TRACK 2: HR Communications Strategies for Promoting a Livable Workplace

Thursday, Nov. 2

7:45–8:45 a.m.
Bonus Breakfast Session

Drive company culture and communication success by earning a seat at the table

Culture isn’t just about happy hours and holiday parties. Mental health issues increase absenteeism and diminish productivity, talent acquisition and retention are more competitive than ever, and breaking through the noise for internal alignment feels nearly impossible. For today’s companies, creating a thriving culture of productive, mission-oriented, happy employees is essential.

Employee expectations have evolved, and technology has changed the way we reach and engage them. The tactics we once used are no longer effective, and there’s an urgent need for communication professionals to confidently usher in a new, analytics-driven approach.

Dynamic Signal’s CMO and organizational communication expert, Joelle Kaufman, will join her head of global communications, Robyn Hannah, for a conversation detailing how they work together for communication impact, what executives need to hear from their communication teams today, and how communication professionals can elevate their position in the company to effect change and secure resources.

Communication is a serious business function with a responsibility to drive a culture rooted in business impact, and executive alignment is key.

Over a great breakfast and interactive conversation, you’ll learn:

  • How to work with executives who will champion your work and voice your impact
  • How to build a business case for an investment in communication
  • Why measurement matters, and why it might look different from your preconceptions
  • How giving up control leads to a more aligned, empowered workforce
  • How internal and external communication teams can join forces to support the entire organization’s goals
Senior director of global communications
Dynamic Signal
Read bio
Dynamic Signal
Read bio
9–10 a.m.
Opening Keynote

Culture blueprint: The nine building blocks to designing a high-trust workplace

Building the right cultural and social architecture is paramount to an organization’s business success and long-term sustainability. Through focused and intentional effort, leaders can design an environment that maximizes human potential while consistently achieving desired business outcomes. By forming a strong alignment of leadership behaviors and business processes, organizations will be positioned to thrive today and well into the future.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Draw on more than a quarter century of employee feedback to create a high-trust environment
  • Understand how to move the employee experience from transactional to high trust
  • Identify ways to better meet business objectives through listening, speaking and inspiring
  • Enable employees to be their best through recognizing, developing and caring for individuals
  • Cultivate team spirit throughout the organization
Executive vice president and chief innovation officer
Great Place to Work®
Read bio
10:10–11 a.m.

Showcasing organizational culture: How to use internal stories to attract talent externally

Some brands are synonymous with amazing culture, but what about the rest of us? Can’t brands in niche or otherwise unglamorous industries compete for talent with tech giants? For HR communicators, one solution is to use internal stories to showcase your great workplace. Mining your organization’s internal resources for incredible employee stories and sharing them with potential hires is the clever communicator’s recipe for success. In this session, you’ll learn how to find and publicize internal stories to complement your recruitment efforts and attract talent that gels with your corporate culture.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Find and cultivate stories that show off your organization’s culture
  • Create your own news from within and publicize it to potential hires
  • Use social media to trumpet your amazing organizational culture
  • Be known and beloved to potential hires before they apply for a job 

CHG Healthcare is among the top 20 organizations on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work for®.

Public relations, content and social media manager
CHG Healthcare
Read bio
11:10 a.m.–Noon

Silo crashers: How to get leaders, HR and employee communications on the same page with bold strategies

Cleveland Clinic is used to being on the forefront of clinical advancements, and its communications are no different. Learn what happened when this 95-year-old international health system sent an intrepid communicator on a mission to spread goals, knock down silos and become a broker of excellence across boundaries. In this session you’ll discover the role of organic knowledge-sharing in creating an amazing workplace.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Tear down walls that limit communications between HR, leaders and employee communications
  • Write to change behavior, not just for clicks and page views
  • Become a trusted partner leaders rely upon to simplify and translate organizational culture
  • Build bolder, made-to-order change management communications from scratch

Cleveland Clinic is a certified Great Place to Work® and among Fortune’s list of 30 Best Workplaces in Health Care

Senior communications manager
Cleveland Clinic
Read bio
Noon–1 p.m.

Lunch Break

1–2 p.m.

