Throw out the old communications handbook and get the guidance and new ideas you need for a transformed business world.
As a communicator, you earned a seat at the table during the pandemic, and now leaders are turning to you for the fresh and innovative ideas required to thrive in a transformed business landscape.
With a vaccine and a more hopeful future in sight, your organization needs a motivated and engaged employee base to help them speed along the road to recovery. Are you ready to bring your A-game?
Get the guidance you need to meet the moment by joining experts for Ragan's can't-miss Internal Communications & Culture Next Practices virtual conference on Feb. 24-25. You'll discover fresh, new internal comms strategies, hear eye-opening case studies, take part in interactive brainstorming sessions, and get practical examples of what works and what doesn't when it comes to engaging employees and driving business goals.
The past year has transformed the world as we knew it—but your real challenge starts now. Register today and get the groundbreaking ideas you need to meet the tremendous opportunity presented to you.
Learn how to:
- Elevate your seat at the table as an internal communicator as we approach the end of the pandemic
- Embrace technology's new starring role in internal communications—connect employees digitally by creating outstanding videos, podcasts, emails, virtual town halls and more
- Build the inclusive and purpose-driven culture you need to stand out in a competitive global talent landscape and the move the needle on DEI, CSR and ESG
- Connect leaders to employees in personal, authentic ways that build trust and engagement
- Craft content that resonates with employees, whether they're on-site or dispersed
- Re-imagine your internal communications team and make HR and managers your most valuable allies
The pandemic created a myriad of workplace challenges for different organizations—while some moved to being completely remote, others had essential workers that needed to clock in as usual, but with new procedures. Some plan to slowly return to offices—and others officially announced work from anywhere policies. No matter which approach your organization takes, you’ll be tasked with getting employees on board with the changes, and ensuring culture remains intact.
During this panel, we’ll discuss the benefits and challenges of hybrid, in-person and remote work set-ups—and how to envision and prepare for a transformed working environment.
- How to critically rethink the purpose of in-person work spaces to maximize productivity—and sell employees on the value of your new model
- Case studies of organizations successfully using innovative hybrid or fully remote models for their workplace
- What your organization’s updated return-to-work plan means for you as a communicator—prepare for the employee engagement challenges that will dominate your year
- Ways to balance the needs of on-site vs. remote and connected vs. non-desk employees and foster collaboration between functions
When COVID-19 brought the travel and tourism industry to a virtual standstill, Hilton was faced with impacts to Team Members and organizational changes that threatened the culture of one of the world’s best workplaces. Discover how this company went above and beyond to stay connected to its Team Members, prioritize engagement and double down on culture in the midst of a global pandemic. You’ll learn how they found new and creative ways to recognize the contributions of Team Members and protect their wellbeing in a time of heightened stress and uncertainty.
You’ll learn how to:
- Create employee recognition campaigns that showcase the tenacity of your workforce in a time of crisis
- Share important moments together as an organization even in a virtual setting
- Use empathetic communications and inexpensive programs to ease uncertainty and protect employee wellbeing
- Address employees with transparency during furloughs, layoffs and times of financial strain
- Find new ways to use existing communications channels for employee recognition and employee wellness campaigns
In the absence of in-person collaboration spaces and events, and with increased personal distractions, communicators have had to get creative to keep employees connected and culture strong. Discover how these organizations are creating critical moments of connection and finding new ways to live out their values and traditions in a virtual world.
Learn how to:
- Use communication and collaboration tools in a way that fits your organization’s unique culture
- Strategically plan events that engage employees, reinforce values and promote wellbeing
- Find ways to bring previously in-person traditions into a virtual space successfully
- Unify both your on-site and remote employees and ensure an equal culture experience
Politemail analyzed over 500 million communication emails sent in 2020 and uncovered many trends and insights that will help communication organizations be more precise and impactful with their messages. In 2020, Email by far was the #1 channel used by employers and preferred by employees. We learned just how critical the role of email is in keeping employees informed and engaged.
Join this 10-minute lightning talk as we explore key takeaways from PoliteMail’s 2021 Corporate Communications Benchmarks and uncover strategies to implement in our 2021 communications.
In this session you will learn:
- What happened to email during the 2020 pandemic?
- What do we expect to happen in 2021?
- How communicators can get better engagement from their emails.
- What is a good open rate, and is there a better metric?
- The best time and day of the week to send emails?
- The optional email message length?
