Leadership Communication with Valley Health & CarMax


Mike McCullough


Lisa Francavilla

Leadership Unleashed

Leadership communication plays a crucial role in driving organizational success. In this session, you’ll learn effective strategies for engaging leaders, fostering transparency, and inspiring employee commitment—ultimately creating a culture of trust and alignment that fuels high-performance teams.

Video Transcript

Hi, everyone.

Welcome to leadership unleashed.

One of the final workshop sessions here at Attune. I’m Chad Hinkle. I work at Firstup. I lead the health care team here. And I’m excited to be hosting this session. The stars of the show are already on stage, but just setting up the session here.

Knowing and working with as many of the customers as I do, leadership engagement is one of the most important pieces to building strongest programs, and I think people in this room probably would agree that that have that or don’t have that one way or another.

But one of the things I want to set up as you think about leadership unleashed is is to think differently a little bit about leadership. And so I have a question raise of hands, how many Pixar fans are in the audience?


So if you had to use three words to describe what the movie Ratatouille is about.


Words. Three words.

I went sorry. I heard four.


My three words were “anyone can cook.”

Okay. So keep that phrase in mind as we go through talking about leadership unleashed with my two friends here who I’ve had the opportunity to work with over the last six weeks or so.

I really have enjoyed getting to know them and their programs. Because you’re gonna see a lot of similarities and a lot of contrast, which I think is what makes this very powerful.

So without any further ado, Lisa Francavilla and Mike McCullough, let them introduce themselves, but thank you all for coming today.

Alright. Well, we wanna thank you all for being here today. First of all, I know there are a lot of exciting sessions going on right now, so the fact that you all are here in the room with to talk about this is great, and we appreciate it. So yeah, this is Lisa, and I’m Mike, and we’re super excited to talk about this topic. A quick agenda before we get started. We’re gonna do some intros. You can get to know us and our companies.

We’ll talk about crises and leadership, leadership engagement.

Education and transparency, and then storytelling and authenticity, and we’ll be sure to leave some room for a Q&A at the end.

So a little bit about me, my name is Lisa Francavilla.

That’s my family. I’ve got a nine year old boy and a nine month old girl, so super tired all the time.

This was short many of you understand.

And in my background, my career, I was always fascinated with how you use communications to shape culture and vice versa. Right? So you can see us started out at a number of kind of global companies made my way over to Disney. I worked in their global talent acquisition marketing, so like Disney Cruise Line, international programs, you know, all of our offices internationally, but was fascinated because my my job was to tell what the culture, you know, the storytelling of what working at Disney was like. And then I became interested with, well, how do we make that culture? And, so I moved on over to Disney Institute and Disney University, where I worked on leadership engagement and training our leaders to create this fantastic culture.

We’ll talk about this a little bit, and I know come up, you know, in other presentations, but the pandemic hit, I moved on over to CarMax. And currently, I lead our diversity and inclusion communications company wide, both internally and externally.

So for those of you who may not know much about karma, we disrupted the car used car industry. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to buy a used car, not super fun, from a, in most cases, Last time I bought one, I had a toddler running around. I was all by myself. It took hours. I was haggling CarMax wants to disrupt that. So we’re all about price transparency, you can go online, you can call into our call center, walk into our retail location. And, you know, the price, and hopefully it’s quick and easy.

So we’re the nation’s largest retailer of used cars. We’re in 41 different states we have about 30,000 plus associates.

There’s our employees.

And we’re really proud to have a culture of putting people first transparency, and it’s a strong culture that I’ve been able to build on for diversity and inclusion. So that’s probably why we’re you know, one but Fortune 100 best companies to work for. So it’s something we’re really proud of.

Oops. We got some fun information here. That’s a fun animation to keep you awake.

And then, over to you, Mike. Yeah.

Yeah. Yeah. Thank you so much, Lisa. So I’m Mike McCullough, Corporate Communications for Valley Health.

I’ve been with Valley Health for about three years, before I was with Valley Health, I was in broadcasting and journalism. And I’m curious because we have a lot of communicators the room. Any former, like, reporters, broadcasters, journalists in the room? Yeah.

A couple of you. Yeah. Yeah. So, I did that for several years. I went to ship University University of Pennsylvania where I had a, a dual degree in broadcast journalism and public relations, fresh out of school.

I went right into radio, music radio, all kinds of genres. And when you’re new in the broadcasting industry, some of you know, you work all of the shifts that nobody else wants to work. So lot of overnights, a lot of early mornings in the studio at four AM. I’m a night owl, so that was like a terrible wake up call pun intended.

So I did that for a little while. Then I moved on a news reporting. Use that journalism background, was an anchor. I was a news reporter for a, statewide news network in West Virginia, where I live, and, did that for a while.

And then like Lisa, COVID happened. And, there were some changes, and I found an incredible with Valley Health. To the left, that’s me with my fiancee. We just got engaged last month.

So, thank you.

So we are, In the wedding process right now, venues and vendors and all sorts of things, it’s it’s a lot, but it’s it’s a lot of fun. So that’s a little bit about me.

Valley Health, we are a non for profit, a not for profit health system serving portions of West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland. We have about thousand employees, which we call our team members. And it’s broken up, between six hospitals, including a trauma center, with six hundred and forty four inpatient beds, in addition to our hospital care, we provide urgent care centers, physician practices, rehabilitation centers, long term care, and we also have a few fitness centers. In our portfolio.

Our corporate mission is serving our community by improving health. And we do that in a lot of ways, not just through our day to day health care. But also through community giving, in kind donations, partnerships with nonprofits in the communities we serve. In 2021 alone, Valley Health comprehensive community contribution was over one hundred eighty seven million dollars going right back into the community.

