New year, new you, new communication model?
If your list of New Year’s resolutions does not include “improve my interoffice communications” perhaps it should. With many people resolving to achieve more at work in the new year, updating how you communicate with colleagues can help you both achieve your workplace goals.
As many health care organizations utilize email as a primary channel for disseminating important administrative information or urgent updates, it is important to be thoughtful in your delivery schedule. While easy and convenient, internal emails can quickly inundate inboxes and impact productivity and sentiment at work.
Striking the right balance of frequency and content is key to keeping colleagues informed and engaged. Communicate too infrequently and employees feel out of touch with the organization’s goals and policies; overcommunicate and they begin to tune out the information you most want them to read.
To maximize your internal communications efforts and ensure your important messages are read, keep these tips in mind before pressing send on your next internal email:
1. Be succinct. Since more emails are read on a mobile device than a desktop – particularly if you’re reaching a clinical workforce like nursing or home care – scrolling for content is almost second nature. As a result, users can often unintentionally scroll right past the crux of your message. Compose succinct messages and get to the point quickly to make sure your message is read.
2. Use clear, direct language and calls-to-action. Readers should never have to question the purpose of an email. Be clear in your message and request and avoid vague statements or jargon.
3. Choose your subject line wisely. It’s important to write effective subject lines in email marketing because overly clever subject lines or vague generalizations can be ineffective for your internal efforts. For example, avoid subject lines like “Monthly CEO Message” for emails communicating changes to employee benefits. And be wary of overusing emojis.
4. Utilize all relevant communication channels. Though email use for internal communications is growing, many health care employees still do not have regular access to email (and many do not have work email accounts at all). Keep these employees engaged in your communication efforts and avoid an overabundance of information for those with email by varying your communication channels. Use bulletin boards, your intranet system and EHR, morning huddles or employee newsletters to share information that may be less time sensitive.
5. Don’t give up! Don’t let the fear of overcommunicating cause you to abandon your email program altogether. Keeping your employees informed and engaged is vital to your organization’s culture and operations. If you are unsure of how well your emails are being received, simply ask. Conduct periodic pulse checks with select employees or analyze the open- and click-rate data from your email service provider. Adjust the timing and frequency of your emails accordingly.
Not sure how well your internal communications program is running? Consider a communication audit to establish a baseline and a plan for improvement. Lovell’s Engagement team can help! Contact us at 615-297-7766 to get started.
What does your Form 990 say about your nonprofit hospital? Read more for communications guidance on what to say — and what to do when there’s not enough spa...
Kristy Lucero offers advice on how to excel in a public relations career and the lessons she’s learned as a health care communicator working through COVID-19...