):
Okay. So yeah, that’s definitely a no. Did you write them down in the self-assessment that I asked you for?

Speaker 6 (26:19):
Again, I was really busy doing the work

Speaker 7 (26:22):
And work defined as

Speaker 6 (26:26):
The Excel sheets. And I

Speaker 7 (26:27):
Need you to pick another card. There

Speaker 6 (26:28):
Was an expense report. Pick another

Speaker 7 (26:30):

Speaker 6 (26:31):
Okay. Yeah,

Speaker 7 (26:31):
Let’s pick another card cards. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 6 (26:35):
How do you think you have performed so far this year? Oh,

Speaker 7 (26:38):

Speaker 6 (26:39):
Outstanding. Top

Speaker 7 (26:40):

Speaker 6 (26:41):
On the team.

Speaker 7 (26:41):
Well, let’s have a connected outstanding. May not necessarily be the best adjective.

Speaker 8 (26:48):
You know what I contributed an absolute ton of shots, mainly long drives to the scramble team. Just bombs down the fairway.

Speaker 7 (26:58):
Daniel, we have a problem. Daniel can definitely talk as you probably could see, but you know what? He really needs to work on his listening. I heard that exactly right. He heard that, but he needs to work on his listening. That wasn’t a very connected conversation, was it? It was more like a broken conversation station. So Daniel, thank you again for meeting with me and talking through some things. I appreciate it. We see we got some opportunities, but there’s a lot of opportunity and so we’re configured. Nailed it.

Speaker 5 (27:47):
Oh man. I love to have fun at work. So it is just another way to communicate that. And I chose, I think we have a lot more videos and examples that are really funny, but they’re specific to projects at my company. So it would require a lot more context setting, being that most of us have performance reviews. I thought this would be an easy example to share. I think probably does everybody have a voice of the employee survey that they do either annually or bi-annually or so Yeah, I see a few hands. That’s another opportunity. We’re actually in the middle of our voice of the employee survey right now, and it’s something we take very seriously and we actually as a leadership team look at the results every year and we put action plans in place to address what our employees are saying. So it’s something that we take very, very seriously, but it doesn’t mean we have to take the communications around it very seriously.

Speaker 5 (28:42):
So just that last week we launched again, this is a low, it’s a zero budget. These are zero budget videos. They’re low production value. They’re just fun to do. And again, the platform lends itself to just pushing this kind of content out. And look guys, we live in the TikTok world now. We have to capture people’s attention in a more creative and funnier way. So for our voice of the employee survey, which is like I said is going on right now, we published last week a quick video that this one, again, we got an hour’s worth of production time in this whole thing. So not well produced, not anything super, super great like that. But just another way that we’re having fun with the work that we’re doing. So the whole goal of this is to say that there’s a right way and a wrong way to give feedback as an employee.

Speaker 8 (29:37):
Alright, gang, next up, we’ve got some exciting new policies from corporate that are really going to transform our workplace. So first is the emoji communication policy. So from now on, all internal messages will be written using only emojis, and you must use a minimum of five emojis to boost creativity and to prevent misinterpretation.

Speaker 9 (29:59):
Emojis. Really, I don’t

Speaker 8 (30:02):
Get it. Absolutely. And now the desk rotation policy. So from now on you’ll rotate desks daily. Nobody should sit in the same desk more than twice in a week. This will absolutely encourage collaboration amongst the team desk

Speaker 9 (30:16):
Rotations. Is this some kind of social

Speaker 8 (30:19):
Experiment? I don’t think anyone wants a repeat of the March 25th incident. Now here’s the new P T O policy. So every year all employees will now be required to participate in a hunger game style competition for P T O allocation. How long you last will determine how many days you get. And the last one standing is the most P t O days.

Speaker 9 (30:43):
This is madness, emojis, desk rotations and A P T O battle royale.

Speaker 8 (30:49):
Oh, and one last thing. Of course you’ll all be now required to come in at least eight days a week.