So, super proud to be part of a company that that not only provides exceptional health care but also is deeply ingrained in the fabric of our communities. We don’t just set up shop, you know, open for the day, and then close, and then go home, work constantly volunteering. We’re constantly giving back, to the communities that we serve. So I’ll get it back to you, Lisa.

This of communities. Right? We all remember 2020, unfortunately.

We had different takes on twenty twenty. Right? So I’m coming into diversity and inclusion at a time of crisis. So there’s Black Lives Matter. There’s Me too.

You know, caregiver burnout. Those of us who had kids were trying to figure that out, zoom and work. How do we do And then for those of you who are in retail or manufacturing, people still had to go to work, right? So they’re they’re risking their lives just to show up at work.

At CarMax, we knew that, you know, our sales were going through the roof, everybody wanted to use car, But we had trouble sourcing them. So that’s an extra stress that we had.

We knew our associates were burnt out. They really needed help And we knew that our leaders needed our help too to support our associates.

One thing that Disney does really well, that we’re starting to implement at CarMax is teaching our leaders how to talk to our associates in a way that’s authentic.

Many people got promoted, especially like at a place like CarMax because they kept their work life separate from their personal life. Right? You go to work, you have your work self. You you don’t really need to talk about home. Well, that all changed when our work life and our personal life collapsed during the pandemic. So we knew we had to support our leaders and teach them how to interact with our employees in a different way. So I’m gonna go I’m gonna talk a little bit about that and talk about how we provided that that culture, that connection, that trust and belonging our employees, and hopefully this will be helpful.

So when we went about creating our culture trust in belonging at CarMax, we knew that we needed to engage our leadership. We knew that they were hurting too. We needed to get them on board with our new culture diversity and inclusion. And at CarMax, we didn’t have any history of DNI. So we were standing up the team in the middle of a 2020 crisis.

So as some extra education had to happen.

We also we’re a culture of transparency. We know, we talk about this externally with our customers. So we had to make sure that internally, we’re educating our leaders and we’re also providing transparent for the organization.

And then lastly, and we all know how to use this as communicators, we wanted to use storytelling to bring out that authenticity so that leaders and employees could interact and could feel like they’re connecting at a time when, you know, we’re all wearing masks.

So we did this in a couple of different ways. We stood up our DNA team, and the goal was to embed diversity and inclusion into our greater culture.

So you can see here we have a couple of videos that we do. This one right here. That’s our CEO. She’s he’s talking with my boss, who is our chief diversity officer, and this is our head of stores, Darren, they’re just having a conversation.

We do this once a year, and we have a video where they talk through, what are our, you know, what are we doing? What are we focusing on in the diversity and inclusion space? What’s our strategy? Why is this important?

So we show that C-suite buy in, and that’s been really important in showing people it. It’s a priority for our organization.

But beyond that, we follow-up with several other videos where we’re showing our vice presidents from various areas of the business. So vice presidents of logistics, marketing, stores, and they’re talking about how they’re bringing diversity and inclusion in their work and translating it into their lines of business. The goal there is that you’re not saying, oh, well, diversity and inclusion is one person. It’s one department. And we’re trying to say, no, this is a part of our culture of belonging. This is how you can interact with everybody in a more inclusive way, whether it’s our associates, our customers, or our community.

We also brought in frontline managers and employees. That was really important because if you think about how culture is formed. It’s those frontline managers who are really pushing that culture. And you can do whatever you want at the C-suite level. If you’re frontline managers and employees aren’t engaged, you’re not gonna have that cultural shift. Right?

And here, it’s really the grassroots behaviors and stories that I found, and I’ve highlighted in our videos. So for an example, we had some marketing associates who are really passionate about accessibility, which means that anyone can go on our CarMax.com site, they can interact with it even if they’re hearing impaired or visually impaired, for example.

They realized that our site wasn’t very accessible and they partnered on their own with some of our, CarMax auto finance in a completely different state who, are associates who are visually impaired. And they said, walk me through the website. What is this like for you?

I told that story in one of our videos, and after that went out to all of our associates, the head of internal comms came to me and said, how can we do this for our SharePoint site? We need to do this for our associates. So you can see how people are seeing behavior from our frontline managers and employees. They’re getting inspired and then they’re translating it into their own roles, and I think that that has been really helpful in embedding this culture, in our leaders and our associates.

And then lastly, as many of you, you know, we’ve heard in presentations, we are employee first. Right? Many of our organizations are. We know that if we care for our employees or our associates, they’re going to care for our customers And so we wind up bringing out that storytelling of why this work matters.

And we do that through focusing on our employees, and on our community because we know our employees care about our community. So you can see here, this is Dominic. He is one of our diverse suppliers, supplier diversity is really kind of a difficult concept sometimes when you’re trying to explain it. And so we brought him on the on camera We did a segment on him, and he talks about how, he started his own moving company. So he takes he has a fleet of trucks. And he takes cars from one place to another.

He works with his wife, who’s a school nurse. It’s a family business, and he donates a percentage of his proceeds to the local schools. So we’re telling this story, and we’re getting buy in because people say, wow, okay, that’s why supplier diversity is important.

And again, that storytelling is so key when we’re thinking about changing our behaviors and shifting our culture, belonging.

So especially because diversity and inclusion is new, we wanted to provide education. We know that people are on different areas of their journey. Some people have been in companies. They’ve been doing this thirty years. Some people, like, you know, like CarMax, right, were brand new to this.

And so we created this off the shelf solution.

