Note: This article focuses on internal communication strategies for your dental office. For information on running effective meetings, check out this article!
Want to know one of the most effective tools you have at your disposal to help your office run smoothly? The answer may surprise you--today, we’re talking about internal communication.
Based on the name, it is easy to dismiss internal communication as the act of sending company updates, either by email or some sort of portal. But that is only a small piece to the puzzle.
Consider this: a leading reason employees leave their jobs is due to a lack of communication. So, when done effectively, a strong internal communication strategy in your practice can be your biggest source of fostering culture, increasing employee engagement and decreasing turnover.
So, how do you leverage this key component of your toolkit? Well, the biggest consideration you need to make before implementing any plan is your team’s time. The average person spends 13.4 seconds reading an email and anywhere from 31-60 minutes in meetings--and that is on top of everything else happening in your practice. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your message strikes home and is easily digestible.
To accomplish this, the components of your internal communication strategy need to be concise, accessible and memorable. Let’s break these down.
Between emails, phone calls and, of course, patients, your team doesn’t have much time digest a lengthy communication before moving on to the next thing.
In order to effectively communicate with your team, you need to meet them where they are and make sure the information they need is dispersed in a way that is easy to access.
Elevate your communications beyond “top-down” information sharing and shake up a drab template to encourage a positive cycle of communication.
The bottom line: An internal communication plan is a key component in an effective business, but don’t just send messages without a strategy. Keep your communications concise and don’t bog them down with heavy text. Meet your teammates where they are and give them information in a way that is accessible. In addition to information, make sure your communications offer opportunities for your teammates to engage and make them feel like part of a larger whole.