Employee Communications & Culture Conference
Hybrid workforce • Thought leadership • Employee Experience 3.0
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Internal communications is the driver of change. As the discipline has evolved, so too have the strategies and tactics to create an ultimate employee experience. Join us April 25-27 in the heart of Chicago for Ragan’s Employee Communications & Culture Conference and come away with practical and innovative ideas to implement back at the office – wherever that office is.
From change communications to inter-departmental collaboration to crafting content and thought leadership that keeps employees engaged, informed … and wanting more, this conference gives you the blueprint to build a better workplace.
Ragan’s Employee Communications & Culture Conference is your opportunity to discover, share, ideate and transform your employee comms approach with interactive sessions and engaging instruction from experts in the trade. We’ve created an ultimate peer-to-peer experience sprinkled with inspirational keynotes, interactive workshops, sessions, lively debates and plenty of networking so you can connect with industry colleagues and forge new friendships.
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN
- Strategies for nurturing an employee culture that adapts to change.
- Ways for measuring and processing employee feedback to engage a dispersed and diverse workforce.
- Storytelling and writing tactics for clear, concise, compelling and fun(!) content in your newsletters, on your intranet and on social.
- Employee wellness strategies that address mental health and other challenges, eliminating stigma.
- Ways to weed out superficial DE&I efforts and develop a DE&I framework that illuminates your organization’s mission, culture and values.
- Manager communications strategies that actually work paired with tech, tools and shortcuts to boost efficiency and reduce burnout.
- Employer branding tips that elevate your organization internally and externally.
- Mixternal communications: leveraging the possibilities of internal and PR partnerships.
INTERESTED IN SPEAKING?
Please reach out to Content Director
After COVID, economic upheaval, hybrid work, and polarizing social issues, it’s time to take a deep dive into your organization’s culture and see what’s still there. Join this hands-on workshop with Ragan Consulting’s Culture Group Leader Kristin Graham and turn culture concepts into real-time actions for your organization. This isn’t a conversation where we admire the problem of culture disconnect; it’s a dig-in and design actionable ideas to bring back to your team. Work with your fellow workshop participants to:
- Outline a culture “audit” to assess what still works and what’s missing.
- Explore the benefits of “spot-boarding” to help specific groups in need and “off-boarding” to maintain ties with outgoing talent.
- Develop get-started steps for your culture strategy, including how to influence and advise internal decision makers.
- Have hands-on work time to define and refine the ideas, tools and desired outcomes.
Participants are invited to join Kristin and RCG co-founder Jim Ylisela for a post-session outing to the famous Chicago burger-and-beer joint, the Billy Goat Tavern.
Cascading messages effectively throughout your organization can be an arduous task. Your people managers are on the front lines and must often reinforce company messaging to their teams. They also must be active listeners and cascade employee feedback up to leadership. People managers need to foster safe spaces for their teams and address workload, work/life balance and stress/burnout. Up to 50% of employees experience burnout at some point in their careers (that’s half the country’s workforce!). In this workshop, we’ll explore:
- Strategies to capture the key messages you need cascaded throughout the organization.
- How to create a place where people leaders can ask questions on your intranet platform should something get misunderstood in the messaging.
- In-person and virtual people manager time halls, and the effectiveness of dedicated leader newsletters.
- How to help leaders and people managers be active listeners and respond to employee feedback with empathy.
Financial acumen and business fluency are the keys you need to get a coveted seat at the table (and maintain it!). You must have a strong command of the financial terms, concepts and language around your organization’s priorities, mission and revenue goals. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to apply your business acumen to develop communication plans that meet the needs of your various stakeholders.
- How to deliver quantifiable DE&I and ESG results into business reporting, annual reports and internal communications.
- The tools you need to manage and interpret financial statements, as well as develop and oversee organizational budgets … including your budget (and how to negotiate for more!).
- Strategies for tying communication plans to the bottom lines that leadership values most.
- Important business terms that can ascribe value to your communications efforts and tips for interpreting annual reports and financial statements.