- Are employees suffering from click fatigue
We’ve all seen how quickly situations can change in today’s world—and that communicators need to be ready to respond and adapt in a moment’s notice. Is your team ready to spring into action when a crisis requires quick thinking and collaboration? Many traditional department structures have rigidly defined roles and strict silos that can prevent you from being agile in times of change. During this fireside chat, you’ll hear an eye-opening case study from a communicator who revamped the way their team approached their duties to move the needle in a critical time.
Learn how to
- Rotate content creation duties in a way that allows everyone to balance their schedules and shift focus during times of crisis
- Document processes for sharing updates and posting to channels so that tasks can be easily transferred between team members in case of unforeseen circumstances
- Share knowledge and align strategies with other departments like HR and PR in order to pivot your approaches quickly during times of organization change
- Reassess your team structure to be better suited for crisis situations where changes need to be implemented quickly
As an internal communicator, you have a secret weapon at your fingertips—and you might not even realize it!
You likely already know the value of corporate messaging platforms (i.e. Yammer, Teams, Slack) in supporting strategic communications in a largely remote workforce. But do you know about the deep, valuable insights you can gain from these platforms? You alone hold the keys to understanding employee sentiment, capturing the Voice of the Employee and identifying potential toxic behaviors.
Learn how to capture these insights so you can guide your leaders to make better, more-informed decisions, making you the hero of your organization.
With 70% of their employees not working at a desk, Love’s Travel Stops understood that managers were one of their most valuable communications channels during the pandemic—but that not every manager was a natural communicator. It was never more important to ensure critical messages were reaching workers and that engagement and wellbeing weren’t falling by the wayside.
Discover how Love’s Travel Stops leveraged their employee app and other channels to give managers and division leaders critical resources and tools to keep employees engaged and updated in this pivotal .
- How to give managers easy, mobile access to the collateral they need to keep employees informed and engaged in a time of rapid change
- Give managers the guidance they need to engage employees on hot-button social and political issues during a divisive time in history
- Which data points are most important to track your progress and optimize your approach as you go
- The right cadence to push updates and content to managers as a crisis situation evolves
- How to use your employee app and manager communications programs to promote mental health and wellbeing in the workplace
- Budgetary considerations for the app and other communications-enhancing programs
Your employees want content and answers to their questions at the same speed they’re accustomed to in their personal life—especially in a time of uncertainty. In such a rapidly changing world, that speed is also critical for your organization to keep everyone on the same page and avoid costly miscommunication. Outdated and clunky intranets filled with irrelevant documents will no longer cut it, and a crisis is no excuse not to innovate where necessary. During this session, we’ll look at examples of personalized, mobile employee hubs that are easy to update and access at times where information needs to be instant.
From these intranet tours, you’ll learn how to:
- Create an effective crisis communications hub and rapid response center so that employees can access up-to-date information quickly
- Feature stories that are timely and relevant to the current state of the world—and reinforce your organization values
- Offer personalized, mobile content to employees based on their needs during the pandemic and beyond
- Revamp your intranet even on a tight budget
A commitment to a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace is nonnegotiable—has your organization made it clear how they will act and show up? Your leaders are likely turning to you to do so—and they’ll need you to go beyond just words. Discover how to create campaigns and priorities that support an inclusive and welcoming culture for all—and serve as a powerful advocate for change in your organization.
During this session, we’ll discuss:
- How to partner with your DE&I and HR teams to align your communications with their objectives
- How to proactively address shortcomings and respond to criticism from employees in order to avoid a major crisis
- Examples of communications initiatives that have increased employee engagement with DE&I activities
- How to measure the impact of your campaigns on DE&I progress
It’s never been more critical that your words convey your message clearly and concisely— even seemingly small copy choices could derail your efforts to keep morale high, recruit diverse employees or rally your workforce in a time of crisis. During this session, we’ll take a look at examples of writing that had an impact on employees and simple ways to make your language more inclusive.
Learn how to:
- More effectively edit your writing for clarity and consistency of tone
- Be concise when crafting messaging during a crisis to avoid costly miscommunications
- Use compelling storytelling to reinforce your culture, boost morale and influence behavior
- Be mindful of offensive or non-inclusive phrases and terms that can sneak into your writing
For the majority of internal comms pros, 2020 was all about reacting to the global pandemic: its impact on worker safety, productivity, and company culture. As a result, most communicators were focused on implementing immediate tactics to keep employees and leaders informed and safe. This year we will see the pendulum shift towards a more strategic approach that goes beyond short-term problem-solving. Discover what tactics you should keep up—and which you no longer need—through a careful audit of your efforts.
- The various aspects of conducting an internal communications audit
- What data says about which channels are most effective for remote and frontline workers
- How to leverage an employee listening program to identify engagement challenges
- How to set more strategic goals that tie to the company's operational and cultural objectives in 2021.
