SBH Health System Employee Community Transformed with Workplace by Facebook

A collage of the SBH Health System journey to launch Workplace by Facebook

In healthcare making a difference for one person has network effects. For SBH Health System (SBH) in the Bronx, New York, implementing a Workplace by Facebook online employee community has produced several benefits for the hospital. In just 4 months the online community has:

  • Made organization-wide communication easier, faster & available via mobile phone
  • Helped the organization identify more engaged employees
  • Improved the employee compliance information experience
  • Increased nursing operations efficiency
  • Enabled a redesign of an improved crisis preparedness plan

SBH’s community has strong executive support across the organization, in addition to a nimble and creative community team. To further bolster skills, SBH’s team lead attended the Talk Social to Me Engagement Bootcamp webinars to learn engagement strategies and the nuances of applying them to hospital operations.  

Implementing Workplace by Facebook for our internal employee-only community has been one of the most transformative things that’s happened to our organization. For us, it’s been as big as the switch from paper to email or the advent of electronic health records.
— Michelle O’Gara, Assistant Marketing Director, SBH Health System
Michelle O'Gara, Assistant Marketing Director, SBH

Michelle O'Gara, Assistant Marketing Director, SBH

The User’s Choice

SBH is a busy safety net community hospital. Its 3,100+ employees range from unionized workers, millennials, people with no social media experience, part-time staff and more. Getting such a wide variety of users to experience the value of Workplace has been challenging. Executive sponsors wanted people to choose to use Workplace instead of mandating it.

46% of our employees now use Workplace and that is growing. Some employees are simply resistant; others use alternative mobile solutions like What’s App or text messaging. We do ongoing Workplace Wednesday training and as more people join in, letting them choose to use it will keep the growth sustainable.
— Michelle O'Gara

Tracking Engagement Via Keywords

Assessing tangible organizational outcomes can be a tricky aspect of community management. After the Talk Social to Me webinar about Return on Engagement, the SBH team brainstormed that they could track use of the keyword “Thank” to assess the level of employee engagement. In fact, a direct correlation was found between the individuals thanked and their level of engagement on Workplace.

Increased Nursing Efficiency

Recruiting and getting superusers engaged has also been a critical factor in the efficiencies gained. The Mar-Com team identified a nurse director as a superuser. Her influence touched a lot of employees.

We launched a Bed Huddle group to streamline how staff located, prepared and then moved patients into rooms as they were leaving emergency care. Previously, it was a more time-consuming process where staff had to walk the halls to find the resources—now they use the Workplace online group to post updates to staff of other hospital departments involved in the process. This saves time and ultimately improves the patient experience,
— Michelle O'Gara

Interactive Employee Communications

The employee community replaced an outdated wiki that had previously been used for staff communications and employee suggestions. Using the wiki was cumbersome and departments struggled to keep it current, especially the hospital's compliance offer who routinely shares a lot of updates. The wiki only offered one-way communication and was not HIPPA-compliant—a further constraint to its use. Now, the compliance officer uses Workplace by Facebook because its tools such as pop quizzes and polls offer more fun and effective ways to engage employees on the compliance information they need to know and use in their jobs. 

 Crisis Preparedness

A few weeks after the online community launched, SBH had a new opportunity to use the website as a critical communications linchpin:  A blizzard was predicted for New York. SBH’s crisis preparedness plan anticipated potential hospital operation disruption like power outages and designed a program to house those update communications in the online community to inform employees throughout service locations in real-time.

 Launching an employee community often presents myriad unanticipated challenges. Community builders should be resourceful, engaging, and ready to anticipate trying new approaches to solve the next challenges.

When I started the Talk Social to Me Bootcamp series, I felt like the work I was doing was a 7 out of 10 (where 10 is the best). Afterward, I feel like I’m working with new strategies and frameworks and that’s more like I’m doing level 10 community management.
— Michelle O'Gara

Talk Social to me is offering two webinars on how to build your user engagement data and measure success using Workplace by Facebook and Yammer. Please join us in May.