engage health frontline workers

How to engage health frontline workers with other teams

Some of the biggest and most significant improvements happened during and after the coronavirus pandemic. This resulted in a bit of disengagement between so-called central medical professionals- doctors and nurses, and other teams.

Numerous tech innovations were introduced to improve patients’ experience, but what about the frontline workers who are at the center of the change?! Due to their hard work and dedication, frontline employees may feel like they are cut out of the work culture and community. It is time to re-connect the teams and create an engaging atmosphere everyone will benefit from. How is that done?

1. Build a solid communication strategy

 Healthcare workers go through periods of crisis a couple of times during their shift. Even though that can be extremely stressful for them, they need to stay calm and collected to gather and receive crucial information. Make it easier for them by building a comprehensive internal communication strategy that will keep them in touch with administration, IT, and other teams.

A solid communication strategy should be based on 7Cs:

  • Clarity
  • Correctness
  • Conciseness
  • Concreteness
  • Courtesy
  • Consideration
  • Completeness.

On top of that, all teams within the organization should be on the same page, meaning that they should follow the same principles and strive toward the same goals. That way, frontline workers will know what to expect from colleagues from other teams and vice versa!

2. Include HR in the process

The HR department is continuously in touch with all the teams in the company. They are somewhat responsible for the engagement, so don’t exclude them from the process. When the engagement is low, HR doesn’t receive the necessary data and information. This results in poor communication between the teams and departments. What should you do?

  • Ask HR to organize regular meetings where frontline workers and headquarters can share their thoughts
  • Each side can point out doubts and problems regarding the work in healthcare, and come up with solutions together
  • Create projects where frontline workers and other teams collaborate

3. Use the power of video in communication

One of the most popular ways of consuming content and obtaining necessary information is through videos. Many organizations make mistakes in messaging or emailing updates and news to their employees. Why is that wrong? Keep in mind that medical professionals working on the frontline don’t have the time to read any of that. This will lead to their further disengagement and a bigger gap between them and other teams.

So, utilize the power of videos! They are short, simple, and easy to understand. On top of that, frontline employees would prefer to see and listen to their colleagues, then read a corporate message. Each informative video shouldn’t be more than 5 minutes long. This brings messages to life and helps engage frontline employees with the rest of the organization.

4. Take everyone’s opinion into consideration

Healthcare professionals often feel left out. They are on the frontline dealing with patients and crises, while other people make decisions for them! Such practice results in disengagement and dissatisfaction, which mostly affects frontline workers’ motivation as well.

Even though they are busy with work, make them feel like part of the team by including their opinion in the final decision. How can you do so?

  • Conduct short surveys to gather opinions
  • Organize short brainstorming meetings
  • Ask them informally about their preferences
  • Message them

5. Pick adequate tools for engagement

By now, most healthcare organizations use some kind of employee app, such as emails and video call tools. Have you asked yourself how often can a frontline healthcare professional check their phone and have a full-blown online meeting? Therefore, picking adequate engagement apps is vital for your teams.

What kind of tools and apps do your frontline healthcare workers need?

  • Communication and messaging apps
  • Video conferencing tools
  • Emails
  • Calculators
  • Professional apps (DocHealth, Complete Anatomy…)
  • Employee apps

Employee apps, such as Blink, allow your frontline workers to integrate and engage with other teams. Apps like those offer the instant messaging feature, as well as a social media feed. These employees can keep up with relevant news and information from the company. Checking them only takes a couple of minutes, which is ideal for workers in a rush!

6. Facilitate two-way communication

In every team, two-way communication is crucial for success. However, frontline workers are often neglected. They are expected to receive information and act according to them, yet they don’t provide feedback. This can seriously damage your organization!

Frontline healthcare professionals are the ones in touch with patients and other medical staff. They have insight into information that can boost and improve the business of the hospital, clinic, or private practice. By facilitating two-way communication, you’re giving them a chance to voice their concerns, as well as give ideas on how to improve practices. This will lead to better in-house engagement as well as more satisfied patients and employees!

7. Implement recognition and reward programs

Healthcare is a vicious field where frontline workers get a short end. As they are at the heart of the crisis and urgent happenings, they might feel neglected or underappreciated by the organization they work for. Long shifts and overtime work don’t contribute to feeling better either!

So, how can you show appreciation for your team? Implement recognition and reward programs!

For instance, create social media posts and provide them with special benefits. That is an ideal opportunity for frontline employees to get in touch with the marketing department and work together on a project. Also, consider including a compensation and benefits team that will help you and frontline workers come up with adequate rewards for their hard work.

8. Improve onboarding and L&D

As a necessary part of every organization, onboarding is a process of introducing employees to their workspace and environment. Onboarding helps employees meet their colleagues and coworkers, as well as integrate into the team as best as possible. Sadly, such practice is not always common when it comes to frontline workers in healthcare, as quick adaptation is needed!

What are some of the ways you can work on onboarding and learning and development for healthcare workers?

  • Provide materials they can read in their free time
  • Organize welcome meeting
  • Consider town hall for newcomers
  • Provide always available seminars, courses, and webinars on online platforms
  • Encourage team buildings to get to know each other

Final thoughts

Did you know that over 80% of healthcare workers think they don’t receive the necessary information from the headquarters and other teams in the organization? This will create a gap between teams, which leads to disengagement!

So, use these 8 tips to keep frontline workers up to date and gather their feedback for improved internal engagement.

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