Storytelling for all: Creating a bold new avenue for internal stories that drive meaning and engagement in the workplace

Genentech’s product development organization had a problem: Its mission to reach employees with a consistent internal message and engage them to take action had been hindered by firewalls, fragmentation and siloed channels. Seizing the opportunity to transform internal communications, Genentech launched a bold new plan for a centralized, mobile news hub and an internal content strategy that strengthened engagement, business literacy and the organizational culture. The result: A new outpouring of stories from all levels of the organization. In this session you’ll learn how to bolster your communication channels with more effective content strategies that bring out your best stories and encourage a culture of participation.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Build a user-focused, mobile, internal news magazine that compels executives and front-line staff to interact with content
  • Find stories that connect with employees and tell them in a way that enhances organizational culture
  • Encourage a culture in which narratives emerge organically and get shared enthusiastically by employees across the organization
  • Secure buy-in from legal, HR and leadership stakeholders to minimize risk while pushing the limits of creativity
  • Promote a new intranet with results that vindicate your hard work

Genentech is among the top 10 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for®.

Senior leader, global communications for product development
Read bio
2:10–3 p.m.

Visual storytelling: The great brand equalizer

How many articles have you read telling you video and visual storytelling is the single most effective way to grow and retain a loyal audience? Hundreds? THOUSANDS? But you can’t just hit record and expect results. Acquiring and retaining an audience using video takes skill, strategy, timing, creativity, and yes, money. But you don’t have to be a massive corporation with unlimited resources. In this session, you’ll get a crash course on where to start (or how to fix) your video storytelling and why it’s the little details that really endear you to an audience.

You’ll learn:

  • The five key elements that make your video resonate with an audience
  • Formats, timing and trends: social platform best practices
  • Why the trend of full-scale “pivoting to video” will end in brand heartache
Content strategist, writer, filmmaker and producer
Ragan Consulting Group
Read bio
3:15–3:30 p.m.

Networking Break

3:30–4:20 p.m.

Transform your employer brand to attract top talent and build employee loyalty

It takes more than a slick career site and a clever video about your culture to attract top talent today. Plus, once you’ve got great employees on board, you have to work harder than ever to win their engagement every day. Employees who love where they work build great products and provide great customer experiences, helping your organization succeed and grow. Join Jennifer Johnston, head of global employer branding at Salesforce, to learn how to craft a next-generation employer brand strategy that uses the story of your great workplace to attract talent and build loyalty.

Participants will learn:

  • How to craft a compelling and comprehensive employer value proposition (EVP)
  • How to build a three-pronged employee brand strategy that will help you attract and retain great employees
  • Best practices tested by Salesforce for driving deep employee engagement that elevates your employer brand reputation by doubling down on human factors like purpose, feedback, giving back, equality, well-being and fun
Head of global employer branding
Read bio
4:30–5:30 p.m.

Humor and humanity: Engaging employees in an environment of whirlwind change

In Silicon Valley, coping with whirlwind change is just part of doing business. A 35-year player in tech, Symantec is far from its startup roots, but it has as much employee churn as the next high-turnover tech firm—even the CEO has changed four times in the past five years. Despite it all, Symantec’s Consumer Business Unit has managed to lengthen the life cycle of employees and increase engagement by 16 percent, using such techniques as continuous employee polling, video communications and storytelling. This session will teach communicators to cultivate a sense of mission and purpose in any organization using easily accessible tools.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Create a palpable meaning and mission to employees’ work and inspire extra-mile effort from all employees
  • Use continuous or more frequent employee surveys to address concerns in a more timely and effective manner
  • Develop the kinds of low-budget video series that get views and show the authentic side of your organizational culture
  • Use humor and human stories to inspire belonging in an ever-changing workforce
  • Earn trust among leadership with tangible results that earn communicators decision-making influence

Symantec was recently ranked one of Business Insider and Payscale’s 50 best companies to work for in America

Senior manager, employee culture and experience
Read bio

Friday, Nov. 3

7:45–8:45 a.m.
Bonus Breakfast Session

The top 20 tips and strategies global organizations use to drive employee engagement

Employee engagement is essential to every organization’s success. According to a recent study by Ragan and RMG, 87 percent of employees worldwide are not engaged, costing organizations trillions of dollars each year. The solution requires going beyond traditional communications. Join Bob Michelson, CEO of RMG Networks, as he shares the most compelling engagement techniques his clients have deployed, gained from the experiences, solutions and results of many RMG clients (which include more than 50 of the 100 largest organizations in the United States). Michelson will share specific and actionable internal communications techniques and technologies that have had a meaningful impact on employee engagement, satisfaction, retention and productivity. Featured will be best practices on types of content that perform the best, the design/look of content that employees respond most favorably to, the ideal frequency of content updates and new sources of content authoring that drive content growth.