You can see it’s right here. This is our associate resource library. It has a number of different topics. So for people who want to learn more about something, maybe it’s neurodiversity, maybe it’s how do we help our community, they can go on, they have just in time learning, if you know, ten or fifteen minutes of virtual learning, a number of different things they can choose from, as well as activities.

And we found that that’s been a great place because when associates come to us and they say, Hey, we wanna learn more. My leader wants to learn more. We can point them to this site. And we also have a manager or resource library that’s been really helpful to you because our managers didn’t know how to talk to our associates.

Right? They’re used to being completely scripted. And all of a sudden, we’re asking them, hey, talk about race. That’s not easy to do, right?

Talk about neurodiversity.

So we have a special site just for them where they’re able to learn about do you conduct these inclusive conversations?

And that’s been really helpful in changing our culture and is helping to support our leaders.

We talk a little bit about transparency and over here, this is our frequently asked question site.

This is how we help provide that transparency.

And we provide some really, a lot of data on here, probably more than anyone wants to know about diversity and inclusion, but we have our EE one reports.

We have data on what does our male versus female breakdown look like for leadership versus employees?

Same thing with ethnicity, and we compare ourselves to the auto industry as a whole. So, you know, associates and leaders can go on here and they can look up how do we ensure pay equity?

How do we hire people? You know, how do we, you know, support our diverse associates and why?

They can go on here, they can find the answers to their questions, and we make sure to train our leaders on this site so that they can then train the associates on it. As well and have these rich discussions, and talk through the answers. We keep it updated twice a year, and these questions come straight to us from leaders and associates So it’s been a really important and useful tool for us.

So we wanted to facilitate these conversations.

Again, our leaders were used to being heavily scripted, and we wanted to support them, and how do we talk about this as a team? How do our leaders know what’s going on at home with associates? If they’ve never asked who do you live with, then How are you feeling today?

We did this in a number of different ways. One is this reflection guides So many organizations have diversity and inclusion training that’s required. We do as well. But along with our training, which is on topics like connection or belonging or empathy, we include these reflection guides. They’re kind of like conversation starters. Right? So it it has several different questions and delivery ideas, and the managers can use them as a starting point for those optional conversations with their teams.

But the key is they’re not scripted. So whatever they share is authentic, and it encourages different perspectives.

It’s been so popular that people want more. So we’ve had to do version one and then version two for your second one, second conversation. Because people wanna go deeper and deeper.

So that has been an amazing best practice that we’ve found has really helped those conversations for leaders.

We also wanted to support leaders who didn’t know what are these conversations? Like, that’s great to have this reflection guide, but what should this look like? Like which I’d be singing.

And we did that through leader perspectives.

So this is run by my colleague, Carol Cadayo. He’s fantastic. He’s been with CarMax for twenty one years, and he comes from an operations leadership role. He’s leading conversations with managers, senior managers, and directors. These are people with teams. They’re recognizable across the company.

They’re completely unscripted conversations.

We show up we film them, we have no idea what people are going to say, but they’re all based on our reflection guide. So he’s showing leaders This is what a best in class conversation should look like, and he’s role modeling authenticity, and people get really vulnerable. They start crying as they talk about their children with flexi on the struggles they have.

It it’s it’s been our number one piece of content site wide on Connect, and I’ll go over the data a little bit.

But for now, if you don’t mind, I’ll just show you a little clip. I think for me, it’s really special when I can be my authentic self. And when I came to the US, I didn’t know English, you know, I was sitting in the back of the class doing puzzles because I didn’t know what the teacher was saying. But now as an adult, I’m expected to know football.

Right? We live in America. That’s what everybody talks about, college, NFL, that’s not passionate to me. That’s not something that has ever piqued my interest.

So in a lot of settings, you have a lot of people that expect me to have a team or to, to talk about football and contribute. So there was a special moment when I was thinking about this that I felt like somebody showed up for me, And they know that that’s not something that I’m comfortable talking about. And they created a space for me in this meeting where they said, hey, I know that you’re not really passionate about football. What’s going on with Messi, and it was a conversation that naturally just started about soccer.

And that’s the moment when I think back about everything that I’ve been through my career, That’s the moment that felt special to me for who I am, but it started with me being vulnerable and saying that’s not what I like, or this is what I’m passionate about. So it was really unique for me.

So just as a small example of how these leaders are showing up, they’re being vulnerable and they’re pushing that cultural change throughout our organization.

We wanted to involve our associates as well as our leaders.

And we do this, and a lot of you do this through UGC, this is our version. It’s called Share Your Story.

We’ve had this campaign for three years.

Any associate can write in or video themselves or send an artwork, and share whatever story they want. I’ve gotten stories about people discovering they have daughters, twenty five year old daughters that they didn’t know about. I mean, we’ve just gotten all topics.

Our most popular topic is mental health awareness month. So it shows you what people really care about, and it’s helping to move our conversations culturally to talk about mental health, which is a difficult topic.

These are stories are very, very lightly edited just for grammar. We publish them site wide on connect for all associates. Connect is what we call our Firstup platform.

And when we started tying them to observance months, So things like women’s history month, Juneteenth, we just saw a huge influx of stories. It gave people sort of a prompt so that they they felt free to write in. We’ve had everything from a mother and daughter who both work at CarMax for National Coming Out Day to share their coming out story, but I wanted to share these two. These stories, you can see they’re both on LinkedIn.

So this started as a completely internal campaign.

Has since gone external because people on their own just started posting their stories to LinkedIn, and that has given us kind of a really interesting way that we can help for our associates.

So here, Cheryl is a buyer, someone who buys cars for us. She talks about going to auction, And, the auction here stops the auction and says, Hey, you know, something like, great car and, aren’t you lucky the boss is with you today? She was training a brand new associate who reports to her. And she says, and the the associate who is male said, no.

