Cleveland Clinic embeds communicator in HR

Trying to escape from siloed communications? Cleveland Clinic has stationed an internal comms pro in its human resources offices. The results speak for themselves.

Most internal communicators have heard for years all the vows to work across departments and tear down silos between, say, communications and human resources.

Yet so often it amounts to little more than promises that are revealed as empty whenever the next initiative falls in your lap with inadequate time to communicate it.

There has to be a practical solution. Well, it turns out there is. Cleveland Clinic is modeling a better approach: embedding a communicator in human resources.

About 18 months ago, senior communications manager Kevin Kolus began a dual role in which he reports to HR as well as to corporate communications.

Historically, the two teams have operated in separate locations. Kolus’ corporate comms office is at the main hospital in Cleveland; HR is at the administrative campus, a 25-minute drive away.

Working from HR three days a week

The embedded role brings him to the administrative campus three days a week, where he can have a say about communicating serious matters to employees, from open enrollment to embracing company goals for excellence.

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