This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

March 25, 2009

Sharing the Pride through Technology

Large multinational companies often use Internet technology to connect their far-flung employees for meetings and announcements. However, the cost and availability of that technology was never within the reach of local or regional organizations---until now.

Last week, in Springfield, Illinois, Joyce Gioia, CEO of Employer of Choice, Inc. gave the Employer of Choice® designation* to the entire Memorial Health System. Joyce was located with their CEO at the main hospital, Memorial Medical Center. However the event was webcast to two of their other locations, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital and Taylorville Memorial Hospital with live video feeds back to the headquarters' presentation.

Thus everybody could watch as the key players (not executives), representing various subsets of their 5400 employee population were given Employer of Choice® pins in recognition of their outstanding service. Rarely had Joyce seen an organization that so understood that credit for the designation belonged to the employees---not the executives. Using web technology especially supported that feeling of inclusion and pride. In all, 12 employees, representing the entire staff, received Employer of Choice® pins from Joyce on the Memorial executive onsite. And everyone in attendance (at any site) witnessed all the pinning, either in-person or virtually.

For the previous two years, Joyce had gone to Springfield to deliver the award to their physicians' group. In fact, in 2007, she had visited ten of their eleven locations, so that everyone would feel included. And of course, the health system wisely purchased trophies for each location to reinforce the recognition.

The entire ceremony lasted for a little more than 40 minutes. All of the employees felt great pride in receiving the designation. It was also obvious that the concept of servant leadership is alive and well at Memorial Health System. Joyce said, it was "exciting to be part of this multimedia, multi-site event that was accomplished without the use of expensive technology".

As these web technologies become more accessible and reasonable in cost, we will see more meetings like this one taking advantage of web technology to share the pride and connect employees to each other and the organization.

* "Employers that earn the right to be called Employers of Choice® enjoy a higher level of performance a, greater workforce stability, and the level of continuity that assures preservation of the knowledge base, customer loyalty, employee satisfaction, and a strong bottom line." The Employer of Choice designation is awarded to deserving employers after they complete an extensive application and score very well on the employee survey. (

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