Speaker 9 (30:55):
That’s it. I’m getting angry. I can’t take it. You can’t

Speaker 8 (30:58):
Treat people like this.

Speaker 9 (31:18):
Hey, didn’t you quit me? No, no. I’m common collected.

Speaker 5 (31:28):
Oh, well I thought the acting in that was pretty good if I do say so myself. But look, I think the biggest challenge that we have for stuff like this is more of a cultural battle and making sure that leadership is okay with you pushing the envelope a little bit like this. And so the way I like to think about it is, as you mentioned, right, show ’em the data. This is the stuff that employees are responding to, this is what they’re reacting to. And if you do it right, you can still communicate a very important message to your employees while doing it in a fun and creative way. This type of work is much more fun to work on, but then it’s also a lot more fun to receive information like this than just some long boring emails or whatever logging into your desktop centric intranet or something like that. So yeah, the biggest problem I have now is just making sure that we don’t go too far and that we stay just on this side of the line. But again, iPhones low production quality video and then a platform that delivers it so seamlessly is really for us, has been transformational in what we’re doing. So with that, yeah, I’ll turn it over to you and I think we’ll get some q and a, unless y’all want

Speaker 1 (32:43):
To boo us off the stage now, then we’re happy to go. But thank you so much JP and Nathan. Really appreciate it. Kelsey and I are going to be going around for questions and then they will of course answer them for you. Who wants to be first to break the silence? I see you’re right here. I’m going to pass the mic.

Speaker 10 (33:04):
You mentioned some really impressive stats on 11% engagement, 12% engagement. You said you went up to 70% or so. The two questions I have on there, just because those are amazing numbers, how big is your workforce? And specifically when you’re talking about your supply chain employees, do you see similar engagement in non desks employees like supply chain?

Speaker 2 (33:32):
Good questions. So let’s start off with the data. So it’s 70% click-through rate in any given month. So we measure our success based on, so that’s 70% of employees are actually clicking through and reading an article in a month. But the second question was do we get the same engagement with non supply chain? I would say yes. I mean I think the doctors are probably the least engaged, but they’re always going to be the historically most hard to reach ones. And we try to feature employees from every department and that has really helped with the engagement because then they’ll log in because they really want to look at their peers. So historically, I think in a cancer treatment center you would think you just want to feature the nurses and the clinicians, but really everyone is there for the same mission. And so really we’ve made it a goal to feature every single department throughout the year.

Speaker 2 (34:30):
And that’s really helped spread out the love so that everyone feels just as engaged and it’s not just the nurses that are getting all the love. And I think that has really paid off with the engagement. And also I mentioned encouraging people to share their own photos has also helped so that the games that we play as well, people want to log in and win something free. I mean, let’s face it, they want their Starbucks gift card or a free lunch. That has helped as well. So it’s been giving equal voice to every department and doing it in a really fun and unique way, I think has helped increase that. Does that answer your question? It does. How big is your workforce? Again? We have about 750 employees. We’re hiring about 250. In the next three months we’ll be at a thousand. And then the system is about 16,000 as well. So we’re rolling it out across the system now. We just finished our pilot. Thank you.

Speaker 1 (35:31):
Alright, can you hear me? Yes.

Speaker 2 (35:33):

Speaker 1 (35:35):
I’m curious

Speaker 11 (35:36):

Speaker 1 (35:37):

Speaker 11 (35:37):
Approach to the levity and the communications. Did you seek out some of your other partners perhaps in the HR space to say, Hey, we want to try this. Are you open to it? And did you have to run any of your communications through legal if you’ll, it’s a true reality, right? It’s real.

Speaker 2 (36:01):
Yeah. The stuff I presented, it wasn’t a legal thing because the area where we would get in trouble is if we’re featuring patients. So that’s something we’d probably want to consider is we haven’t really delved into that as far as the patient space featuring patients in a more lighthearted manner. We do go usually to the department director and just ask for them permission before we feature their staff in a way that they might not want their staff to be featured. But we haven’t really needed to go up the chain to that level. We kind of keep it at the director department or VP level to get their buy-in before we go about it.