I’m the lucky one. My boss was treating me, you know, but she talks about the importance of allyship and being a woman in a male dominated industry. And same thing with Johanna’s story over here where she’s celebrating National Hispanic Heritage month. She has just immigrated a couple of years ago from Ecuador, and she talks about how she’s been promoted three times since joining CarMax, and she really appreciates this atmosphere of belonging.

These are not stories that I recruited them to write. They wrote them on their own for share your story. Once they posted them on LinkedIn, we thought, this is great. We’re gonna lift up these voices, and we shared it our own LinkedIn account to just kind of amplify their voices and help them feel heard.

So it’s given us a really authentic way to kind of share about diversity and inclusion externally.

And to help our associates. So that’s been a great best practice we’ve seen so far.

So you can see our comms when I started before. This is very operational.

This is our template that I inherited.

Not the best for diversity and inclusion, right, a little bit difficult. We have since gotten a Firstup platform, and we’re very grateful for that. These are our after. These are some of our recent diversity and inclusion posts You can see, their opportunities to learn more.

You can celebrate using a team’s background. You can share your story. You can like a LinkedIn post. So it’s a lot more action oriented and a lot more engaging, I hope.

How do we know that this has been successful?

I love data, so like many of you, when I looked, we’ve had Firstup for a year and a half, when I looked at the past two years or so, you can see seven out of the top ten posts by viewers, our diversity and inclusion, all the ones in that yellow box.

And when we looked by engagement, the top three are diversity and inclusion. So four out of the top ten, and you can see leader perspectives the video clip I showed you. Number one, for engagement, it’s at eighty percent. We don’t have comments enabled. We don’t have sharing. This is just people liking or clicking on it. So for us, that’s a very high number.

I’m on the diversity and inclusion team. We measure our success through these three questions, on our employee survey. All of them have gone up in the past three years. Which is fantastic, but that tells us, okay, we are shifting our culture up belonging in the way that we want to.

Overall, our employee engagement score has gone up. And we are in the top ten percent of our platform’s clients. So Glentes is our employee survey, And so that’s great for us to know, but we’re still we still need to be shifting our culture and growing our culture of belonging. So there’s always work to be done. But it’s been really helpful to know that what we’re doing seems to be working so far, which is great.

So when I look at this culture, trust and belonging. You know, I was told, okay, we need to stand up diversity and inclusion. We need to embed it in our culture, then we need to innovate From me personally, I see that it’s working because I’ve gone from writing every single com internally and externally about diversity and inclusion. Now, people are coming to me and saying, I had this great idea.

I created activities for my team. I created, you know, a style guide for diversity and inclusion. And I get to just approve it. So that’s been a wonderful transition, and it’s showing me that it’s working.

So with that, I’ll go on over to Mike. Yeah. Thank you so much.

So, I pace when I talk, so my goal today is not to follow-up this platform. So let’s just get that out of the way. So in order to go where we’re going today from the Valley Health perspective, I think it’s important to tell you where we started before first I’m not gonna spend too much time on this, but I do think it’s important. So prior to Firstup, which, by the way, we launched in January of twenty twenty three. So just about nine months ago.

Internal comms, much like Lisa, were primarily through VHS all emails, hospital wide emails that we love Outlook.

Weekly newsletters, and we also have a quarterly printed newsletter that’s mailed to Holmes. That was it. It was like, emails or bust. That was it.

Challenges, of course, anybody in healthcare or anything with, with a frontline heavy industry knows, they don’t really have email access. If our healthcare workers are sitting at a computer, it’s for five minutes to jot down patient records, then they’re on to the next room. So we were reaching them in the way that we liked to be but then we realized, well, that’s not how they need to be reached. We didn’t have any way to target audiences, and comms were very two dimensional.

So And it was really just things like open enrollment, surveys, events, and all those things are important, but we didn’t really have that depth internally. We were sharing a lot of these great deep stories externally, but we really didn’t have a way to share it cohesively internally.

And as a result, you know, in addition to not having that deep storytelling, not being able to reach our front line we have team members missed deadlines. We had a wake up call, open enrollment going into twenty twenty two where, like, hundreds of employees missed open enrollment. And we realized a lot that was because we just weren’t reaching them like we thought we were.

So our opportunities we realized when we started looking for a new platform targeted communications, we wanted two way interaction multichannel personalized interface.

COVID-19, We all know what happened with COVID-19. I actually joined Valley Health, like I said earlier during COVID, so I kind of got a behind the scenes look into what was happening.

But this was another wake up call too that completely changed our internal comms. It really exposed a lot of weaknesses, even long before, you know, I got to the team, the team that was there, prior to me going into this, we already knew those weaknesses. We were facing challenges that every healthcare organization across the world has been facing burnout trauma. We had a lot of delayed and canceled projects that were geared toward employee engagement, culture, that we just had to put on the back burner because we had this pandemic that we were facing.

The team did start an employee app from another vendor at the start of COVID-19 out of nest out of necessity, but it had really limited capabilities. In credit to that team, I don’t wanna make it sound like they just kinda threw something I mean, it was a very, very quick turnaround that they got something up. And for that time, during peak COVID, it served a great role. Well, coming out of COVID-19, so think twenty twenty two ish when things started kinda going back to normal, whatever that means.

We really were faced with this question. After all of this, how do we reengage the front lines, not only with their work, but with our culture and our purpose as a health care organization.

So introducing caregiver connect, not to be confused with CarMax is Connect. Caregiver Connect is our instance of Firstup. We launched a leadership pilot on December nineteen twenty twenty two. So it was only our CEO SLT and ELT senior leadership and executive leadership teams and our marketing team about a hundred people were in that platform a full month early.