As a corporate communicator, your role is to have employees read the messages you send, but employee engagement is harder than ever in the modern hybrid workplace. In this session, we discuss how you can improve your communications using data. Learn how to use the ADDIE model to improve your metrics and come up with a plan to improve your communications no matter where your employees are reading them.
- What are considered “good” metrics.
- How to improve metrics using the ADDIE model.
- How to determine what should be improved.
- What a revised communication might look like.
- How to implement and evaluate the data you collect.
Depending on where your role sits on the org chart, you can determine your direction and the resources for you and your team. During this interactive session, we’ll dig into the most important trends in organizational structure, the key skills and competencies communicators need to have a major impact on personal development and business growth. You’ll get an exclusive look at the latest findings from Ragan’s Industry Benchmark Report and the Ragan/HarrisX CEO/CCO research.
For communicators, the future is already here. The workplace has been evolving – hybrid, flexible, remote, in-office — and so too has the role of the communicator. All of these changes have become an incubator for innovative tactics, measures and messaging so that workplace culture can thrive. This opening keynote will take a deep dive into the future of work in 2023, and beyond – preparing you and your fellow communicators for the challenges and opportunities.
Internal communicators are the first line of defense when sharing information around organizational change. In this case study, we follow the acquisition of a company — from the initial merger or acquisition to the integration and the effects companywide. We’ll uncover the tactics used to inform and calm employees and the collaboration by all stakeholders — from the C-suite to HR and internal comms.
- The multichannel approach to deliver messaging about the company’s merger or acquisition in a positive light.
- Real-world strategies for delivering sensitive messaging to employees with relatable, empathetic messaging.
- How tactics like podcasts, video, employee spotlights and FAQs on your company’s intranet can calm fears and move the business forward.
People managers are crucial conduits in your employee communications strategy, always on the frontlines in delivering messages to their individual teams. In this session, you’ll hear how two senior-level communicators from varied industries and with different work models have equipped people managers with the tools they need to cascade messaging, ultimately increasing job satisfaction, aligning with business goals and improving organizational performance.
- How to design a resource hub for managers that empowers them to respond to challenging scenarios with confidence and authority.
- What documentation to include around new internal message pushes, including FAQs, resource links and suggested talking points.
- How to engage with people leaders beyond the written word via town halls to build trust with them and ultimately with their teams.
It’s never been more critical that your words convey your message to employees effectively and clearly. So how do you make sure your communications are crisp, concise and engaging? This interactive session will put some of your best writing tactics to the test.
- How to cut back on jargon and business speak to connect authentically with employees.
- How to create clear, concise messages that motivate and inspire and will be read.
- Strategies for writing messages that are both entertaining and informative.
- The small copy choices that can keep morale high, retain talent and help recruit diverse employees.
Network with your peers, grab a bite, and listen to Chicago historian Shermann "Dilla" Thomas share trivia about the windy city.
In this session, we’ll share how to effectively communicate your company’s values to keep your talent pool thriving and get employees to be a megaphone for your brand purpose.
- How leaders and managers can reinforce values-focused messaging with corporate commitments and curated content.
- Channel strategies to deliver messages across the organization.
- How purpose-driven communications can drive employee productivity, motivation and engagement — and create employee brand advocates.
Informed, smart writing makes all the difference between the thought leadership stories that connect with audiences and those that don’t. You must harness the expertise of your execs and subject matter experts so they become influential, trusted resources, both internally and externally. Deciding what content will increase visibility and trust, particularly on social media, is likely right at your fingertips. Hint: an integrated approach across multiple channels like townhalls, external speeches, thought leadership events, op-eds and more.
In this session, we’ll unpack:
- Strategies for repurposing town halls into smaller pieces of content, including Live sessions on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and developing podcast series.
- Best practices for aligning topics with the issues most important to your employees and your business.
- Tips for ghostwriting authentically across intranets, apps, newsletters and then give it new life on social media.
