Casey Family Programs 1999
As Casey dramatically expanded the scope and scale of its mission, staff relationships were strained by transitional turn-overs and the mass infusion of new employees, increasing the dependence on email for the timely dissemination of key information. However, the proliferation of messages on a daily basis strained staff capabilities to keep up, rapidly reaching a sense of “information overload” at the same time that more information was needed to confidently move forward.
As part of an Internal Communications taskforce, Ken proposed and designed a database-driven system for pre-loading, formatting and disseminating information on a weekly basis, reducing the daily burden and scaling the presentation of messaging to provide a rhythm and framework for getting information out in a way that reinforced a sense of access and connection.
Information was collected from executives, senior management, key departments (finance, human resource development, etc.) and other operational units and formatted into a headline, brief summary, and linkages to the corporate intranet or responsible personnel for additional detail as necessary.
The system was administered by existing personnel; no additional staff was required; editing for conciseness and consistency, formatting and distribution required little more than an hour a week.
As a result, more information was “bundled” and distributed than had been previously scattered throughout the week, and additional “features” could be readily added, such as the introduction of new staff, help desk technical tips, and plaudits from the CEO.
- Central data base for collecting and formatting email content
- Distributed sourcing from information “owners”
- Scaled presentation through links and references for additional details
- Responsive to requests, recommendations for additional content for training and support
The system was subsequently extended to provide an online, searchable archive, relieving staff of the need to locally store the weekly summaries for reference.
The Weekly Monday CaseyWeek was supplemented by periodic executive team teleconferences with the regional and division offices, with technical support by Ken.
The Finance Department requested a customized version of the database for departmental-level staff news and information, and after installation and orientation, the department’s administrative staff managed the system without additional support for over two years.
An additional version of the database was repurposed to provide a single page summary of key meetings, decision points, and vacation/travel calendars for the Child and Family Services senior management team.
“Your commitment to research and depth of thinking on communication and feedback loops in the organization was most innovative and helpful to our proposed process of change”
“Kudos and more kudos for identifying this need and coming up with such an elegant solution.”
“I really like CaseyWeek. It allows me to get quick updates in one email. I appreciate the brevity and if I need more information on a specific topic I know where to find it. Thanks for helping me with work overload.”
“I am one of those people who have a tendency to ignore excessive email messages. I TOTALLY LOVE CaseyWeek in that it limits the amount of Caseywide email I receive PLUS allows me in one feel swoop to check out what’s happening.”
“I like CaseyWeek, especially updates on employee achievements, recognitions, promotions, etc. And I’m nosy enough to want to know who’s taking sabbaticals! Computer tips are great, too!”