We had already trained them on how to upload their own content, pictures, videos. We encouraged them to comment with one another. And this provided us a lot of benefits. By the time we hit launch on January twentieth, we already had a ton of content already in there from leaders, faces and names that our frontline employees recognized.

And then leading up to the launch, we put a lot of, promotional items, like some of the ones you see on the screen, and newsletters and huddles on, safety boards throughout the organization, to help really drum up the excitement.

The culture that we knew we wanted in our platform was a culture of transparency and trust. From the beginning, we knew we wanted commenting enabled, and we knew we wanted user generated content. And we wanted it on everything. We kind of came at it from the approach, and that this was an intention conversation of, you know, well, sometimes it’s not always gonna be good news.

Sometimes we’re gonna have to downsize. Sometimes we’re gonna have to put out those announcements that none of us like getting on our in in our in our inbox in the morning. But, we really came out of it thinking, well, if really wanna build trust and transparency in this platform, and we’re allowing them to comment on, hey, it’s food truck Friday, and don’t forget the bake sale, and don’t forget to do your survey. And then we have an announcement that is a little bit more, negative in tone.

How do we build that trust if we’re picking and choosing what they can comment on? So I’m gonna I’m gonna get into that a little bit more later. But this is an example. We had all of our, topic leaders, our topic managers.

So we have seventeen topics. At the time, I think we were closer to about twelve topics.

Write a welcome letter. So at each of our hospitals have their own topic, and usually it’s led by their president or vice president, and usually their admins will assist with that. This is from, one of our hospitals, Winchester Medical Center. It’s a letter from Tanya Smith.

And when those employees registered, that’s the first thing they saw in their platform. And it’s just a really fun casual letter that she wrote just talking about, hey, I’m really excited to get in here and interact with you all. And by the way, like, what’s your guilty pleasure. Like, what do you love?

She says how she loves ice cream, and these are just this, you know, a screenshot. We had hundreds of comments, on this post alone just within a couple of days of launching.

And then she would get in there and interact with them in the comments. So it became, you know, very, very apparent, very quickly. And anyone who’s been through a launch knows this, you flip that on switch, and it’s like, alright, what’s gonna happen? Well, how are the comments gonna start rolling in? And, we were super excited to see that early engagement.

So some quick early results, I’ll go through this. After ninety days, seventy percent of our workforce was active in the platform. They were registered and using the platform. We were up to five hundred twenty five posts, seventeen topics, and having, caregiver connect, and Firstup really provided a vessel for some new formats that we had never experimented with for.

We have a pulse podcast, an internal podcast that comes out biweekly that I host. We do a lot of fun giveaways who doesn’t love free stuff. Right? We do polls, we do videos, which you’ll see an example of in a minute, and then, of course, we have that user generated content that really helps drive the platform.

So authenticity is a concept that, we knew early on we wanted. We didn’t want videos from our leaders to feel like something really buttoned, polished, in a studio, you know, on the nice little couch with the little fake plant next to them and the proper lighting and all of that. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s that’s great. But within this platform, we really wanted things to feel authentic.

So I’m gonna play a short video. Before I do, this was actual feedback we received from a nurse. And we didn’t even pay her to say it. This is genuine feedback we received from a nurse.

After about ninety days, we went around to visit all of our hospitals and just say, Hey, what do you think of the platform? You know, what do you like it? What what do you wanna see? What what don’t you like?

And, you know, some of it was not great feedback. But, But it’s important still because we need to know what they’re thinking. And this was actual feedback. This nurse I was talking to, was literally just at the nurse station just writing down some stuff.

And I said, Hey, what do you what do you think about that? And, you know, what do you think of your leader, you know, being in there? And she said, I pulled out my phone and wrote it down. I was so excited.

Seeing my leaders already using caregiver Connect encouraged me to get more excited about liking, commenting, posting, and telling others. And she told me about how go up and down the hallways during downtime and just say, Hey, did you see that post in caregiver connect? You’re not in there. Why not?

You should be in there. I’m in there too. So, again, just creating that, that, that culture like, fear of missing out. Right?

Like, you need to be in here. You need to experience this. So this is a quick, like, forty second, second, forty five second words, video. Of, Tanya Smith, our president of Winchester Medical Center, we did not script this.

We didn’t even know she was recording this. We knew that this was happening when it was published in our platform.

She had her admin, I believe, just set up an iPhone on a on a level surface, and, she recorded this video congratulating our team they were recently named to US News and World Report, Top Hospital. So I just wanted to play this to show you that, you know, this was completely unscripted. This was all her and it’s so authentic. Hi, guys. I’m Tanya Smith, president of Winchester Medical Center, and I have the best news for you today.

Twenty twenty three best hospitals rankings from US News and World Report came out today. And again, they’ve said that we are one of the best regional hospitals in the state of Virginia. They’ve also recognized a great work that we’ve done in ten procedures and conditions where we are top performers in the country, top decile.

Really none of this happens without the amazing team at Winchester Medical Center and each and every one of you. The work that you do every single day to care of each other, your patience and our community makes a difference and makes us so very proud to be here. Thank you all so much for what you do. And I’m so grateful to be part of your team.

Yeah. So she’s such a champion of the platform. And what we noticed is caregiver connect grew in videos like that started happening, and and caveat, by the way. I don’t wanna make it sound like every single leader is putting out videos and they’re, you know, jumping through hoops and doing contests and stuff.