Speaker 5 (36:45):
I have to check sometimes, but I try to leave legal out of it as much as I can. But HR wise, yeah, I mean certainly like the voice of the employee video. I mean, I want to make sure that my boss and that my head of HR knows what I’m doing, but I don’t ask for permission. I look at it this way too. I look at it, I have a bank and I built up a lot of equity in this bank right through getting trust and doing good work with these people, these people being my leadership teams, so management council, my boss, head of hr, things like that. So I take calculated risks on my end and I know that I have a pretty good sense for what may go over the line and what is just on this side of the line. And I try to tow that pretty carefully. But even then I’ll still run it by them. Just say, Hey, heads up, we’re planning to do this next week and just make sure they know. But I leave legal out of it as much as I can because with them I’d rather just not have to. They say no way too much and that just isn’t, I don’t like that.

Speaker 11 (37:54):
Thank you. Each of you guys talk a little bit about the size of the teams that you have working on content and then your content planning strategy. How far out do you look and how much time does that take?

Speaker 2 (38:10):
You want to look first?

Speaker 5 (38:10):
Sure. So we’ve got about a dozen folks that work on our internal comms exclusively. And we do, so we have editorial meetings every week and then we have touch bases. So we meet every Monday for an hour, then we meet every Wednesday and Friday for a length of time. And that’s more around brainstorming. So we try to have an editorial calendar the day and then also by the month, so we know some of the initiatives coming up. So if it’s employee appreciation day next month, we will look at that now and we’ll start thinking about what we can do for it. And we use our times on Wednesdays and Fridays together to sort of brainstorm what those videos could look like or really what those communications overall look like. But really around the videos because that’s really getting, that’s what seems to be resonating with employees. So yeah, we try to look out at least a month out and in between all of us, we try to come up with some good ideas for how to do it in a funnier creative way and push the envelope a little bit.

Speaker 2 (39:14):
So on the internal comm team, I have a patient comm team and an internal comm team. There’s a specialist and a coordinator, so it’s a team of two plus me. And we really try to focus, we’re going through this process right now of we look across, we look ahead for the entire year because a lot of healthcare’s, observances and it’s very cyclical. It’s the same stuff happening every year. So we try to plan out a year and then in our weekly meetings we look ahead for the next month and really start to start working on that content a month ahead, just like JP said. And my team structured, so the coordinator is really doing the out of the box. She’s much more depth in the video and Canva. And then my specialist is working more on the more traditional content that we still run alongside of the fun content. That’s a little bit how we structure it. And

Speaker 5 (40:04):
I’d add too that one of the beautiful things about the platform is that you don’t have to take as much time. I think as historically we have, I talk a lot about executive communications too and how easy that is because his engagement, so now I can have my CEO o step out of a management council meeting where he’s meeting with all his top executives or a board meeting. I can have him step out of the room, I can do a 32nd video on my iPhone with him, just giving employees an update about what’s on the agenda, what they’re discussing, how it’s going to impact employees. And boom, I can have that out to my employees, whether they’re in a meter reader in Rockford, Illinois or a vice president in Virginia Beach. I can have that information out to ’em. And now boom, now you have connected employees, overwhelming majority of whom would never have access to know what’s going on in a board meeting. So I’m breaking down the curtain, I’m providing access to content that was previously really almost impossible to deliver on any other platform.

Speaker 5 (41:07):
And then I’m connecting leaders back to the employees. So I’m connecting employees to leadership and company strategy and therefore the company and giving leaders an opportunity to lead their employees from wherever they sit. And the point I’m making, I guess is that it doesn’t take a whole lot now, you don’t have to plan things out months and months in advance necessarily, because gone are the days I think of the overly produced videos all the time, at least for internal, right? It’s boom, it’s quick and dirty, it’s real time and it’s access to content that you previously couldn’t get to ’em.

