Employee Comms

Creating an award-winning internal communications platform


 — September 10th, 2009

Creating an award-winning internal communications platform

In today’s world of overflowing inboxes, email over-saturation is an ongoing problem that plagues most of those with an Outlook account.

Even when you’re thinking to yourself… “but, my email is the most important!” there is a (big) chance that the content will get overlooked – especially due to the fact that nobody seems to actually read through the entire email anymore.

For the team at LifeLabs, a Canadian-owned medical laboratory company (www.lifelabs.com), ensuring that information was received by the right audience was even more challenging due to the largely mobile workforce spread across the country in 380+ patient service centers and 16 major labs.

With such a widely dispersed staff base, effective internal communications is required to ensure that everyone follows the same procedures and policies nationwide.

Not one to back down from a challenge, the LifeLabs communications team developed a new communications channel to create consistency for operational information delivery. The channel was so successful that it recently received a Gold Quill award for Internal Communications from the International Association of Business Communications (IABC).

“We have a widely dispersed staff base who serve more than 75,000 patients a day,” says Suset Silva, National Director of Corporate Communications at LifeLabs. “There are over 5,000 employees delivering front line essential health services to Canadians, and communicating new policies or practices is critical.”

Using the Poppulo email tool, the LifeLabs Communications team created a leader-led bi-weekly newsletter sent only to the relevant organizational team audience.

This channel, now known as the Leaders Digest, is a streamlined method for sharing important organizational updates, policy changes, and business intelligence for leaders to cascade within their teams. By funneling the content to one channel targeted at a specific audience, we were able to reduce the number of emails sent to supervisors and managers by 70%.

Unique to the Leaders Digest, a system of visual identifiers was created to further categorize the content included in the newsletter. These icons help readers identify which content is for them, what they need to do with it, and when they need to share with their broader team – further streamlining the communications process and empowering leaders in their roles.

“The development of the Leaders Digest was truly a team effort across LifeLabs,” adds Suset. “Our open rate continues to exceed our expectations at 84% and we regularly hear positive feedback from employees who appreciate having important information in one place and on a consistent schedule.”

Building on the internal success of the communications tool, in 2019, the LifeLabs team was recognized with a Gold Quill award from IABC. The Gold Quill awards are globally acknowledged as one of the most prestigious awards programs in the industry.

For more than 40 years, the IABC Gold Quill Awards have recognized excellence in business communication and is globally acknowledged as one of the most prestigious awards programs in the industry. The field was very competitive this year, with almost 700 entries from across 10 countries.

The judges were most impressed by the ability to reduce such a large amount of information into an easily digestible format.

“The fairly complex/technical and operational nature of the content, plus the considerable volumes involved, could not have been easy to consume before this channel was produced. Very well (and consistently!) done,” said one reviewer.

  • About LifeLabs: Labs LifeLabs is Canada’s leading provider of laboratory diagnostic information and digital health connectivity systems, enabling patients and healthcare practitioners to diagnose, treat, monitor, and prevent disease. We support 20 million patient visits annually and conduct over 100 million laboratory tests through leading-edge technologies and our 5,700 talented and dedicated employees. We are a committed innovator in supporting Canadians to live healthier lives, operating Canada's first commercial genetics lab and the country's largest online patient portal, with more than 2.3 million Canadians receiving their results online. LifeLabs is 100% Canadian owned by OMERS Infrastructure, the infrastructure investment manager of one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans. Learn more at www.lifelabs.com

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