In every healthcare sector and organisation, significant digital transformations are underway. Whether it’s automating certain aspects of patient care, digitising as many patient interactions as possible, streamlining access to information, and other digital-first initiatives, all eyes are on transforming patient outcomes, satisfaction, and even the bottom line.
But to really make a difference in patient experience, it can actually be effective to start on the inside—by using technology to enhance employee experience. The research has been loud and clear that there’s a strong link between employee engagement and quality of work performance. Patient safety and hospital profits in particular improve when healthcare employees are engaged.
Just as technology is the way to engage today’s patient and community populations, and even to improve data quality and support cost-saving measures, it is also the way to improve engagement within the ranks of the healthcare workforce.
Using Technology to Empower & Engage Your Healthcare Workforce
The benefits are multifold: for starters, there is the simple matter of improving employee experience and the power of technology to do that. For another, for all team members to adopt the massive digital changes that are impacting their roles, the vision and the steps to achieving it needs to be communicated in ways that are clear and empowering.
That can obviously be harder than it sounds, and you can’t have sweeping organisational change if you can’t successfully communicate. Healthcare team members are often on the frontlines, deskless, working in urgent situations, and serving in a diverse set of roles.
An employee app can help bridge the gap, bringing communication to your workforce wherever they are, rather than forcing your workforce to go to the communication.
Here we’ll look at three instances in healthcare where organisations successfully adopted an employee communications app that helped them to overcome specific challenges, unite disparate workforces, and get employee buy-in for major organisational change.
#1 The challenge: lack of timeliness and clarity of information had damaged employee morale
Springfield Home Care offers a range of specialised care services and has more than 425 beds across five care homes in York, Leeds and Ilkley. Their six regional offices cover Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East.
Being so spread out brought challenges in clarity and consistency of information sharing. Communication between employees and leaders was spotty, and a lack of recognition had a devastating impact on morale. The internal comms team heard repeatedly from employees that communications were unclear and overall poor.
The solution: an employee app that allows easy access to documents and keeps communication flowing consistently.
Looking for an innovative solution, they turned to Thrive.App. The resulting app allows them to share policies and documents in a way that’s accessible to all employees, and even during COVID-19, was able to pull employees together and offer a means of supporting one another.
Most-loved features: the Springfield leadership team has received great feedback about both the Recognition feature, which allows team members to thank each other publicly, and the Acknowledgements feature, which enables them to organise well-being events for employees.
#2 The challenge: a large workforce was spread out across locations and needed to be united in the midst of organisational and cultural change
Children’s Health Ireland employs more than 4,000 people—the majority of which are deskless— across five Dublin locations. Three hospital locations were merged into one organisation more than two years ago, and those changes necessitated new ways of communicating and engaging teams.
The arrival of the COVID-19 crisis introduced new urgency into the need for timely, accurate communication.
The solution: an employee app that could be deployed in a matter of weeks to vastly improve communication with all staff.
With the help of Thrive.App, Children's Health Ireland was able to launch their new app, MyCHI, within three weeks. This has enabled swift communication of key and important updates, as well as general support for staff during a prolonged difficult and uncertain time.
Remote team members have especially benefited from the app, and feedback from colleagues has been hugely positive, who feel more connected, supported and recognised as they’re able to readily share and receive information.
#3 The challenge: communicating organisational values and getting team member buy-in
Fairchild Medical Center (FMC) in Yreka, California, serves a rural community but has seen significant sustained growth and has added high numbers of new employees. But the burgeoning workforce wasn’t flourishing due to the lack of a unifying culture, and poor internal communications resulted in disengaged staff, low morale and high turnover.
Even as leadership tried to roll out new company-wide values as a way to gird up morale and reinforce company culture, the lack of strong communication during this time only confused staff and pulled them further apart.
The solution: an app with a powerful content management system and online support.
FMC invested in an app from Thrive.App and was able to leverage robust content publication functionalities that could get every team member aligned with the overall vision. Rather than feeling dissociated and as though they didn’t really know what was going on, the app facilitated circular communication and ways to recognise team members.
In particular, staff love features that allow them to get to know new additions to the team and even see the cafeteria menu.
Technology that powers timely, clear, accessible communication with employees is critical to the success of future-looking healthcare organisations. If you’d like to learn more about how an app from Thrive.App can improve your communication with your healthcare workforce, however spread out and spread thin they may be, we’d love to help. Get in touch today.