Speaker 12 (41:42):
Good. I actually have two quick questions if that’s okay. I’m right here. So our brand team is very, very, they just don’t want us to have any fun ever. Every time we do something fun, as you mentioned, it’s like, oh, there’s no smiling allowed in videos. Oh, you can’t have animation. Do you guys ever encounter how to overcome those brand challenges or do you have that you might not. We’re a very large company, so we tend to hit

Speaker 2 (42:07):

Speaker 12 (42:08):
A lot.

Speaker 2 (42:09):
I will say some of these did ruffle feathers on the branding team. So what we did, we came to a compromise and said, we need to fulfill our strategic objectives. We want to be a good partner with you. So we actually had them go into Canva and create the templates that they blessed that really kind of built the bridge between the two teams. And a lot of times if there’s something that has kind of pushed the envelope that I am not the branding person, but I can kind of tell if it’s semi out of brand, I’ll run it past them just to kind of keep that partnership going. But the Canva templates and getting that agreement from them upfront really helped get their buy-in.

Speaker 5 (42:50):
Cool. And if I’m not pissing somebody off and I’m not doing a very good job, is the way I view it. So yeah, I’m always ruffling somebody’s feathers, including branding, but you ask for forgiveness and whatever.

Speaker 12 (43:02):
Another, just very quick. So we have a very disengaged kind of leadership. We have 75,000 colleagues, I’m sorry, I’m losing my voice across the world. And we see that higher up we go, they just get less and less engaged, especially with the important stuff, which is strange. It should probably be the opposite, especially that middle management, the L four to L six and our organization. Do you kind of track that and do you have those same, they just disengage with everything. It’s so bizarre and we’re just trying to kind of combat that. I don’t know if you’ve experienced that or if you have any ideas of how to reach those groups.

Speaker 2 (43:42):
We ran data recently and our middle management, I think just like you mentioned, is probably the most least engaged as well. And so we’ve been working through new content that’s going to reach just them. So we put together a leadership digest that comes out once a month that basically shrinks down every single long email you get from HR into one succinct place. But also then I go to the leadership meetings, we have a monthly meeting that brings together all our supervisors and above, and I show them the data. I say, here’s how your departments are actually performing because Firstup can give you departmental level metrics. And I think that just helping them see the data and then what we’re hoping to do is compare it to our employee engagement survey to layer that over the top of it to see if they can actually use this tool to better engage with their teams.

Speaker 2 (44:38):
So I actually have a couple teams who are using it for interdepartmental communication and by them using it, it’s actually increased the awareness of the tool with that leadership team because their peers are now talking about it and talking about how great it is and how it’s helped them. So the infusion team, the nursing director in Infusion basically uses the tool to walk people through how to do a work stream in Epic, which is our health record system. And so that’s really given an example for how other leaders can use it. And now it’s really starting to move the needle because you’ve gotten their buy-in and they’re actually using it themselves and they’re not just on the end as an end user.

Speaker 5 (45:22):
For us, our most engaged group on the platform is actually our leaders of people. So we’re 5,000 ish employees, 4,800, we’ve got 800 leaders of people in the organization and they’re probably the most engaged group. And then we’re still, it’s our operations focused folks that are kind of the laggard. We’re around 60% of those employees are using it all the time, but we’re up in like 90% for our leaders of people. So we’re always thinking about, well, are we providing the right types of content for those people? And so for us, most of our strategies, maybe I’m just simple, but most of it comes down to content strategy, right? Well, are we putting content out there that employees need and want to see and in a way that they want to see it, right? So yeah, we have to constantly think about, we look at our metrics every month and we’re like, okay, well our field operations, they were down 12% this month. Well, what kind of content did we have? Alright, are we being intentional about engaging each of our employees? And I think if you are, I you’ll see success across the board. Thank you.

