Brilliant scientists. Empathetic care givers. Hundreds of support staff who keep the lights on. All of this in an environment that never has a day off. That only touches on the difficulties of connecting with employees in the healthcare industry.
What makes them so difficult to connect with?
As employers and human resources (HR) communicators, we need to realize that healthcare workers are unique. What makes them so difficult to connect with?
First, many healthcare employees are not in it for the pay or the benefits. Patient care really matters the most and taking care of themselves as the employee often is secondary.
Second, two-thirds of the workforce is fighting the clock of the rest of the world. In an industry that operates 24/7, many healthcare workers struggle with work/life balance. Simple things like going to the bank, arranging for childcare, and picking up dry cleaning can be a challenge when you work evenings, nights, and weekends or are on-call many days of the week.
Third, the diversity of a healthcare organization is really like no other. HR communicators are challenged with crafting messages that work with every level of the organization. In healthcare, it’s difficult to craft language that works with everyone from dietary and housekeeping staff to surgeons, nurses and executives.
How to tailor HR communications for healthcare workers
So what is the best way to communicate to healthcare workers? Technology has given us the ability to more effectively communicate with such a diverse workforce. Here’s how.
Personalize the content
Healthcare is a busy, fast-paced, stressful and rewarding atmosphere. Simplify the message by communicating on a personalized level. Use online tools like a total rewards portal that can be configured to present personalized content and data that is relevant to each employee. This removes the excess noise and allows the employee to focus on “what this means to me.” It also allows HR communicators to segment the message to the different levels of the organization.
Many times, employees ask their managers for HR-related content before they check anywhere else. By leveraging technology, you can give managers their own dedicated space with easy access to tools and resources that they can use to help their employees. This creates consistency of messages with the management team and ensures that managers have the right material.
Online access to HR content from any device is imperative for a healthcare organization. How else can you ensure that you are going to reach every shift, every department and every employee on a schedule that fits with their own? Create bite-sized chunks of content that can be viewed on a phone, tablet or a PC.
Leverage multiple channels
Repetition is a good thing when it comes to communication. Promote content through the use of targeted emails, videos and traditional print media that is prominent in employee break areas. Healthcare workers are not your ordinary consumers of HR content. Give them multiple ways to find the content that they are looking for.
Healthcare workers are special. You need to give them access to personalized content and data that fits their busy, stressful and rewarding lives. Creating an engaging, personalized digital environment is the only way to do that.