3 Questions to Ask About Your Internal Communications
It’s time to come clean about internal communications. To be more specific, if we mean it when we say that our employees are vital to accomplishing our strategies and are our most important stakeholder group, we need to step up funding, resourcing and, frankly, respecting the practice. At a time when we are responding to changes in healthcare with increasing specialization – marketing, branding, strategy, public relations, digital – the audience we say is supremely important is getting short shrift.
While we commit vast resources to marketing and advertising, the people who’ve already chosen us tend to get the least of our efforts and investment. The percentage of an overall communications budget is likely minuscule and focus on internal communications gets diluted among all other departmental disciplines.
We need a thoughtful and intentional approach with enhanced regard for communicating with our employees. Here’s a thought on how to begin…
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The Internal Communications Imperative
Ask leadership: “What are we truly trying to achieve when we communicate with employees?” Is it so that no one can say we weren’t forthcoming? Or is it to create an engaged group of associates who find fulfillment in helping the organization?
Ask yourself: “Are we giving our employee communications the same level of effort we would a marketing campaign?” You’re trying to win hearts and minds…just with a different audience. Do you have dedicated staff or specific expectations of those who are communicating with your employees? Do you measure your results?
Ask your employees: “What do you need to hear? How are we doing?” A common method of measuring internal communications success is through infrequent associate engagement surveys. The best practice is ongoing measurement that provides timely, meaningful information for consistent improvement. It’s a confusing and changing world out there in healthcare. We need our employees’ support, understanding and enthusiasm more than ever.
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