Case Study


Video Motivates Employees to Share Ideas with Management Getting 7,000 employees to believe that their ideas would be valued by mid- and upper-management was Kaiser Permanente's internal communications charge last year. Instead of using common and stale employee presentations, the corporate communications team launched an "Innovations" video campaign that took a more engaging and fun approach to departmental issues. The video resulted in a 24% increase in employees feeling motivated to share new ideas with management. The campaign involved taking a creative gamble on MTA Films, a Los Angeles-based video production company with an extensive healthcare background instead of using in-house production. MTA has worked with the UCLA Medical Center, the American Lung Association and Bayer Aspirin. The gamble paid off. So far, 800 employees have seen the video and employee ratings are promising. After seeing the video, the percentage of employees who felt encouraged to share new ideas with management jumped to 75% from 51%, according to Pamela Dean, Kaiser's director of public affairs for the Los Angeles Medical Center. The video effort followed an employee opinion survey last year that indicated employees needed stronger reassurance that managers were open to change and receptive to innovation. To convey this message to its two metropolitan Los Angeles medical centers, Kaiser put together a multidisciplinary, six-member employee commitment team including corporate communications, management and administration departments. "We wanted the employees to enjoy watching this video, our old [overhead-style] employee presentations were boring and the talking points were too complicated for managers to use," says Dean. She was instrumental in bringing MTA on board with a relatively nominal $12,000 production budget. Creative Energy From Outside In spite of Kaiser's elaborate infrastructure for video production, the creative projects tended to be too structured and polished. When Kaiser hired MTA for the 10-minute video project, the creative objective was to showcase employee innovation in a less structured, unscripted way, says Marshall Thompson, MTA's producer-director. Ironically, it was Kaiser's in-house production team that recommended MTA for the campaign and MTA used its technical resources for final edits. The campaign's primary communications goal was to showcase three innovative examples of how employee ideas had positively impacted various department operations. Its secondary objective was to motivate managers to show the video to employees. Using input from management, the video highlighted employee situations that ranged from an easy-to-relate scenario - a receptionist who designed a more efficient work station - to a highly technical example - two respiratory technicians who developed a high frequency ventilation infant transporter. The stories were shot using a casual hand-held camera and set to upbeat, urban music. The Roll Out To get management buy-in, the video was first previewed by more than 100 Kaiser managers, who were given a few simple talking points to introduce it. Although feedback from the managers who have shown the video is positive, their motivation level needs to be higher, says Dean. To overcome this perception, Dean's team stresses that the talking points are much less complicated than an overhead presentation, which typically requires several pages of information. (MTA Films, Marshall Thompson, 213/934-0336; Kaiser Permanente, Pamela Dean, 213/783-4496) 'Thumbs Up' Employee Rating So far, employees who have seen Kaiser Permanente's "Innovations" video, which show how workers shared new operations ideas with management, have given the effort positive reviews. According to results from its survey of 800 employees who have seen the video: 30% of employees give the video an "excellent" rating;56% thought it was "good;" and65% said they were either likely or very likely to bring new ideas to their supervisor. Source: Kaiser Permanente Communicating Employee Innovations Video can be an entertaining internal communications tool for communicating an organization's willingness to be flexible and open to change, says Pamela Dean, director of public affairs for Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles. Dean and Marshall Thompson of MTA Films in Los Angeles, who recently produced Kaiser's "Innovations" video project, offer these tips for launching an internal video campaign: Incorporate a wide cross-section of employees, encompassing different ages, departments and ethnic backgrounds;Poll managers for ideas oN employee situations to highlight. This is key for getting employee support from the outset; andMake the video's talking points easy for managers to introduce and incorporate into staff meetings. Source: Kaiser Permanente/MTA Films

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