Senior living employees bring a spirit of dedication, hard work, and motivation to their job. But it’s important to remind them of the value they add to the community and the daily lives of the residents.
One often overlooked segment in many of the COVID-19 discussions is that of the employees in the senior living industry. From the staff caring for residents to the corporate teams facing record-breaking low occupancy rates, everyone in the senior living industry is facing increased pressure. That’s why we’d like to remind you to use your internal communication tools strategically to offer clarity and motivation for your entire workforce.
We realize it’s easy for marketing teams to focus their energy and resources on communicating with the external audience. But at this point in the pandemic, it’s worth noting your internal audience needs the same care and attention as your target audiences. Retaining motivated employees is always a challenge, and it has never been more true than now. By using the same marketing savvy you use to communicate with potential residents, you can help your loyal employees stay motivated and engaged with your community.
Effective Internal Communication
We know you need to do more with less, but we also believe it’s vital to focus on two key areas of internal communications: 1) operational updates and 2) workforce morale. Experts know that employee retention and job satisfaction are tied to an employee’s understanding of their job expectations. As new rules and regulations are implemented for COVID-19 management, you’ve likely been sending out a steady stream of notices and updates to the affected team members. You might be thinking of these messages as simple operational updates. But effective internal communication goes beyond merely keeping everyone up-to-date on policy changes. Building morale is as vital as those policy and practice updates. When your team feels positive about their place and role in the community, they are more likely to become your best and most effective brand ambassadors. But in order to accomplish this, every individual employee needs to have a clear understanding of how they contribute to the overall missions.
As with omnichannel marketing for external communications, your corporate communication strategy can also leverage an omnichannel approach. Recognizing that everyone needs to hear a consistent message, whether it’s practical or intended to boost morale, strategically choosing the right platforms to deliver that message can be the difference between success and wasted resources.
Reaching the Right Audience
A strong internal communication strategy reaches the right employees with the right messages. Segmented email lists gives you the ability to track open rates and actions taken by reading your message. For example, if you include a video link in the email, you can track which employees click the link. Tracking this data helps you improve your messaging and gives you vital info on which groups you need to connect with on a different platform. You can see what works and what needs attention.
What can an email campaign do for you? Consider using it as a newsletter to offer a mix of hard news (think policy updates) and soft news like celebrating anniversaries or birthdays. By giving everyone the same attention you give to your prospective audience, you’re building trust and relationships with the entire staff. Think outside the box by trying new or more creative approaches as you connect with your audience to motivate and encourage them. By trying new ideas out with your internal audience, you can find what works for your particular community and transfer that knowledge to your external communication strategy.
We know that data is a central component in any marketing strategy. By learning which channels work best with a small, internal audience, you can more effectively use those channels with a larger audience of prospective residents. Internal success will give you the confidence to pivot and change when old ways are no longer as effective. The bonus is your internal audience will also become more engaged with their roles within the community.
At Sabal Group, we can provide you with data-driven marketing solutions for both internal and external audiences. We’re here to help you navigate the shifting senior living marketing landscape. Email Maribeth today to discuss how data can impact and improve your internal marketing strategy.