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Improving your hospital’s internal communication: What works today

December 18, 2015 | Strategy
Post it note for internal communication - Ten Adams

Let’s face it: Sometimes, your hospital’s internal communication plans get overlooked.

You might think people are paying more attention to your hospital’s website, social media accounts, your billboards, your TV ads, your radio commercials or your direct mail campaign. While it’s true that this is how patients learn about your services — your hospital staff needs to hear from you on the inside.

Think about it this way: Imagine your hospital is planning a merger. What would happen if everybody at your hospital heard about it first through TV news — not you? Yes, a little extreme, but this example highlights what can happen if you’re not communicating directly with the people who work at your hospital.

By treating internal communications as a high priority, you’ll build pride at your hospital, create brand ambassadors and help create an even greater level of trust between employees.

Here are a few ways to improve your internal communication efforts:

Connect to your hospital’s values: When you’re coming up with content, think about how your words match up to your hospital’s mission, values and current campaign. Help the words to be more than just a plaque on the wall.

Be interactive: We know you want your staff to read about your hospital’s accreditation from The Joint Commission, but do they want to read it? Throw some extra “goodies” in your Intranet, newsletter or emails for your staff. Make it fun and relevant to their work! Consider creating polls, highlighting employees or sharing the cafeteria menu. Do what you can to keep people reading.

Show your social side: The medium is the message. Make it easy and fun for your team to know what’s going on by giving them info on the social channels they’re already using. And, use it as an opportunity to highlight your team – your biggest asset! Publishing stories about your employee of the month or a great patient testimonial can bring a ton of engagement to your page, as well as making that team member feel appreciated.

A personal message is a treat: Do you just mail your employees their W2’s and nothing else? Time to spice it up! Include a relatable extra insert that let’s them know they are appreciated. Reach out to them or send them messages throughout the year. Don’t just wait for a big announcement; you want your employees to feel you care about them all the time. And when it is big, go overboard with personalization.

St. Mary’s Medical Group felt their internal message was so important, we planned an event and even hired an actor to hand deliver invitations to physicians offices.

When Wayne HealthCare launched a new brand and website, they sent personally addressed, custom invitations for their internal brand launch event to the home of each employee.

Recognize amazing stories: Your hospital is filled with gut-wrenching, life and death stories, with everybody working hard to save lives. Recognize outstanding work by writing profiles or Q&A’s with nurses, doctors or staff that go above and beyond. You’ll want to find people who’ve demonstrated your hospital’s values, both internally and externally.

Reach out to me to learn more about how our team can help you improve your internal communication efforts.

Written by Lisa Nelson

Lisa knows how to put clients at ease, knowing she’s on top of every detail of every project. That’s what happens when you’ve been taking care of business for 20 years, anticipating needs and managing day-to-day tasks that lead to monumental progress. From national brands to small hospitals, Lisa has managed it all — and managed it well.

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