Like all large-scale events, the traditional town hall meeting went virtual in 2020. But the perfect format—one that achieves strategic goals while also beating Zoom fatigue—remains elusive. A few savvy internal communicators have cracked the code and during this session, we’ll look at examples of effective town halls and how you can replicate their success.
2020 saw communicators embrace video and podcasts out of necessity, and while many missed the mark when it came to cutting through distractions and engaging employees, others made an unforgettable impression on their audience. Discover the secrets to ensuring your future efforts fall in the latter category by borrowing tactics and ideas from these fun and creative campaigns. You’ll see how these organizations used these tools as powerful platforms for employee engagement, employer branding and executive thought leadership.
During this session, we’ll:
- Look at examples of videos and podcasts that successfully engaged employees, reinforced culture and employer brand, and established executives as industry thought leaders
- Discuss how to brainstorm new video ideas that break the mold and grab attention
- Talk about what tech and tools you need to get started without breaking the bank
- Discuss how to define success and optimize your efforts
From employee wellness, communications and technology adoption, to coaching, personal development and office design, the Employee Experience is continually evolving in a COVID-impacted workplace. In this workshop we will highlight growing trends and the need to personalize the experience to your unique culture.
You'll learn how to understand the new definition, expectations and requirements for employee experience and build an idea of how to prioritize requirements.
A vaccine is finally here, but the real challenge for internal communicators is just beginning—and it’s one the profession has never seen before. What is the company’s stance on vaccinating all its employees? How do you ensure your employees trust its safety and comply with company policies around vaccination? During this panel, we’ll learn from the perspectives of organizations that have put together a plan for future rollout or have already begun to rollout vaccinations.
- What the current outlook looks like for returning to offices—and requiring vaccines for employees
- Legal considerations to keep in mind as you craft messages around the vaccine
- How to dispel misinformation and address safety concerns about the vaccine
- What to understand how varying local guidelines and plans will impact employees in different areas
USPS, like many other companies and organizations, faced a challenging time with the pandemic, a major election and the uptick in e-commerce. Communicating to a large workforce internally can be challenging yet critical. Learn what tactics the Postal Services used to communicate to its diverse base of employees to keep them informed with accurate updates in a time of information overload and misinformation. Through strong senior level messaging and smart strategies using a mix of digital and print channels, they were able to keep their workforce informed with clear and concise messaging.
In this session, you'll understand how to:
- Target certain segments of your workforce with key information based on their needs
- Use the power of your own employees to inform and motivate other employees
- Understand what medium will reach specific employee groups the quickest
- Use the power of your employee’s social media presence to advocate for your brand
Kimberly Henderson, Digital Workplace Technologies Lead at Mars, will share the journey they’ve been on the last few years and how Yammer has helped their organization feel connected, regardless of where employees are working. You’ll hear examples of inspiring and fun challenges that were hosted, with almost zero budget, with returns of Associate satisfaction and connections. Additionally she’ll share about how measuring success of communities by empowering community managers to have the data at their fingertips. Using scorecards to guide planning and strategy, these community managers can take ownership of the engagement in Yammer. Finally, Kimberly will share best practices for coaching leaders and helping them bridge the conversations between their townhalls and two-way conversations.
- Learn how Mars encourages senior leaders to use Yammer, including a reverse mentorship model
- Learn the behaviors and expectations of leaders and members for participating in challenges that encouraged health, wellness, and building connections across the organization
- Find out the role that data and analytics play in empowering community managers
- Discover a variety of campaign and challenges that may be adapted to your own organization
Today’s organizations are expected to have more than just a mission—employees and customers demand that you serve a purpose in the community, especially in a time of social and political unrest. One-off campaigns and empty promises won’t cut it either—and they could cost you employees and customers. Strategic communications are critical to showing audiences your commitment is genuine. Join us for a discussion on how you can tie communications around CSR and ESG initiatives to your brand’s purpose and work with the right stakeholders to improve outcomes.