No. I mean, some leaders are more engaged others, and we realized that. But as we saw these leaders getting into the platform, posting, videos, posting pictures, we noticed that leadership behavior began to grow. All of a sudden, people, from all over started posting their own content, you know, ranging from photos videos, recognitions, maybe a team had a birthday party.

They’re posting selfies and videos together. And we were now realized, I I think going into the launch of this platform we thought, okay, all of this is gonna be top down. We’re gonna be putting in all this information. Our leaders are gonna be heavy content publishers, but we quickly realized, like, a lot of this three-dimensional content was coming from all directions and all different types of teams who previously had no way to interact with one another.

These are just a few examples of some recent, screenshots of some recent user generated content, that is, in our platform.

So another example of this, medical oncology, a, team that is, you know, very clinically involved, a very difficult team at times to be a part of.

Again, they sort of saw what these leaders were doing, and they thought, well, let’s get it on too. So they’ve started a video series where they highlight, anniversaries. So Laura was celebrating her twenty fifth anniversary as a nurse. And, each member of the team, just on their iPhones, recorded a video, and then somebody put it together. And again, we knew about it when it was in our in review box, in studio. So So, this is a longer video. It’s four minutes long, which I know in our world is, like, seventeen years.

But I do think there’s a lot of value in this video and just showing that, you know, again, none of this was scripted. And a lot of this was because they felt comfortable and they felt so relaxed to upload their own video.

Hey, Laura.

Happy twenty fifth. Yay. I’m sitting here in my favorite chair.

And it always reminds me of you. I think you can see why.

I just wanted to say how much I love having you in my life. I’m so glad that I get to work with you. And I’m just I’d really appreciate so much about you. I think you are hilarious. You are fun. You’re funny.

I love your laugh.

I think you are extraordinarily generous.

Thanks for all of the lunches.

I just love that about you. And I think I love you are an inspiring woman.

You always are out learning something new and you are so willing to share your skills with us. And never hesitating to start that IV for us and all the other things that you are so knowledgeable about and you’re willing to put yourself out there. And help us and share and learning something new all the time. I find that very inspiring.

I think you are a fan tastic mama bear.

I just love the way you stand out for your kids, and I appreciate our talks, I just am so grateful that you chose us to be your tribe.

And I can’t wait for twenty five more years of you. Have a great day. Love you.

Hey, Laura.

We have a lot to celebrate.

Congrats on your masters. I know how hard that was. Not many people could have worked, not just their full time hours, put more than expected of them and complete their masters the way you did. Congrats on twenty five years with Valley Health, You’ve been a nurse a lot longer. You are wonderful.

You are caring.

You are intelligent, and you make every person who works with you feel like they are seen and heard and valued. And I wanna be you when I grow up. Love you, mean it, Where are we ordering for lunch?

Hi, Laura. Happy twenty five years. Thank you so much for everything you do in the unit. You’re such an amazing person to work with. I look forward to every shift that I have with you. Your personality is amazing and it just makes me everyone feel welcome and happy. Thank you.

Hi, Laura. Happy twenty five years.

Yay. Hope you have the best day.

Hello. My sweet, Laura Maria. You know what? Est is really an honor for me. To work with you.

You don’t have any idea how much I love you. So I know it’s a pain in the butt, trying to help you with your diet, but know it’s because I love you. I’m so, so proud of you, my sweet little Laura. God bless you.

The best we for you today, tomorrow, and always.

Laura Dee, you’re simply the best. You’re a wonderful nurse, a great leader. Work always seems like a great adventure when you’re there, and nothing seems like it’s gonna be too hard to handle because you’ve either Then they’re done that, seen that, or you will figure it out with us. We love you. You tell the best stories. Love working with you. Congratulations on a million years at Valley Health.

Hi, Laura. It’s Christine. Just wanted to say I’m so proud of you. I’m so glad that I’ve gotten to work with you and to see you grow and to share with you in this wonderful momentous time.

We love you.

Hi, Laura. I just want to say congratulations on getting your master’s degree.

And for your twenty five years in Winchester, your really an amazing person, and thank you for being a good role model to all of us.

Hello, Laura. Hi, Laura. We just wanna say congratulations for all your hard work, and we love you, and we love working with you. You are a very special member of our team, and we’re so thankful to have you. Congratulations on all your achievements. Yay.

You, Laura. Yeah. So They’ve done a couple of those videos, but that one is especially touching. And I’ll go through this real quickly.

So, in the middle as our president and CEO, Mark Nantz, And, he joined actually at around the same time I did. He also jumped into our organization, during COVID, and he brought with him this concept of connection to purpose. What’s your why? And when he says, what’s your why?

It’s not why I love being a nurse, or I like surgery, or I love cooking. It’s what’s that story? What’s that deeper story of why why you are here? And it kind of springboarded that, one of the earliest podcasts I did with him, Valley Health Paul, he shared his personal story about how when he was a baby, he was adopted.

And, he was adopted actually in our in our market, in our service So years went by. His family traveled. He had various roles all across the country, and then he accepted the job at Valley Health without realizing I’m going back home. And so he shared what this community means to him, and it connected with me on a personal level because I was also adopted as a child. And, so It was that light bulb that went off of, like, if I’m having this connection with this story, then we have so many other stories from not only leaders but frontline staff, to put out there. So these are just some comments from that podcast where he shared his story, and, and just another example of leaders, leading by example.

So we have some takeaways that we’ll go through here quickly, then we wanna make sure that we have time for your, your questions and, your answers. And we can kind of just go back and forth on these. You know, Lisa, you talked earlier about the discussion guides that you all do. Exactly.

Yeah. I think their takeaway really, we targeted leadership. We wanted to support leadership But anyone can be a leader. It’s more of a behavior that’s something we taught at Disney Institute, Disney University.

