Red Sauce

October 30, 2013

A road show, in-flight communications and chilling tales

A Road Show with Purpose
Kentucky Employees Find Meaning in Merging

To some it seemed like an odd partnership: a Catholic health system, a Jewish health system and an academic medical center. 

Health care leaders from the three organizations believed they could address serious issues plaguing Kentuckians if they joined forces. After years of effort they succeeded and formed KentuckyOne Health.

Change unsettles

Yet leaders – and 15,000 employees at 200 sites – across KentuckyOne felt untethered by the many changes around them. They feared integration would mean losing their distinct heritages and yearned for reassurance of the continued significance of their work.

JayRay helped fashion the organization’s Purpose statement: to bring wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved. Employees needed help connecting this purpose with what was personally meaningful to them about their work.

A traveling solution

JayRay developed the Purpose Tour, a traveling video recording session that is crisscrossing the state. The differences between locations and roles blur as employees interview one another on camera about what they value in their work. They talk about compassion, commitment for caring and dedication to the communities they serve. 

Where they work and live doesn’t matter. They share a Purpose.

The Purpose Tour, which grew to a week’s worth of activities in many KentuckyOne locations, is chronicled in the KentuckyOne This Week enewsletter, the employee website and YouTube. 

It is all part of a three-part communication strategy to engage employees in times of uncertainty and help meet organizational goals: 
  1. Articulate what you stand for 
  2. Involve employees in focusing on what is important 
  3. And overcommunicate.

In the Name of Engagement, Make Your Point
By Kathleen Deakins

The exit-row briefing quickly gets to it: If there is an emergency, you may be called on to assist the flight attendant. This is what you will need to do.

Now, imagine this briefing: Lighter than Air Flying Service is committed to your safety above all. That’s why we’ve created these colorful laminated cards, added charming cartoons and placed them at arm’s length in the convenient seat pocket in front of you. Handy versions translated into Farsi and Taglog are available upon request.

The point is?! 

That speech is not unlike what is inflicted on workers in the name of “engagement” and “alignment.” Employees sit anxious or bored, clueless of the point, while managers spin complex yarns of the economy, regulatory process, sales cycle or competitive landscape. Why do we expect employees to be engaged before knowing if or how it applies to them?

It doesn’t work to wax poetic on context and background before offering “what’s in it for me.” 

Skip the soliloquy. 

Get to the point. 

Kathleen championed brevity before it was cool. She was also a tourist in her own town before it was in vogue. When looking for new locations to explore she prefers places that are off the beaten path and food that is a departure from traditional fare. As president of JayRay, she is known for making two things flawlessly: her point and a strong pot of coffee. 

Scaring Employees?

Are your communications a trick or a treat? Are you a headless horseman? Are your employees trapped in a haunted corn maze? Eek! Find out if you are making these five common—and scary—internal communication mistakes. DOWNLOAD IF YOU DARE >>