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 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.
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.