It’s less of a job title. Right? So I think really important to tell employees that they are part of this culture. Absolutely.

And get leaders involved video podcasts, interactive questions, polls, I’m sure somebody in the room was thinking, well, that’s great. You did all of this at launch. Congratulations, but I would encourage you that it’s never too late. Even if leaders at this point really haven’t been involved, or maybe they’ve step back a little bit.

It’s never too late to, you know, start a new campaign or start a new initiative to really get those leaders involved. And again, you know, just building trust invisibility between leaders and frontline team members.

And then, being transparent in education. Yep. And so we didn’t have the abilities to enable comment, for example, not allowed nor organization. So we really did this through data resources sharing where we were on our joint on our journey.

So a little bit of a different approach. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And, encouraging leaders and subject matter experts to respond to comments on their you know, hey, I have a question about my open enrollment.

HR representative is in there, you know, answering the questions as best as they can. Now if they need to have an individual conversation, they can take that offline.

Give employees, a safe place to share their feelings and their thoughts. That’s really was one of the goals of our platform. We want this to be a safe space for employees to share their thoughts even if they’re maybe a little bit dissenting, opinions and thoughts. And then storytelling as well. I know you talked a lot about everything that you all are doing at CarMax, the storytelling.

I mean, I think there’s a reason our leader perspectives video is our top piece of content. It’s showing that authentic storytelling, completely unscripted, similar to what you all did with that un to video. So Yeah. Absolutely. So, yeah, feel free to take a picture of the screen, and, I think we’re to do some Q and A. And at the end too, if there are any questions you’d like to connect with us individually, we do have our cards, we’ll put those up front and feel free to grab one.

Okay. With that, any questions?

Hi. I’m Barb Barclay with Goodyear. I didn’t catch it. Do either of you have a dedicated topic just for leaders, or do you share a lot of this content with all your users?

We do. We have a, a topic called leadership lens, which is, mainly just leader communications and, and things like that. Mhmm.

We don’t use topics the way everybody else does. So I have a diversity and inclusion topic, but that’s it.

We just started a corporate social responsibility topic.

But, everybody else, like, our topics are our audiences.

So if you look at our topics, they say things like, calm for four twenty three, leaders, across the business area.

Not not quite the themed topic that I think most people use.

On both of your pieces of content that have been very successful, like the podcast and the leader perspectives video, How long do each of those pieces of content last? Like, are they very quick? Are they, like, a podcast can be pretty lengthy. Right?

As far as, like, the length of the actual Yeah. The actual piece of content. Yeah. Yeah.

So it varies.

With our CEO, we did some really short, I mean, very short between, like, five and eight minutes because we were our workforce is on the go. A lot of employees, if they have some downtime, maybe they’ll they’ll put an earbud in and, you know, have it on in the background while they’re working, we have some longer panel interviews with, like, a a panel of people. Like, we’re launching, a new instance of Epic, our medical records system, and we have some panel interviews that are a little bit longer getting into, like, fifteen minutes. So not too long, not hour long podcast. You know, maybe we listen to on our own time, but, yeah.

Yeah. Ours is twelve minutes for a leader perspective, which is too long. So we’re gonna split it into six minutes and six minutes and split it up a little bit, but still impressive that people are sitting there for twelve minutes longer than I wanna sit.

Hi. I’m Laurie with the Ohio State University.

I wanted to find out, so you share your stories. Do you promote in advance, like, hey, it’s gonna be mental health awareness month. Make sure you share your stories so people people can be thoughtful about that ahead of time. We do.

So I’ll put out a calm saying, exactly introducing the month, providing, you know, any kind of resources we have, benefits, training, and then also put out the call to action. So, exactly. Just kinda letting people know throughout the month, and we usually do monthly themes. And if people want to, they can send it on, you know, a daily theme or weekly theme.

We’ve gotten Father’s Day, for example. People talking about grief on Father’s Day. So that happens as well. Yeah.

I had a question. So these leaders who are submitting this amazing content? Are they doing it in new studio? Like did you train them on the backend, or is it more like the user submission process?

That’s a great question. So we have a team of content publishers, I think between thirty and forty of them who are trained in new studio.

And a lot of them are presidents, vice presidents, admins who will post on their behalf. But, yeah, we do have a lot of, content publishers putting content in there for each of the topics. Like, we we make sure that each topic has a couple content publishers. And we meet with them on a regular basis.

We do this thing called office hours, kinda like in college when your professor have like an office hour. We do a virtual office hour where we just open a zoom link for an hour. Anybody can come on, ask questions, get refresher training, learn all the fun product updates that Firstup is launching soon in studio, It’s just a great way to touch base with them every, every so often. And then, yes, the, the rest of it is, is the user generated content.

Hi there.

Katie Ramey from Charles Schwab, and just to kinda build on the Ohio State University for the user generated content, how are you exposing that content changing behaviors to drive people to that content, or are you having to push people to it to get the engagement?

That make sense? Yeah. That’s a great question.

I don’t I feel like we have to do a lot of pushing. Again, I think from the beginning, it was just sort of common place that, hey, there’s all this great content in their user generated. Now we do I do a weekly employee newsletter.

And, the top of the newsletter is, like, need to know information, right, open enrollment, annual mandatory reviews, stuff like that. And then further down, we have a trending section where, posts, user generated or not, that are getting the highest engagement will be listed right there. And a lot of those do end up being user generated like Daisy Awards and Oh, you know, the, I know a cardiology team, they went out and they had a fun weekend at the farm market or something.