Speaker 11 (46:28):
Hi there. I just want to share, I love your creativity. It’s very inspirational and it makes me realize I don’t have to give up on my dream of being a comedy sketch writer. We can have that fun at work. So I love that. I’m just curious, do you have anything that didn’t make it? Like what was on the cutting room floor?

Speaker 5 (46:47):
Man, I got so much good stuff that didn’t make it. Yeah, I’m a little embarrassed to even say it out here. But yeah, we’ve had some really good and creative ideas that even I knew that was not going to fly, that was going too far. But look, I do, man, every week I’m challenging the folks on the team to come up. I want you to come to me every single week with stuff that I got to say, no, that’s way too far. What do you think? We can’t do that, but that’s what I want. That’s the kind of ideas I want from folks right now. But yeah, we’ve got examples of that. I’ll probably have to tell you afterwards

Speaker 11 (47:27):
Some of the examples. Yes. Hello? Hi, back here.

Speaker 5 (47:33):
Hey there.

Speaker 11 (47:33):
Thank you. That was awesome. I am curious on the same line of the content calendar content editorial board, in terms of governance, what does that look like? So specifically within, you both mentioned about user generated content, do you have any guidelines or governance around that? And then for your team specifically, how are you setting up the rules and responsibilities within your team to be able to maintain guardrails? I feel like Southern Gas, there’s not many guardrails, but that’s great. So I’m curious just more around the governance

Speaker 2 (48:13):
As far as content development, governance. So my team has a weekly editorial meeting, a team meeting, and we kind of brainstorm together. And same jp, I encourage people to think outside the box because that’s really what’s been driving engagement on the tool and we kind of make a collective decision as a whole of like, is that going to turn this audience off if we run down the path? And so really it’s been a collective effort with the team to kind of decide where we’re going to point our content strategy. Then we also, we bring our ideas to an integrated content meeting, which is with the external comms team and the marketing team, and we also kind of see how they’re going to react to it. Like the Barbie thing, I was really nervous about it because you’re dealing with really intense research and treatment and pairing it with something that’s a doll.

Speaker 2 (49:09):
Everyone seemed to love it. So I kind of just took my peer’s approval to kind of run with it. And that’s kind of how I gauged it. But from user submitted content, I mean we have it, so it sends us the approval before it gets posted. I haven’t really run into an issue where something has been out of line. Sometimes people are sharing things that we’re not ready to share with and then I’ll have a conversation with them offline of we’re working through a comp plan to support that. We’re not quite ready to share that content yet.

Speaker 5 (49:40):
The only thing I’ll add because we’re much the same except we don’t have approval process, it doesn’t go into a queue for approvals. And we have a lot of user generated content on our end, but went to when I had this conversation with legal and HR at the same time, I said, look, this is an internal app. If you’re telling me that we don’t trust our employees enough to engage in this space, these are the people that are going to customer homes every day. They’re talking to customers every day. We can’t control those conversations. And they’re happening externally. They’re on Facebook and Twitter and everything else already. They can say whatever they want externally about the company. Now you mean to tell me we’re not comfortable letting them have conversations internally? And I said, if so hr, then that’s your fault. Who are you hiring that we can’t?

Speaker 5 (50:29):
So that was the argument I made, but my whole notion was like, Hey, we trust our employees to engage professionally. So yeah, I mean we haven’t had any issue. And I’ll add one more thing too. So we’ve seen some of these people that we call super users and we’ve kind of folded them in and we gave them additional training on how to write headlines and teasers and take photos and videos and things like that. And then essentially put ’em out on a beat like, Hey, get us some safety stories this month or get us this month. And so what we’ve done kind of is we’ve expanded the size of our CorpCom team without adding any headcount. And that’s been really cool because we just gave them keys to post and that’s been great.

Speaker 13 (51:11):
Hi, I just have a question. I think probably for jp, so obviously you have some really fun engaging content. So how are you pushing that out through channels? Are you only putting it on the fuel app or for example, your employee engagement survey or performance reviews? Are you also sending a traditional maybe email and then directing use, embedding that video and directing them to fuel? How are you using that content?

