According to Sprague and Del Brocco, “internal communications encompass every interchange between human beings within an organization and may be the single most influential factor in your organization’s success or failure” (Moss & DeSanto, 2012).
Some of the internal communications problem areas include a severe lack of internal communications between managers and non-managers; a feeling of lack of respect and value from non-managers to managers, and likewise from managers to non-managers; and a critically low level of employee morale across all levels of employee hierarchy, including both managers and non-managers (Moss & DeSanto, 2012). Low morale can contribute to high turnover, customer dissatisfaction, and low employee performance. All of these factors contribute to negative feelings employees may portray toward customers and to peers who may look for employment with the organization.
As a way to enhance communication internally, hospitals should focus on establishing a secure portal for employees to access for work-related communication. This portal, also called an Intranet, would include a number of communication tactics, such as: a monthly newsletter, a messaging feature, daily news announcements, meeting notes, and event listing. Monthly newsletters also serve a great function of showcasing employee achievements such as exceptional patient care stories, hospital quality achievements, personal employee goal achievements such as weight loss and/or fitness, and other hospital events. Most often, communication is in a friendly, more informal style that is easily read and understood by all levels and types of employees.
Employee meetings are another way to help enhance internal communication. Meetings between executive and mid-level employees and entry level employees should take place periodically and should serve the purpose of introducing employees and facilitating communication between employees of all levels. The primary goal of meetings is to ensure communication is taking place at all levels instead of just from the top-down.
When it comes to employee motivation, what better way is there to motivate employees to do their best work than recognizing their efforts? This can be done by giving employees awards incentives such as for performance or customer service, but also awards for years of service. Awards can be given in person at meetings or employee banquets and can also be listed in the employee newsletter. It’s important to recognize all levels of employees and types of employees at hospitals, whether it is the nursing staff, medical staff, allied health personnel, or supportive personnel, because all of the personnel work together to further the hospital’s mission to deliver exceptional care.
Employee events are another idea to increase employee morale. These can include fun events surrounding benefits registration, holidays, service projects, annual employee banquets, among other types. It is the goal of internal communication to increase employee morale with the benefits of improved employee performance, increased customer satisfaction, and better business stimulators. Each of these components are shown at hospitals in the form of exceptional patient care, patient gratitude and donations, and more patients seeking treatment at the hospital because of its growing reputation. If not for solid internal communication, those mentioned components would not be possible.