Ann Lester from Cox Talks Employee Engagement

    Building Reputation and Empowering Ambassadors through Employee Communications Strategies
    Ann Lester is the communications director at Cox Virginia based in Chesapeake. She has been coordinating internal communications for the company’s team in Hampton Roads since 1999, and now that includes folks across Virginia.
    Enhancing the employee experience is one of Cox Communications' five 2016 Focus Areas, and after significant changes in culture, Ann and her team knew they needed a strong plan of action to keep Cox employees engaged.
    At Cox, the key to employee engagement lies in building cross-functional partnerships that connect conversations intra-corporately. It’s an ongoing process, says Ann, but they started with a framework around common discussion themes, such as where the company is headed, what success looks like and how “I” contribute.
    Ann stressed that a successful strategy for employee engagement includes a variety of tactics, and it will likely require significant trial and error before you’re able to “crack the code.”
    She shared some successfully employed tactics at Cox, including Café Hours (a dialogue with the regional director), a weekly newsletter and Amplifi (a peer recognition portal). Cox also implemented employee resource groups focused on different topics like a women’s group and one for young professionals.
    The ultimate goal of internal communications, says Ann, is well-informed, contented employees because they make excellent ambassadors to the community. At Cox that means all employees should feel empowered to assist customers in any way possible. 
    Scenes fomr PRSAHR, April 20, 2016
    (Special thanks to Kate McClain) 

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