Speaker 5 (51:46):
95% probably of it is just in the app. So we publish it in the platform and then we do a weekly newsletter every Friday that kind of aggregate some of that content together. And so we’ll email it out at that point, but we’re not doing separate emails about it and we’re not really, I mean some of the stuff we’ll do like a push notification on and try to drive some traffic to it that way, but 95% of the time it’s just putting it in the platform. Sorry, I up my mic, but you’re

Speaker 13 (52:14):
Not, sorry, you’re not using it to leverage. Obviously you have to send some traditional communication, here’s the link, here’s the survey, but you’re not putting the video for that into those comms, which just curious.

Speaker 5 (52:30):
Not typically the funny ones. I mean, if our CEO’s got an important message that needs to go out, we will longer story for another day. But our company doesn’t allow whitelisting either. So we still have to do, because hackers try to hack the grid, the system every single day. There’s a lot of, so we don’t send a lot of it out via email unless it’s something that’s like mission critical kind of stuff.

Speaker 13 (52:54):
Hi, I’m Alice from NASDAQ and I had a question about how employees engage and are receptive to the types of content. So what if you had a global workforce, how do you account for what is funny, which land with different parts of the world or within an organization like our tech team has very distinct personality compared to finance, compared to comms and marketing? How do you account for that?

Speaker 5 (53:22):
It’s a good question. I’ll tell you this. I started my career at UPS at their corporate office in Atlanta. And that was a very different thing, right? Because they were in 220 countries in all 50 states. And our footprint, frankly, is where I’m at now, is much smaller that I don’t have to deal with a whole lot of those challenges. I don’t know Nathan, if you do. Yeah,

Speaker 2 (53:41):
I’ve not worked in, I’ve not worked at that kind of scale. I’ve worked for a health system. There might be some former Providence colleagues in the room, but we were in seven states, 120,000 employees. And really we had rely heavily on the actual, I don’t know if you have a local communicator that you can run things through. That’s how we did it. If we were developing something that we weren’t sure how it was going to resonate, we partner closely with the person at City of Hope. We also have, just in terms of cultural differences, we’ve stood up an API advisory council. That’s something that also I feel like I could be comfortable in running something through them if we were dealing with something culturally sensitive. But we’re also lucky because we also have a diversity department, so I don’t know if you have a diversity department, they might be able to help and guide you with some of that stuff.

Speaker 14 (54:40):
Two questions related to video content. One is how from the user generated content, what are you using to actually receive some of that video before you guys take it into your team and edit in on Canva? How are they actually sending you those video files? Because sometimes size matters. The other component to this question related is are you using anything for subtitles at all? Are you considering using subtitles for your videos?

Speaker 2 (55:10):
So we have a corporate iPhone and iPad that we use and then that can just, it feeds right into the Canva app. And I’m not that as technical as the people on my team, but I think that we also use Dropbox. So we upload everything in the Dropbox and then we can access it into another channel. And then yes, we also put, usually, I don’t think maybe these videos didn’t have it, but we run everything through a closed caption system. I’m not quite sure how it works. I’d have to ask the video team, but I dunno about you

Speaker 5 (55:43):
Much the same except we haven’t historically done closed captioning and everything. We are starting now. We’ve started in the last several months just to make sure that we’re not leaving any audiences out.

Speaker 1 (55:56):
Perfect. Within the Firstup platform, you can also upload captions for videos. So that’s something that you would be able to do as well. As you’re doing more videos, I know there’s still questions. We are coming up on our time. It went so quickly. So I appreciate absolutely everyone that has come to this session. Can we get another round of applause for JP and Nathan? Thank you all so much for sharing your expertise and I know we have plenty more sessions this afternoon. We also have a little bit of a cocktail appetizer deal later this afternoon, so if you have additional questions, please make sure to find ’em. Thank y’all so much.

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