A robust employer branding strategy must first begin with your company’s unique value proposition – its purpose and impact on the world so that existing and potential employees feel their work is meaningful. Those values must be carried through all of your channels (internally and externally) to create an ultimate employee experience that goes beyond the traditional onboarding phase. The tools to do such are likely already in your toolbox. In this session, we’ll uncover:
- The importance of partnering with HR to develop your employer branding strategy and to glean employee feedback to get the pulse on your culture and living up to your company values.
- How to showcase culture with sharable ideas like videos.
- Examples of winning candidate newsletters, career sites and campus recruitment events.
- Employer promotion that works: How to connect and use social media sites like Twitter, Meta, and LinkedIn.
Communicating to your workforce quickly and effectively during a crisis can be challenging. It requires advance planning and the creation of a framework and playbook to live by (and update as crisis unfolds). Aside from clear strategies, you will need leadership commitment to keep the workforce informed and deliver authentic, real-time messaging.
In this session, you’ll discover:
- What resources should be prepared in advance, including scenario trainings, guides and documents around protocols and org charts.
- How to target certain segments of your workforce with key information based on their needs.
- What a flexible communications crisis plan looks like in the hybrid workplace.
Why is your internal comms plan like your breakfast? Because you want them both to be balanced! Achieving the perfect blend of comms, culture, and change management can be difficult though, so how can you create comms that balance what audiences want with what the organization needs to say? This energetic and thought-provoking session will set you up for the day by helping you create a mix of comms that reach and engage internal audiences.
Start your day right as we cover:
- How starting with a communications audit will set you up for future success.
- Finding and mapping who your audiences are and what they need.
- Real-life strategies from companies that are getting it right.
- Why timing is the secret seasoning you need to add to your comms recipe.
With “burnout” named the word of the year in 2022 by Ragan’s Communications Leadership Council members, it’s imperative that communicators develop ways to manage the stress and embrace their role with energy, confidence and, well, more resources and support. In this session we’ll tackle the key contributors to communicators’ burnout and to burnout among all employees. We’ll share new ideas for identifying, mitigating and eliminating burnout in the workplace.
You know you can only manage what’s measured, so we’ve brought together measurement experts and data enthusiasts to help you lift the cloud around measurement and become more of a data-driven communicator.
In this session, you’ll learn how to:
- Determine the KPIs that matter to the C-suite.
- Create a manageable dashboard to alleviate your stress.
- Own the narrative and report results in an impactful way.
A diverse workforce, an inclusive organizational culture and a companywide sense of belonging are company imperatives now and in the future. Join DE&I leaders and internal comms management as they discuss best steps on how to partner with HR, employee resource groups, executives and people managers to improve the impact of company-sponsored and grassroots efforts. Plus, they’ll respond to questions raised at the employee focus group.
In this session, we’ll examine:
- Effective wellbeing initiatives to accommodate the unique needs of different employees.
- Best practice diversity and inclusion programs that recognize mental health and wellbeing as a diversity issue.
- How to foster a sense of belonging in your organization for all your groups, including, persons of color, working moms, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ, veterans, baby-boomers and millennials and others.
ESG (Environmental, social and corporate governance) isn’t just a buzzword. In today’s world, as employees grapple with unprecedented numbers of crises, it is more important than ever to ensure your corporation’s sustainability ambitions address what matters. In this session, you’ll learn how authentic sustainability comms tell a story that can align company values and goals with actions that drive change — and encourage all employees to play a part.
- Your role in supporting positive corporate change, communicating progressive governance and fostering conversation.
- How to turn employees and subject matter experts into ESG ambassadors and transform owned channels (web sites and social media) into ESG hubs.
- Tips for setting realistic benchmarks and goals that hold your organization accountable.
As we close out the conference, don’t miss this fast-paced ideas-packed session filled with at least 13 great ideas you can take back to the office.
Plus, we’ll announce the raffle and contest winners.
