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Ramping up employee communications as healthcare operations resume

Employee communications

Maintaining strong employee communications during a time of crisis is one of the most important ways to reinforce and even bolster your brand. When employees feel they are included and valued, you can positively impact recruitment and retention, boost morale and productivity and even improve performance. Ultimately, effective internal communication fosters a better culture and, in turn, strengthens your brand experience.

By taking a quick look at what your employees need, while keeping your organizations’ goals in mind, you can determine how and what to communicate and at what scale. It’s important to remember your communication needs to be intentional and consistent to create solid rapport with staff and to ensure the right messages continue to trickle through your teams to their patients and networks outside of your facilities.


Quick ideas for executing strong employee communications

Your internal teams have concerns and questions. As you reinstate operations in areas that were halted, for example, some staff may be worried for themselves, their families and their patients’ safety. Through empathetic, clear and transparent communications, you can show that you care about those who are caring for others and boost their confidence in the steps your organization is taking to move forward.

Know your limitations

Take some time and evaluate how you can effectively communicate with all employees — from the office and administrative staff, to the custodial and clinical staff. Recognize that their ability to connect electronically may vary, and their access to certain tools might be limited.

Provide options

Evaluate the many ways employees can connect through technology. Some tools can include applications like Redeapp, Slack, or Yammer, for example. Intranets or private websites are additional, viable options. But don’t forget about the power of environmental and printed materials like signage in common areas, information mailed to homes and newsletters. These tools can keep employees and their families informed and connected while ensuring everyone is on the same page.

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Be clear, concise and cohesive

When possible, limit the length and depth of communication, keeping things clear and concise. Simple messages help people retain the information. Intentional and cohesive communications also makes it more likely your staff will reiterate the same messages accurately to the next person or patient. When needed, longer detail is often served up better in video format rather than asking employees to read through too much text.

Vary “how” you communicate

Some people prefer audio or video over written communication. Some may even want the ease of quick, social-like posts. Find ways to vary your communication to appeal to your staff’s preferences.

Inform

Provide regular communication that’s well thought-out and informative, while increasing frequency and depth during highly critical times (like right now). Make sure employees’ basic needs, such as navigating benefits and options — particularly if staff members are working remote or are on furlough — are being met and communicated.

Engage

Find creative ways to emotionally connect, like sharing inspiration and reminding employees and caregivers of their deep sense of purpose — a collectively shared motivator. Reinforce your organizations' values in creative ways, because those are principles everyone can champion.

Praise

Most importantly, put heart into your communications.

  • Regularly thank your staff for their efforts and build in ways to recognize what they are doing
  • Create and activate platforms that welcome and encourage cross-departmental recognition
  • Enlist your leadership to regularly — and genuinely — praise employees for their tireless efforts
  • Reassure and comfort when needed
  • Ask for community participation
  • If you have furloughed employees, let them know they are important in this fight, and that you look forward to being whole again

You can utilize existing applications like Kudoboard, Motivosity, Qarrot, Recognize to get your entire organization to lift, inspire and celebrate one another.

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Patients will believe if employees believe

Having strength, cohesion and positivity within the hearts and minds of your employees permeates into the communities you serve. That internal unity is a truth that can be felt among the masses and it results in healthier communities, as well as a healthier brand.

Contact us with any questions. Core practices these types of communications and we’ve helped our clients implement powerful employee communications as well. We can help support or guide you, if or when you need it.

author

Beth Crivello-Wagner is the Vice President of Brand Services at at Core Health, Core Creative’s specialized healthcare marketing practice.

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