Revamping internal communications in healthcare for increased engagement

September 25, 2016 Tushneem Dhamagadda Employee Analytics, Employee Engagement Strategies, Internal Communications, Talent Acquisition and Recruitment Tags: , , , 0 Comments

If you are working or have ever worked in a healthcare system, including hospitals, urgent care clinics, laboratories and pharmacies, you know how tough it is to get information from management or know what is happening in your company in general. Most healthcare workers, including physicians, nurses, lab technicians and others, are always on the move making it tough to access any intranet website on a desktop. Not only that, complex access restrictions and protocols make accessing these websites even more tougher. A recent survey of communicators in the healthcare industry and found that 63% of those that responded named reaching non-desk employees and volunteers as their biggest challenge.

Lack of proper communication and disengaged employees results in high turnover. According to the Human Resource Management Association, 20.4 % of health care employees (one in five) quit their jobs every year. This is a serious concern, especially in the healthcare industry, where when employees leave, their workload is often assigned to another employee, which causes stress and exhaustion thus affecting the care patients get as well. Employee turnover and new talent acquisition costs companies a lot as explained in a previous post.

So how can the healthcare industry revamp their internal communications and engagement? Here are some tips.

Access to Mobile

Although most hospitals and healthcare companies restrict the usage of mobile devices by their employees primarily due to security concerns, they have to realize that they can’t keep those old restrictions in place for much longer. 67% of hospitals have reported that nurses are using their iPhones, Androids, and other devices to support clinical communications and workflow, according to a report by Spyglass Consulting Group. This trend in mobile phone usage will increase as millennials replace retiring employees. It is estimated that millennials will form the majority of the healthcare workforce by 2025. Mobile makes it easy to access information on the go and enables delivery of highly personalized content.

Engaging Content

Instead of pushing content with lot of text, create engaging content with videos and also include other interesting formats such as quizzes and challenges that make it fun. In addition to creating your own content, let your employees submit their own stories from the field, such as interesting cases, success stories, patient testimonials etc. Healthcare administrators can review and curate these employee stories and publish them back to other employees. In monitoring and properly channeling user submitted content, HR can achieve their objectives better than a free for social feed.  By getting the right content to right segments, it will help educate employees in various policies, keep them updated and inspire them, thus increasing transparency, trust and loyalty.

Instant Feedback & Analytics

It is important to get feedback from your employees on a periodic basis and act on it immediately. Analytics on content provides passive feedback to healthcare administrators – they can know what content is working and what is not. They can also look at which segment of their employees are active and try new tactics with segments that are not highly engaged. By pushing surveys, healthcare administrators can get active feedback from their employee population. Most companies today send pulse surveys to their employees bi-weekly or monthly. It is also important for to review and act on this as soon as possible.

Gamification

To increase the stickiness, healthcare administrators can introduce some gamification by rewarding and recognizing employees for consuming and submitting content. This can be done via leader-boards, points or badges.

In summary, as workforce and technologies evolve fast, healthcare administrators have to move quickly to revamp their internal communication platforms and strategy. Otherwise, they risk being driven out by competition that does. Lastly, in evaluating technology platforms, make sure to pick one that is comprehensive, secure and easy to use. Click here to learn more about all the benefits and features a comprehensive employee engagement technology platform can provide for healthcare companies.

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