Rapid innovations in automation and artificial intelligence technology has created new tools for communicators to use and master. But becoming an early adopter of emerging tech is not without its risks. You’ll hear the implications of OpenAI for communications strategies, the tech innovations to watch and how ChatGPT has already changed the playing field forever.
*This session description was not written by ChatGPT.
What tools and tech are your peers using and what’s working, what’s not? Join us for this interactive discussion around new technologies, apps and tools that can help communicators advance their initiatives and save time and stress. We’ll cover tools and tech for:
- Email communication
- Social media storytelling
- Crisis management
- Team collaboration
- And much more!
Today’s communicators are tasked with fill editorial calendars for intranets, email newsletters, publications and more, without access to robust content teams or big budgets. In this hands-on session, experts will share strategies that have worked for comms teams of all sizes and budgets. Then, you’ll work in small groups to brainstorm additional content sources. Get ready to leave with your notebook stuffed with crowdsourced ideas.
You’ll walk away with:
- Strategies to work across functions and collaborate with other teams to bolster and keep content flowing.
- How to use trending conversations and perspectives to create shareable content that shows other voices are heard.
- Deep dives on the internal communications editorial calendar strategies of three companies of various sizes.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to communicating to a deeply divided workplace that spans digital natives (Millennials, Zoomers) and those who learned the internet as an adult (Boomers, Gen X). In this session, we’ll explore how employees of different generations communicate, review their generational and demographic differences, and workshop some messages to refine together.
- Data, stats and psychographics on the five generations active in the workforce today.
- The role of video, emojis and GIFs when connecting to Millennials and Gen Z.
- How to adapt and customize your communications to appeal to your intended audience.
- Equitable training on new resources for employees of different generations.
When employees are given an opportunity to meet, network and collaborate with their peers, the result is more productivity, higher job satisfaction and overall business success. With the shift to a dispersed workforce, collaboration has become more difficult. Communicators can help to create the new watercooler effect, empowering employees to connect both in person and virtually. In this session, we’ll uncover:
- How to craft collaborative meetings, corporate gatherings and town halls that appeal to all and ways to communicate about these events before, during and after in a way that drives ongoing engagement and participation.
- The formats and models that work best for hybrid, remote and flex workforces.
- How a mix of on-demand content (videos, podcasts, and articles) and live speaker events can drive employee engagement.
- Cracking the code: Town halls that achieves strategic goals while also beating Zoom fatigue.
Long considered a tool of HR, communicators can hold employee focus groups to gain candid, valuable intel on how workers are faring, especially during times of uncertainty and change. In this session, we’ll uncover strategies to develop pulse surveys and focus groups that produce relevant, actionable findings to inform and refine your comms strategy.
- Strategies to determine the purpose and goals of your focus group that secures support from executives.
- Best practices for selecting your focus group facilitator and employee participants.
- Considerations for facilitator approach that considers tone, pace and clarity.
- Frequency of pulse surveys and key questions to ask.
- How to analyze your findings and effect real change in the workplace.
You have the ability to reshape your organization’s culture and change the employee experience for the better. Workplace wellness benefits and programs play a crucial role in your long-term employee strategy. It falls on communicators and HR to deliver the benefits and messaging to employees, and measure what’s working and what’s not in wellness.
In this session, in a case study that shows how Whirlpool delivered their own holistic wellbeing strategy, you’ll learn:
- Lessons from HR on how to get buy-in for a unique program from diverse stakeholders and leadership.
- Approaches for implementing self-care strategies as a manager.
- Employee communication strategies that prioritize all aspects of wellbeing, from physical to financial, mental to social.
The hybrid workplace model is here to stay ... along with full remote, flex work, in-office and abridged workweeks. In this session, we’ll look at the challenges a dispersed workforce poses to communications professionals, and the strategies we can take to connect with workers, regardless of their location.
- Strategies to engage every employee and close the distance gap, companywide and peer to peer.
- Connecting through non-work-related informal chats on digital channels and the intranet.
- Considerations for team engagement for maximum impact during asynchronous hours.
- Plus: What recent research says about the 4-day work week and why it matters.
