A Winning Healthcare Employee Communications Plan
Creating a healthcare employee communication plan is challenging. There's a plethora of tools and apps on the market, and they all claim to make the job easier. How do you know which ones to implement for your team?
A single choice is probably not going to accomplish your goals. A combination of tools is your best bet to achieve optimum communication that benefits the company AND employees. Here are our favorites along with the benefits of each one.
First Off, Know What to Avoid
Endless, pointless meetings held daily are old-school and ineffective. Printed signs are expensive and get outdated quickly. Sending out dozens of lengthy emails isn't the best option, either. It's time to embrace technology to fuel your healthcare employee communication plan. Old-school, low-tech communication channels can still be used, but they don't need to be the only ways of sharing information. We've compiled additional ways that healthcare companies can communicate, and foster communications, with their employees that is faster, more versatile, and easier than the ways that have traditionally been available to us. Adding them to your employee communications plan can increase its impact for stronger, long-term success.
For those who haven't already adopted it, virtual meetings should be an integral part of a winning healthcare employee communications plan. For one reason, virtual is easier for everyone to fit into their schedules, as they can log in from their office or cubical. For another, it's more dynamic than traditional communication like dry, long emails or even phone calls. Virtual meetings are simple to implement. Choose one of the platforms like Zoom or Teams and invite the employees to a walk through.
It's a good bet that every single healthcare employee has a strong tie to their smart device. Why not use this to your company's advantage when you're laying out a successful healthcare employee communication plan? Using communications via mobile applications to convey important information helps get it to the people who need to see it most, faster than with other communication channels. Apps offer a way to send specific messaging personalized to the employee and tailored to their jobs and responsibilities. They cut down on cumbersome emails, which increases productivity across the company.
Top-down communication isn’t the only thing required to create a winning employee communication strategy. Encouraging communication between teams and departments should be a goal for good employee communication, and this is especially true for the healthcare industry. It’s never good for employees to only function in small silos. With tools like Slack, Asana, or Trello, workers from different departments, on different floors, and even those in different locations can communicate information easily and quickly. Employees involved with the same patients and projects can ask questions, share updates, and voice concerns with the other ones involved on an intuitive, user-friendly platform. These interactions cut down on back-and -forth emails that ends up with some people missing key information, and wasting time chasing people down to talk about things in person.
We mentioned above that a winning communication plan doesn’t involve one-way communication, which is where employee surveys enter the picture. Employee buy-in is required for new ways to communicate to work. Surveys that ask questions about employee needs, opinions, likes, and dislikes give management important insight on the level of success the communication efforts have achieved. Set up a simple, anonymous survey platform like SurveyMonkey. Send out consistent surveys containing well-thought-out, relevant questions. Also use them during the exit interview process for employees who leave. Review the answers carefully, looking for patterns of information that can guide you in building an even better communication plan for your healthcare employees.
Digital Signage Software
When you’re trying to build on your current healthcare employee communication plan, or starting one from scratch, you would be remiss if you didn’t add digital signage into the mix. The software, with its displays, is integral to building multi-channel, highly functioning strategy. Using digital signage for communicating with healthcare employees offers several key benefits:
- Displays can be added anywhere. Instead of trying to communicate via email that employees might miss, share information where they are, like the lunchroom, break area, and down the hallways they travel multiple times a day. Content that’s provided in these areas will be easy for them to digest, since they can do it during their typical daily activities. And even though the displays are in various places, digital signage software allows content to be managed from a central location.
- Different types of messaging can be conveyed. From safety reminders to company announcements to breaking news, content that your healthcare employees need to know can be shared via digital signage. Mixing the types of communications helps keep your employees’ interest because it’s constantly fresh and relevant, unlike old-style static signage.
- They grab attention. Sleek, modern displays with informative graphics and engaging videos draw the audience’s eyes. Using color and rich graphics do, too. These components keep employees engaged longer than boring meetings and emails and helps them visually digest and remember important information they need to know.
- Content can be changed quickly. When news breaks about new products, industry developments, or patient protocols, it’s vital to get this information into employees’ hands as soon as possible. Digital signage messaging can be changed quickly and updated on the displays seamlessly There’s little downtime which keeps the processes flowing efficiently.
Creating a winning healthcare employee communication plan is essential in fostering a cohesive, effective workplace. Moving past the same old choices and adding new, technologically advanced tools to the mix will undoubtedly increase the success of your efforts and forge a more powerful communication strategy. Plan on employing one or more of the solutions we've mentioned today to take your employee communication to the next level.