Those will go in, like, the trending section, that middle column of the newsletter. So I guess that, that, that pushes them in that direction too. Mhmm. Does that make does that answer your question?


It’s both. So we email it and we, it lives within the platform as well so people can comment on it, ask questions, things like that.

That decision was mainly because when we launched Firstup, people were so so used to getting that weekly newsletter. I mean, it was like had had like extremely high engagement. So we didn’t wanna play with that too much. Like, maybe it I think at first, we thought, well, maybe we’ll move away from that, but it’s doing extremely well. It’s one of the few things system wide that we email. I mean, even some corporate communications now, we’re at the point where we just we just let them live in the platform because the engagement has been doing so well.

Hey. I’m Leanne. I’m with Asher Health in New Orleans, and I I’d like to kind of build on this conversation around the user generated content. I know we’re here talking about leaders and how we’re engaging leaders on the platform, but I’m wondering how you allow your frontline employees to, submit user generated content if you do, how you structure that And then also if you have a similar, like, an employee ambassador program or content publisher program, for, non leader employees.

Yeah. That’s a great question. So, every Valley Health employee can post to our platform through the front page through that that little pencil icon in the top right hand corner. There is a review process.

We don’t have auto publishing, so it comes into a queue on our end. We have three admins three of us on the corporate communications team, and then we approve them. The only exception to that is like public safety. We don’t want any barriers there in the event that they have to send something out instantly.

But, yeah, everything that is, user generated has to be approved, by us. And I’ll tell you honestly to the, I mean, we get a lot of user generated content. We have not approve anything. There were some things, but we’re like, that’s a better fit in this topic, or no, that shouldn’t go to every hospital.

That’s one hospital.

But, no, we’ve never deleted some because it was like, that doesn’t really reflect our brand well. And then, I’m sorry, what was the second part of your question?

I don’t know.

I don’t either. It’s okay. That was a good answer. Oh, Ambassador Program, like an employee Ambassador Program for content publishers. Yeah. So, we’re constantly encouraging leaders and content publishers and hospital presidents, vice presidents, to, you know, push teams to be active in the platform.

They do giveaways. We do giveaways system wide. We just did like a fun, like end of or, like, tell us where you went this summer for vacation, and then we gave out a bunch of, Valley Health branded, like, duffel bags, like, for, you know, like a road trip or something.

But hospitals have started doing their own, their own little giveaways, and people love free stuff. So that helps, you know, keep people, invested in the platform. One of our hospitals, it’s probably one of our top posts. It is probably the top post in that topic.

One of our hospitals just did a pet contest. And everybody uploaded pictures of their of their pets. And, you know, we serve a lot of rural communities in Virginia and West Virginia. So there were a lot of, like, goats, chickens.

There was a pig.

The pig was actually adorable. I was kinda pulling for the pig, the underdog, you know.

But that got super high engagement and they and their huddles encouraged one another. Hey, you know, make sure you you take a moment and vote in caregiver Connect for, you know, the cutest pet or whatever. So Yeah. So they so they do.

We don’t have a specific program. That’s a great idea. It’s something we’ve talked about. Maybe when we do like a, you know, maybe at one year, we’re we’re starting to or we’re hitting our one year in January.

We’re planning some fun little things for that giveaways and things. Maybe that’s something we could look into. Yeah.

Thank you.

We, we are actually starting an ambassador program, but we’re not starting it just as an ambassador program. We’re kind of hitching it onto a program that we already had. So it might be a good idea for you all, especially on the HR side. We have something called associate inclusion groups, and these are training managers again, to facilitate those conversations, training them and all that we’re doing with diversity and inclusion.

And we realized we had this gap with content. So we’re we’re kind of asking for volunteers inside of that program, Hey, who wants to be a content ambassador after this program is done? So so far it’s been great, and we’re just getting started with it. But what’s nice is that the program already exists.

They’re already vouched for. They’re already, you know, familiar with all that we’re doing. So it might be another avenue to kinda look at. Yeah.

That’s awesome.

Thank you. Hi. I’m Ali Heinz, and I work for Providence in Spokane, Washington, and Lisa, you’re, you were talking about DEI and, coincidentally, my Microsoft teams, chat was going off because there’s currently a DEI committee meeting for our organization.

And I just absolutely love that you have a a dashboard that shows the different, makeup of the organization between ethnicities. And my qu my question for you is, do you have goals within your organization of how you want it look as far as leadership and employees. And then also what’s the feedback then from your frontline people about having that data available to them.

Hitting with the hard question there.

Former reporter. Yeah.

So for anyone who’s in HR, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the, admission supreme court admissions decision, but that is drastically in our field. Right? So even though it’s not about employment directly, we expect that there’ll be lots of lawsuits. I think anyone in the field expects that.

So we’ve never had a goal. We’ve never stated it. We’ve never had it. We’ve always said the best person for the job.

I think organizations that do have a goal are probably revisiting that, for legal reasons, but it it’s, again, it’s organization by organization.

Our employees have had really good feedback. I’ve I meet with some of my peers, and they’re terrified to share the information we share. We’ve never heard any negative feedback. If anything, they’re like, thank you for showing us this.

Let’s keep going. It’s a little bit, like, your attitude towards the comments. Right. Right. Like, let’s go for it.

I wish we had that. I wish we had the comments. We don’t yet, but we have that for transparency.

It’s never been an issue. I think we all want to have a diverse organization, we all believe in inclusion.

And so, yeah, we haven’t had any negative. I’ll let you know if we do, though.

So, yeah, great question.


Anything else?

If there’s nothing else, We’ll let anybody come up individually who wants to corner these two. Yeah. That would be a valuable conversation. But thank you all for coming. Thank you. Thank you.

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