EE Voice

By Sharon McIntosh and Sharon Phillips

About this podcast   English    United States

The Sharons -- Sharon McIntosh and Sharon Phillips -- explore the internal communication implications and effects on employee engagement.
March 26, 2018
It’s spring, and the Sharons are finally on the same continent. Fresh from a month in Southeast Asia, my co-host Sharon Phillips was struck by the warmth and grace of the people she met in Thailand and Cambodia. Their ability to slow down and thoughtfully engage her in a conversation was a refreshing change of pace. It’s also a good reminder of how often we Americans fall into the trap of “seat-of-the-pants” communication. Yes, we’re communicating, but are we also listening? In this episode, we explore this topic, delving into: * What it means to be a strong strategic communicator and why it’s so vital * How to break the cycle of reactive, non-strategic communications * How to speak the language of leadership (hint: KPIs are your friends) And here’s another reason to pay attention to the role of internal communications in corporate America: 87% of IC directors expect budgets to increase this year. We share this and some other stats from the IC experts at Poppulo. If you’ve set a goal to become a more strategic and more effective internal communicator, we hope you’ll listen in.
Jan. 24, 2018
Talk about pressure. Our guest this month, Jeff Herrington, has written two murder mystery books, conducted countless writing workshops and served as a consultant for 20+ years to companies worldwide. Plus, he’s a good friend, a writing coach and a current coworker. So I wanted to get this podcast right. Fortunately, Jeff and I had a great conversation about upcoming trends that communicators should either watch – or watch out for – in 2018. These include: * How the #metoo movement will expand into emotional harassment and affect our workspace and communications * Why “how to” videos will become the norm * The possible emergence of alternative employee communications sites on social media (Yikes!) Jeff has a wealth of information and insights to share, so I hope you’ll listen in. Links we reference: * Home Depot’s how-to videos * Jeff’s recommended book, iGen, by Jean Twenge * How you can reach Jeff — at his site, Jeff Herrington Communications   PS: Sharon Phillips was traveling during this recording, but she’ll be back next month. We missed you, SJP!
Dec. 22, 2017
Our listener and friend Laura Field had a terrific suggestion: Pull our top guest tips into one podcast. So here it is. It was tough choosing since Sharon and I had so many edifying interviews over our past 22 episodes. But looking back, these were our favorites. Just some of the tips we discuss: * Mark Dollins on how internal communicators can influence their senior leaders; * Tamara Snyder on the importance of employee engagement; * Stephanie Bickel on the Shine Theory; * Andy Gilman on how to use current crises to inform your future ones; * Smiley Poswolski on surrounding yourself with believers; * And Ethan McCarty on mirroring your internal strategies with your own team. We have some excellent guests coming in 2018, so please subscribe, share and let us know if you’d like to address any topics related to employee communications — and how to engage your employees. PS: Sharon and I would like to take a moment to thank all of our EE Voice guests and wish everyone a happy holiday and Happy New Year.
Nov. 12, 2017
Ethan McCarty can freak you out, particularly if you’re an internal communications professional. For example, he recently wrote a blog entitled, “Don’t Measure Internal Communications.” Wait … what? And when I heard him speak at a Poppulo conference last summer, I knew he’d be a terrific EE Voice guest. Because he’s doing some definitively measurable work as Global Head of Employee and Innovation Communications for Bloomberg. He didn’t disappoint. Some of the arresting topics we discuss: * Internal communications vs. employee communications * How to balance transparency and integrity * The importance of measuring behaviors over awareness * The need for agility in digital transformations (and why Ethan is SCRUM-certified) * Why we might want to look at a three-month plan instead of a three-year plan And much more. You can follow Ethan on Twitter, @ethanmcc, and read his blog, where he writes “intermittently but with gusto” at
Sept. 19, 2017
If you work in employee communications, chances are you’re experiencing and communicating change in your organization. Want a master playbook on change management – in less than 30 minutes of your time? Well, here it is. This month, we are delighted to welcome Mark Dollins, our former boss and now head of Executive and Global Employee Communications for DuPont, where among other duties he is tasked with driving change management communications for the enterprise. He also managed the employee communication for DuPont’s “mega-merger” with Dow. This year his team earned IABC Gold Quills and a PRSA Silver Anvil award for change management, employee engagement and employee communications. Just some of the topics we discuss: * How Mark and his team communicated during the merger of DuPont and Dow, which recently closed on Sept. 1 * Current and new vehicles to engage employees during the change * How leadership/manager communication was key to success * How he measured success – and elevated the employee communications role with leadership And, of course, much more. Please take a listen, and let us know what you think.
