Down in a basement at a
Hamilton Health Sciences
hospital, a long-term employee worked in a lab just across the hall from
the Medical Device Reprocessing Department.
But she had never learned about what happened behind the doors of the
neighboring department until CEO Rob MacIsaac filmed a video there.
"I've worked here for 13 years, and before I saw that I had no idea what
they did beyond those doors," she told digital communications lead Scott
Her reaction illustrates why the video series "Teach Rob Your Job" has been
popular with executives, communicators and employees alike at the
seven-hospital group serving south-central Ontario.
Communications records video as the top dog learns about the daily jobs of
individual specialists and others. This allows staffers find out about each
others' work and helps create dual-purpose content—in addition to being shared internally, it's also placed on an
outward-facing platform of Vimeo.
"It's turned into a bit of a cross-hospital and cross-discipline education
tool so people better understand what others in the hospital are doing,"
In one recent video, MacIsaac learned about
cardiac surgery. In another, he explored
transfusion medicine. In the most recent video, he delved into what
volunteers were up to
at the hospital group.
Rob learns about our volunteers at HHS from Hamilton Health Sciences on Vimeo.
The video series was born of an awareness shared by many organizations,
particularly ones that have expanded or merged. Often there is a gap
between execs and frontline staff members, and geographically isolated
organizations especially experience that phenomenon.
[FREE DOWNLOAD: How to Prep Your Execs to Speak in Front of Employees (And Not Bore Them)]
Countering the 'watered-down brand'
Hamilton Health Sciences has merged with several hospital groups over the years, Levely
says, and "with that amalgamation comes a bit of a watered-down brand or a
lack of identity." Workers tend to identify with their individual hospital
("I work for
Juravinski") rather than the brand.
MacIsaac sought to counter that impression as the greater organization
emphasized that all its hospitals provide the same level of care and
patient experience. The videos are helping close feelings of disconnection
to the greater brand, Levely says.
"It's creating a stronger brand, that consistent experience . . .
regardless of where you're located in the city," he says.
Hamilton Health Sciences is a significant presence in Ontario. It reportedly boasts the
province's largest hospital workforce, with more than 15,000 staff,
physicians and volunteers. The group is also ranked as one of Canada's top
five research hospitals, with more than 2,000 specialists conducting
research in over 1,500 centers across 86 countries worldwide, Levely says.
Hospitals are filled with inspiring stories, and MacIsaac finds them in a
number of videos. One is titled, "Rob visits our tiniest patients in the NICU," and takes the boss into a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Rather than
deliver a corporate message, he's there to learn.
"This is Erin. She was born at 32 weeks, so pretty premature," a nurse
Rob visits our tiniest patients in the NICU from Hamilton Health Sciences on Vimeo.
Each video ends with a moment of reflection from MacIsaac. In the video of
the premature infants, he says the unit is "trying to, as much as possible,
create those special moments that every parent wants to have with their
child. I think it NICU is something we can all be really proud of at
Hamilton Health Sciences."
Another video, titled, "Rob Learns About Occupational Therapy," offers the CEO a chance to salute the specialists who provide
rehabilitation therapy for patients who use wheelchairs or are otherwise in
need of care.
Rob Learns About Occupational Therapy from Hamilton Health Sciences on Vimeo.
He also learns the role of
and pays a visit to prosthetics.
Rob visits Prosthetics & Orthotics at Chedoke from Hamilton Health Sciences on Vimeo.
A culture of pride
In the OT video, MacIsaac says one big takeaway "is how extensively
occupational therapists are involved in all of our patient populations from
the smallest baby through to folks . . . who are at the very other end of
their lives. They play such a key role here at Hamilton Health Sciences."
Levely says the videos help build a culture of pride and heighten the
perception that the chief executive is accessible. Because of the series,
he can walk into any hospital and be recognized by employees.
"He likes it because it breaks down the barriers that exist between the
front lines and the CEO," he says. "People watch these videos and they feel
like they know him a little bit. It's a lot easier to approach the guy and
say hi when you pass him in the hallway because you know who he is."
There is no screening process for staffers who'd like a turn as a video
star. Levely says anyone can request that MacIsaac drop by for an
interview. By not hand-picking those who participate, it builds a sense of
genuineness in the communications.
Says Levely, "It's the way that we provide care to our community, and the
experience our community has when they're interacting with us."