Learn how to:
- Define your brand purpose clearly to employees and recruits through strong narratives
- Create CSR campaigns that employees will feel proud to participate in—and that strengthen your employer brand in a global talent landscape
- Put together CSR and ESG reports that show your organization’s authentic commitment to your community
- Work with external stakeholders across the nonprofit and corporate sectors to strengthen the impact of your programs
- Unite your workforce around your purpose at a time of significant political change and divisiveness
According to Gartner, 80% of company leaders will allow employees to work remotely at least part-time after the pandemic, and 47% will allow employees to work from home full-time. With remote collaboration here to stay, recognizing the nuances of what keeps every person engaged needs to be the foundation of any enterprise collaboration platform or app. Bringing people together and keeping them connected is not only important for work effectiveness, but also for general well-being. A key part of this is intranets or community and culture experiences that can provide greater personalization and freedom to bring a company culture alive at a time when that connection is more virtual and employees are looking for new ways to connect with the mission of their company and experiences of their co-workers. David Gang, CEO and Co-Founder of Brightspot, a leading content business platform, will talk about how companies can embrace more proactive internal communication strategies to help organizations navigate change and keep culture at the forefront.
As crisis gripped the world and transformed the way we work, employees turned to their organization’s leaders for answers and reassurance. Strong leadership communications became critical to keeping morale, productivity and trust intact. If your executives aren’t uniting your workforce behind them, your organization could quickly lose talent to competitors in the post-pandemic landscape.
Join us for a conversation on how communicators can help executives reach employees on a human level during times of difficulty—and keep the foundation of their organization intact.
Learn how to:
- Craft messages and videos that capture the authentic personality of your leaders
- Develop the right cadence for communications from your leadership team
- Help leaders respond thoughtfully to feedback from employees on important social issues
- Create moments for personal connection between executives and employees—especially in times of uncertainty and change
With the stakes high and little time to waste, it’s never been more important to keep a frequent pulse on employee sentiment and understand how well your programs are performing. You need to be prepared to pivot your approach on a moment’s notice—and show leaders that your programs are delivering ROI in a time of financial strain. Learn how Southwest Airlines has ramped up their efforts to meet the moment—and how you can too.
- How to find the right frequency to survey employees and how to increase participation
- How to identify the KPIs and metrics that are most critical to your communication goals, and adapt them in the face of change
- Examples of pulse surveys that result in more actionable feedback and dashboards that impress senior leaders
- How to use the data you collect to optimize your campaigns and give other teams the information they need to pivot and innovate quickly
Managing change has become an integral part of our role as communications professionals. We sit at the center of driving successful transformation and serve an instrumental role in helping employees and other key stakeholders understand and navigate through the changes underway within our organizations.
As we prepare for the next wave of change – from returning to the office, to internal restructurings, ongoing furloughs and lay-offs, and new business strategies and priorities – anchoring our communications within structured and integrated change management plans will be important.
Join this session to learn foundational principles, gain insights and hear best practices that will help you build an impactful plan.
During this session, you will learn:
- The fundamentals of navigating through the change curve
- The connection between neuroscience and audience engagement
- Key considerations for change communications planning
- Stakeholder assessment tactics to apply during enterprise-wide transformation
- Strategies to maintain two-way communication during change
The old boundaries between functions and teams have been obliterated—and collaboration is more critical than ever to ensure your communications campaigns, teams and your organization succeed. Your impact as an internal communicator will depend on how well you’re able to break down silos with your counterparts in other departments and seize opportunities to help each other. Join us for an eye-opening conversation on how you can increase cross-departmental collaboration.
Learn how to:
- Develop goals and strategies for your culture that are in line with those of your HR department
- Figure out where barriers to collaboration exist and eliminate them with easy, cost-effective tactics
- Adopt a “mixternal” approach to communications that strengthens you and your PR department’s efforts
- Share knowledge more effectively between departments to advance each other’s goals and drive business outcomes
Your emails can no longer afford to compete for attention in your employee’s inboxes—in a time of crisis and change, they need to get critical information to the right people quickly. But with workloads and distractions at an all-time high, that’s easier said than done. Don’t rely on wishful thinking—take a strategic approach to striking the right tone and frequency to obtain opens and engagement from your workforce.
Learn how to:
- Revamp your internal newsletter in a time of crisis and organization change—and cut out fluff that takes up valuable real estate
- Rethink what information should be communicated via email based on your organization and employee’s needs
- Write more compelling email copy that reflects your organization’s culture and boosts morale in a difficult time
- Find the right metrics to determine what works and what doesn’t in your internal email strategy
Without flashy offices, happy hours and ping-pong tables, the heart of what makes a workplace culture great was exposed in 2020: its values and purpose as an organization, and how it makes them come alive. Is your organization ready to recruit and retain employees on those tenets alone? Join us for a discussion on how culture is being redefined and how organizations will need to respond to continue to thrive.
If you are interested in submitting a speaker proposal, please contact Meghan Madhavan at Meghanm@ragan.com
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
If you work in:
Internal Communications • Employee Engagement • HR Communications • Corporate Culture • Intranet Management • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion • Digital Communications • Executive Communications
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