Executive Communication

A simple request by CEO for communications help leads to dramatically improved satisfaction

Research identifies areas of dissatisfaction, resulting in program that addresses key issues

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CHI Health CEO Dr. Cliff Robertson tasked the organization’s Corporate Communications department with helping him communicate more effectively with the CHI leadership group, which includes 1,200 employees from the supervisor level on up. The department took the job on, and in the process won first place in the “Executive Communications” category of Ragan’s 2016 Employees Communications Awards.

To get a handle on what the leadership group would consider effective communication, the team launched a survey that revealed no shortage of opportunity. Among the issues: Leaders didn’t get information they needed to communicate with their own employees; employees often received news and information before leaders did, limiting their ability to answer questions that arose; the information leaders did get was often overwhelming; they didn’t have the tools they needed to communicate with their staffs; and more. 

Leaders also ranked the kind of information they wanted, leading Corporate Communications to develop a clear set of goals: reducing leaders’ email overload, sharing information with leaders before all-employee distribution, providing clear direction on messages, including talking points and Q&As with messages that needed to be communicated, and increasing leaders’ sense of transparency. 

Delivering on those goals meant establishing an intranet site where leaders could quickly find all the information they needed, along with a weekly email newsletter, the CrossRoads Leader Update. Follow-up research revealed that nearly every recipient of the email newsletter was satisfied with it and found the content relevant, while the leader homepage drew 93 percent overall satisfaction and 99 percent content relevancy scores. 

Congratulations to Craig Samuelson, Cathy Brockmeier, Kelly Grinnell, Lisa Bowen, Vonda Hartsell, Anna Fryda, and Aria Ford. 

View More Employee Communications Awards 2016 Winners.

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