Over 90%
of employees enrolled
77% of enrolled employees
participate every month
3x increase
of shares on Facebook
of staff recognized


Internal Communications * Employee Recognition

The Problem:

As told by Julie Vandersluis, Marketing and Creative Services Manager

St. Charles had 4,600 employees across four hospitals serving a 38,000 square mile area in central Oregon. Like every other health system with more than one location, keeping employees engaged and connected was difficult. We had all the regular channels of communicating with employees, including a well read weekly e-newsletter. However, we were still having trouble connecting with the front line.

Caregivers are focused on caring for patients, their co-workers and issues. They are not on a computer all day, so getting them to take the time to get informed was difficult.

The Goals:

1. Engage caregivers.

2. Have videos viewed by over 50% of staff.

3. Recognize milestone anniversaries.

4. Use merchandise from local vendors.

"I feel like the videos are always well done and highlight different populations we serve or groups of caregivers here, giving me a broader look at who St. Charles is and those we serve."
- Erin, RN, Clinical informatics

Our Solution:

We decided to call this program “St. Charles Sparks”.

Source great local merch:

The idea was to get branded items in the hands of our caregivers so after they watch the videos and are filled with knowledge and inspiration, they would wear and use St Charles branded items in the community. We wanted a few local options along with custom graphics so things felt extra local. Some of the local vendors create things like custom soaps, handmade pottery, and cutting boards from a local woodcrafter.

The only place you can get these custom items is through this program, so it has an exclusive feel.

Get leadership on board:

Because we wanted to get leaders on board and excited about the program before we launched it to the general population, we announced the program at the annual leader event. Our CEO presented the program and leaders were excited to share it with their teams.

On launch day, we featured the program in our newsletter and an email from the CEO went out to every caregiver. 600 employees logged into the platform on day one!

Share the Message:

While an important piece of this platform is internal communication, an equally great benefit is the ability for employees to share messages out to their social channels. The caregivers are experts in what they do - when the people in their social circles see them share a video they post, it boosts our reach and helps validate our message.

About 20-25% of the caregivers share videos to social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Total shares for videos from Sparks are 3 times that of non-Sparks videos.

Recognize and reward caregivers:

Milestone Anniversaries:

A key part of this program was to have a recognition component to it. Once a month, points are awarded to any caregiver that has a “milestone anniversary” - an anniversary in increments of 5 years. (5,10,15, and all the way up to 55 years!).

Caregivers Choose their own Rewards:

This was meant to be a BIG gift so we award 1,000 points for each year of service. So a 25 year anniversary would earn the caregiver 25,000 points! Both the HR team and employees love this option as it gives employees the ability to choose their gift in the moment or bank points for something they really want.

Extra Rewards:

Another way we use the platform is to thank and reward caregivers. Last year employees were offered a cash bonus or points on the platform. 727 caregivers chose the Sparks points. As an extra thank you, we created a video highlighting key points throughout the year and thanking the staff for their service.

"I’ve enjoyed learning and sharing many of these important messages about the ways St. Charles impacts the health of our community. The program helps us spread this message and it goes a long way in my opinion."
- Cindy, Foundation

The Results:

We hoped for 50% of the staff to enroll into the platform and 90% joined within eight months.

77% of the staff participate every month and 20-25% share each public video.

The platform also helped identify the top caregivers who participate in the program as brand ambassadors and also identify the least engaged people who may need extra support.

"I love these videos. Not about the points for me. It is about building up our community and their trust in what we do."
- Janice RN, Recovery