SOURCE: GuideSpark

GuideSpark

May 08, 2016 10:00 ET

ENGAGE2016 Conference Brings HR Leaders Together to Focus on Workforce Communications

Two-Day Conference Showcased Best-in-Class Companies That Are Dedicated to Elevating the Employee Experience and Drive Business Results

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwired - May 8, 2016) - On May 4-5, nearly 200 HR and employee communications executives and professionals came together to focus on workforce communications at the ENGAGE2016 conference. At ENGAGE2016, attendees heard keynotes, panel discussions and interactive activities in the pursuit of improving workforce communications and improving the employee experience. Specific topics covered included benefits total rewards, talent management transformation, culture, change management and financial wellness.

The event kicked off with an insightful keynote by Stanford Professor and corporate culture expert Charles O'Reilly. O'Reilly walked through the core of the Stanford strategy & execution business courses, and showed how these are applied in practice within great organizations. Through engaging case studies Professor O'Reilly demonstrated how strategy is linked to execution through the effective use of culture, and the role of HR and communications in this equation.

In addition to Professor O'Reilly, GuideSpark Co-Founder and CEO Keith Kitani presented how HR leaders have shifted their focus from engagement to facilitating a predictable and productive employee experience. Kitani showed how this seismic shift is transforming how companies communicate with today's employees who are mobile and have different expectations of their employers.

Another featured speaker was Mollie Lombardi, Co-Founder and CEO of Aptitude Research Partners. Lombardi shared the first in-depth research results on workforce communications. She unveiled data that showed how technology and today's mobile culture requires companies to rethink and reengineer their employee communications to drive positive business results and employee experience.

Additional distinguished guest speakers were part of interesting panels on specific challenges and solutions around topics such as communicating to employees about health care policies, performance management, talent, compliance and onboarding. Speakers included:

  • Ted Manley, vice president of Total Rewards and HR Ops, Dunkin Brands
  • Rick Merritt, CHRO, OSI Systems
  • Kari Ritzi, director, Benefits Communication and Marketing, Macy's
  • Larry McAlister, vice president of Global Talent Management, Equinix
  • Theresa Rabe, deputy director of HR, County of San Mateo
  • Laura Bell, director of Business Planning and Communications -- HR, Unum
  • John Luehrs, director, Corporate Communications, Unum

At ENGAGE2016, the first ever Workforce Communications awards were presented to elevate exceptional efforts and business outcomes through employee communications. Three companies were honored for successfully using innovative workforce communications to improve the employee experience and drive key business results within their organizations.

Winners of the 2016 Workforce Communications awards were:

  • OSI Systems -- "Creative Campaigner" Award -- OSI Systems conducted a multi-channel, creative communications campaign to support the rollout of the company's new HDHP plan so employees fully understood the plan, their role in becoming an involved healthcare consumer, and how the plan impacted them. This campaign dealt with a hard and complicated issue, and succeeded through thoughtful branding, messaging, inspiration and informing.
  • Aetna Insurance -- "Making a Difference" Award -- Aetna won this award for helping positively impact their employees' experience. The Aetna team transformed the often-onerous act of explaining a comprehensive code of conduct, by using a creative and fun experience for their employees using innovative communications.
  • County of San Mateo -- "The Connector" Award -- The County of Mateo won this award for improving the bond between their organization and its people. Faced with transition from its 30-year old ERP system to Workday, the county was faced with a massive change management challenge affecting more than 6,000 employees. The key to success was a creative communications strategy using inspiring and informative videos.

As the attendees networked and shared best practices, the beta unveiling of the Engage:Connect online networking community was announced. ENGAGE:Connect brings together professionals passionate about innovative approaches to workforce communications, and elevating the employee experience. It can be accessed at http://econnect.community .

ENGAGE2016 was sponsored by GuideSpark, Businessolver and ABD Insurance & Financial Services.