By Rebecca Soistmann and Taylor Hurst
As Covid-19 cases continue to rise, frontline clinicians are relying on leaders to cut through noise and reliably communicate need-to-know information. But leaders are facing unprecedented scheduling challenges and many are unable to use tried and true communication channels like in-person rounding and town halls to keep staff informed.
To increase your visibility—without overloading staff with information—build a personal e-communication bundle you can turn to each time you need to share an important update.
The Manager Toolbox is an easy-to-use portal where leaders can build personalized job aids in 10 minutes or less. See what it's all about.
The e-communication channel picklist
Pick 2-3 channels from the list below to use to communicate with frontline staff. Prioritize channels that align with your organization's existing workflows and allow you to reach staff across shifts.
Regular e-newsletter: Batch need-to know information in a single email, such as: number of confirmed Covid-19 cases, bed capacity, PPE protocols, and frequently asked questions. Nominate a single, trusted sender for this newsletter and send at a regular interval so staff know when to expect updates.
Targeted listserv: Send more detailed information to impacted groups in advance of an upcoming change. This allows you to provide group-specific context without overwhelming others with unnecessary information—it also creates a forum so clinicians can share intel or pose questions to the group.
Virtual brown bags: Schedule recurring "brown bag" conversations where a leader breaks down a specific policy, challenge, or emerging priority in 30 minutes or less. Structure the discussion around 3-5 questions from the frontline perspective to make sure you hit the need-to-know information.
Virtual weekly executive office hours: Set up a recurring time when staff members can ask their top-of-mind questions or concerns. Then, proactively share FAQs for those who weren't able to join the session.
Social media posts: Use your social media presence to share success stories and spotlight staff members that have stepped up to support your organization and community. Ensure you highlight a variety of contributors across your organizations.
And, regardless of the channels you include in your e-communication bundle, keep these guiding principles top of mind:
- Share need-to-know information early and often: Make it clear when something is high-priority or time-sensitive. Include action items in the subject line and highlight or bold high-priority information to keep it skimmable.
- Provide transparency around decision-making: When you can, include "the why" behind key decisions. If you have limited time, consider linking directly to relevant articles or supporting information.
- Keep all shifts up to date: Recognizing that schedules are changing day-to-day, delegate a note-taker to send out key takeaways after virtual meetings—or include a recap in the next newsletter.
Download our tips for running your own virtual brown bag
Executives can lead regularly-scheduled virtual conversations, or “brown bags” with physicians to share updates
and promote discussion across different facilities. Follow these five tips to facilitate an effective virtual brown bag.
In case you missed it: Make your COVID-19 communications to staff more effective
Watch this on-demand webinar for best practices you can use to keep staff informed. Our experts share tactics to limit non-essential email sends, identify and address rumors, and authentically communicate gratitude to staff.
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