What makes the communicator irreplaceable in the era of artificial intelligence (AI) is your ability to adapt alongside technological advances. This hands-on panel will discuss today’s brand-new challenges, how you can upskill yourself and how to future-proof your career. We’ll examine how writing and leadership skills can be paired with the communications tools we use daily (intranets, creative virtual gatherings, and in-person events).
In this session, we’ll explore:
- How to bring your purpose to life through day-to-day communications and multi-channel storytelling.
- Empowering employees to innovate — elevating their ideas and collaborating on solutions.
- Embedding DE&I opportunities for belonging and connection across your organization.
Bring your questions to this rapid-fire session featuring a PR director and an internal comms leader as they have forged ways to leverage both internal and external communications in their day-to-day jobs. You’ll gain a clear understanding of the role of the PR professional and discover new ideas for partnering with your comms colleagues and ensuring consistent message and brand integrity.
Recent research shows Americans are broadly in favor of workers’ unions, and as more workers organize across the country, internal communicators will be called to the front lines. And it’s not just unions: As younger employees enter the workforce, they are seeking to align themselves with organizations that reflect their own values — and provide ways they can work together to make a difference.
In this session, you’ll learn:
- The business case for social justice inside your organization (Hint: It’s not enough for just DE&I).
- How to invite and ensure employees are connected to your organization’s mission and values.
- When to be a communications bridge between union organizers and management, and how to control the messaging delivered by the C-suite.
As we close out the conference, don’t miss this fast-paced ideas-packed session filled with at least 13 great ideas you can take back to the office.
Plus, we’ll announce our raffle and contest winners.
- Using Measurement to Prove Internal Communications Has Value
- Bias-Free Writing: What’s Preferred and What’s Problematic
- ESG Communications: How to Evolve from Financial Reporting to Corporate Storytelling & Stakeholder Engagement
- Attract, Hire and Onboard- A Remote Workforce Guide
- How to Build an Employer Brand Through Sharable Recognition
- Why Workplace Experience is the Future of Employee Engagement
- How to Create the Most Effective Multichannel Internal Comms Strategy
SPONSORS & PARTNERS
Want to become a sponsor? Get in touch with our team to discuss sponsorship opportunities.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
You can’t afford to miss this if you work in:
- Human Resources
- Employee Engagement
- Corporate Communication
- Employee Communications
- Internal Communications
- Executive Communications
- Total Rewards
- Public Relations
- Change Management
- Employee Experience
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Join us for the Employee Communications & Culture Conference:
|ADVANCED||EARLY BIRD||VIP||REGULAR RATE|
|Conference All-Access Passincludes the Pre-Conference Workshops|
|Conference Registration - Individual|
|Conference Recording On Demand|
Would you and your team like to attend? Group pricing is available when registering!
COUNCIL MEMBER DISCOUNTS
Membership includes free registration passes. Contact Shallon Blackburn for more information on becoming a member.
RAGAN INSIDER DISCOUNTS
Insiders receive $250 off current rates.
For those who can’t attend the conference live, an on-demand option is available during the registration process.
Ragan Insiders save more: Ragan Insiders receive an additional $250 off current rates. Not a Ragan Insider? You can become one during the registration process for this event!
WONDERING IF YOU SHOULD ATTEND?
Here’s what past attendees are saying about Ragan and PR Daily Events!
Attending this conference rejuvenated and energized me about the field of communications. The knowledge I walked away with equipped me to go back to my firm and my team with strategic plans for the future.
I was so inspired after attending the conference - so many exciting ideas and projects that I want to start at my company as a result of the insight that was provided.
Ragan is one of the legit conferences out there. You get your money's worth, and they really give you the best people in the industry. I would attend another Ragan conference in the future!
This was an informative, fast-paced, fun conference full of timely topics and great speakers. I haven't stopped telling my team about all the insights I learned.
Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile
505 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
We have secured a room block at Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile for conference attendees. The hotel reservation link will be sent to you after you register for the conference.
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