Enjoy a delicious complimentary breakfast with this special presentation. You’ll learn:

  • Why and how to deliver personalized communications to every member of your organization
  • Why and how to deliver a compelling mobile internal communications solution to all your employees, with special emphasis on reaching your nondesk workers
  • The characteristics of internal communication messages that perform the best
  • Strategies for boosting employee engagement, satisfaction, retention and productivity
President and chief executive officer
RMG Networks
Read bio
9–9:50 a.m.

Culture and brand from the inside out

No one can tell your organization’s story better than the people who love working for you. But how do you engage and activate them as loyal ambassadors who passionately share your culture, raise morale and help create a truly great place to work? Hear from Kim Jokisch, director of employment branding and experience at Red Hat, about how the organization built its employer brand from the inside out. Discover how Red Hat amplified its unique culture both internally and externally, reinforcing its values and mission and cultivating a workforce that feels a shared responsibility for expanding the organization. In this session you’ll learn practical tactics for breaking down the most important silo of all: the one between employees and their organization.

You’ll learn how to: 

  • Create opportunities for people to share ideas, influence business decisions and contribute to important conversations
  • Inspire participation that increases morale and engagement
  • Capture and share stories about your organization’s business and culture

Red Hat has been recognized as one of Glassdoor’s 50 best places to work in the United States.

Director of employment branding and experience
Red Hat
Read bio
10–10:50 a.m.

Say goodbye to robotic communications: Rev up your culture with authentic communicators

Employees don’t leave organizations, they leave people. Employees walk when they don’t feel connected, inspired and motivated by the people in their organization’s leadership positions. Communicators can help stop the employee exit and foster employee loyalty by developing leaders who act and sound like real people. SAS started in the C-suite, pushing executives to be more accessible, approachable and authentic. The result strengthened SAS’ reputation as one of the best places to work year after year. In this session you’ll learn grassroots methods for bringing out authentic communication in your leaders, helping them understand when a script and suit are needed and when they should be tossed. Discover how creating more human communications can drive success, earn employee buy-in and attract and retain talent.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Earn leadership buy-in and be seen as an advisor instead of an order taker
  • Build a people-driven culture that defies corporate jargon
  • Help leaders present and communicate their true selves to employees
  • Develop strategies for establishing relationships between employees and leaders when face-to-face communication isn’t an option
  • Distribute internal information to employees that integrates the best parts of external communications delivery methods

SAS is among the top 15 employers on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for®.

Senior associate communications specialist
Read bio
11 a.m.–Noon
Closing Keynote

Harness the humanity: Storytelling that brings meaning to employees’ lives and work

It’s time to put aside scripted CEO videos and jargon-filled internal emails. Your culture and workforce are starving for authenticity and empathy. At GoDaddy, work and life exist together, and the results are spectacular. Executives share life challenges and obstacles overcome, and new hires offer their toughest moments and greatest glories for all to see. This is not some workplace utopia. It’s the result of a replicable communications strategy that fosters a culture of trust and collaboration. Attendees will learn the secret sauce for converting employees of all stripes into brand advocates and hear how to use stories to build a culture of trust.

Learn how to:

  • Enlist internal brand advocates to volunteer their authentic selves and bust silos
  • Coax human stories out of engineers, executives and everyone in between
  • Introduce a deeper meaning to the daily grind and bring out the humanity in colleagues
  • Bust echo chambers and achieve true collaboration between departments and remote offices
  • Find and nurture the humanity in even the most buttoned-up organization

GoDaddy is a certified Great Place to Work® and recent member of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for®.

Director of internal communications
Read bio

For event information, contact Customer Service 800.878.5331, or