by Lev Mamuya, Account Coordinator
As we cope with the latest COVID-19 variant, it’s hard not to feel for healthcare workers in the hospital setting. High-volume work, staffing shortages, and intricate pandemic regulations continue to beset hospitals years into the pandemic. While their work remains vital, even the most accomplished hospitals are feeling financial pressure and facing high burnout rates amongst staff.
Healthcare providers recognize these issues as they attempt to retain, recruit, and train new staff in the current landscape. In many cases, this involves revitalizing communication processes with staff and providing strong, positive, and consistent messaging about the direction of the organization and its ongoing work to address stress factors and issues in the workplace. PR firms like Issues Management Group can therefore be a strong asset in helping providers achieve these strategic goals by providing support and structure for internal communications.
A firm’s work on a healthcare provider’s internal communications can involve several elements. Firstly, firms can work with providers to develop message frameworks that articulate the priorities and values of the institution. Once articulated to the staff, the hospital can support their vision through informational updates (all-staff newsletters, etc.) that provide proof of these principles in action. Whether highlighting collaboration between colleagues that exemplifies hospital spirit or providing information on promised policy changes, smart internal communication can highlight core tenets of the provider’s ethos and increase the degree to which staff engage with that identity.
Secondly, an effective PR firm can work to increase transparency between staff and managers and expedite the creation of solutions to operational problems. Through working directly with staff, firms can develop messaging that speaks directly and specifically to their concerns. When they have created a solid and honest relationship with staff, firms can help spot emergent concerns as well as workflow issues’ effect on each unique unit.
The summation of these efforts helps create healthier hospital environments. They can relieve stress from current staff that supports retention and create a more welcoming and approachable culture for interested applicants. By bolstering staff sentiment and increasing transparency between staff and administrations, PR firms can help providers weather attrition, recruitment standstills, and other trends in healthcare employment today.
Many healthcare providers first consider engaging PR firms for work on external communications – advertising alone has become a multi-billion-dollar industry for US healthcare providers, as community outreach and COVID advisories flood subway panels and mobile ad spots. But the progress a practiced firm can prompt by working on a provider’s internal communications is just as significant an avenue of support. In fact, using public relations tools to improve these aspects of organizational communication is perhaps the most direct and effective solution available to providers in times that have stretched institutions thin.