July 18, 2017
Hard to believe, but we made it to podcast #20! (Sharon and I want to thank all of our listeners for sticking with us this far.) In this episode, we talk to David Cronin, chief technology officer of DevFacto, about how we can better measure our digital communications. David is co-founder of DevFacto, a Canadian-based consulting firm focused on improving human connection through personalized software. David is focused on defining the company’s service offerings, evaluating emerging technologies and working with organizations to inspire transformation. His passion for technology and human connection helped shape DevFacto’s first product, Sparrow, a new mobile communications channel that helps communicators engage employees and measure communications effectiveness in their organization. In this episode, we discuss: * How DevFacto develops its positive company culture, focused on transparency; * How mobile is changing the way we communicate and consume news internally; * New ways that mobile and digital communications can be measured; * And much more. Please take a listen, and, as always, we welcome your feedback.
July 1, 2017
This month, we handed the podcast reins over to Selbe Dittman, And Then Communications summer intern. Selbe talks to Professor Holly Hill about internal social media and aspects within it. Holly is the director of Web and New Media Services as well as an adjunct professor in communications for Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla. In this month’s episode, Selbe and Holly discuss different types of internal social media, what you can do on them, and of course, how to engage employees with them. Take a listen, and let us (and Selbe) know what you think!
May 21, 2017
Lessons we can learn from United, J&J, Steve Harvey (and others) Andy Gilman has had a busy spring. He has been a frequently quoted source by journalists covering recent crises, including United, Uber, the Oscars and American Airlines, and most recently, Steve Harvey’s internal note to employees, among others. As president, CEO and founder of CommCore, Andy and his team have helped senior executives, officials and spokespersons achieve their organization’s communications goals and often help them respond to a crisis. An award-winning journalist and lawyer, he has counseled clients for challenges that include “60 Minutes,” Congressional Hearings, FDA Advisory Committees, town halls, teleprompter speeches, new business pitches, crisis response and product launches. Some of the topics we cover in this interview with Andy include: * How company culture can fits into external crises * When companies should respond to a crisis – and when to let it “die on the vine” * Tools every internal communicator should have in his or her crisis management toolbox * The importance of checklists to prepare for a crisis (and why he recommends every communicator read the book The Checklist Manifesto) * Main tenets of crisis communications for internal communicators * How to collaborate with your lawyers when crafting a response to a crisis * And much more. Take a listen, and let us know what you think!  
April 24, 2017
“Mark my words,” Shel Holtz said in a 2016 blog, “Bots are coming to the workplace, to media relations, to public relations. They are coming just as surely as the web was going to completely disrupt the way communications was done a quarter century ago.” When we read that, Sharon and I knew we wanted to know more about chatbots – and how they will affect employee communications. Soon after, we met Chris McGrath, and knew we wanted to discuss chatbots. Chris is a veteran digital workplace consultant with extensive experience designing delightful enterprise software — like Tangowork, which he founded, and ThoughtFarmer, which he co-founded. Tangowork is his new company dedicated to chatbots for internal communications. In this podcast, we discuss: * How to define a chatbot (and why they were all the rage at SxSW) * A few companies who are doing a great job with chatbots today * Why internal communicators need to understand more about chatbots * Some great internal examples of how companies can use them * And much more! You can reach Chris via email, and of course we welcome your ideas and feedback.
March 15, 2017
Nearly every organization is currently undergoing some type of transformation. But are internal communicators changing as well? In this episode, we discuss the evolving role of internal communicators – and what training and focus areas they should be developing today to serve the company of tomorrow. We also hear from three experts in the field: Shel Holtz, principal of Holtz Communication + Technology; Jeff Herrington, who runs Jeff Herrington Communications; and Mark Dollins, current head of executive and global internal communication at DuPont. They share their views on how communicators need to evolve and change (and why Jeff thinks all of us deserve a new car!) Take a listen, and let us know what you think!
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