More Lessons From the Pandemic’s Front Lines: The Power of Communication
- April 22, 2020
Part 3 of 3
Organizational change management is a critical tool during times of upheaval. Typically, OCM experts support large-scale transformation programs with strategy roadmaps, stakeholder engagement, communications and training to improve the speed, adoption and impact of change. But OCM principles apply during a crisis, as well. Given the reams of information and misinformation about COVID-19 clogging multiple channels, your employees, patients, members and customers are looking for clarity from trusted sources.
I conclude this series of Lessons Learned From the Pandemic (part one concerns caring for each other, part two was how technology is evolving as a response), with some valuable advice sent directly from NTT DATA’s experienced OCM experts, who advise our clients on how to maximize organizational effectiveness.
● Use one voice: Creating a single and consistent message and training leaders to deliver that message will improve efficiency and morale. It’s critical to communicate early and often and ensure that you are reaching all audiences: employees, physicians, volunteers and partners. Be transparent and empathic. Employers are one of the most trusted sources of information in a time of crisis, and how you communicate now will have long-term implications for your brand, including your ability to recruit talent in the future.
● Enable change agents: In overwhelmed hospitals where visitors are no longer allowed, physicians and staff have had a difficult time providing status updates to patients’ families. At NYU Langone Health, the radiology department — experiencing a drastic drop in patient volume due to cancelled elected procedures — has found unique ways to re-deploy its physicians throughout the hospital. One of those innovative programs is NYU Family Connect, which enlists volunteer radiologists to review charts, meet with care teams and relay the information to families with a loved one in the hospital. Enabling change agents can help overwhelmed cultures overcome challenges in new and different ways.
● Celebrate the heroes: Many organizations are finding ways to show appreciation to their front-line warriors who are risking it all to save lives. Healthcare workers around the world are being honored by first responders and grateful residents with flashing lights, singing and cheers from balconies. We can never say “thank you” enough, but acknowledgement — whether written or spoken or in the form of financial support — is worth its weight in gold. Northwell Health personified this message by thanking its team members in a heartfelt digital campaign.
It’s hard to see the light on the other side of this pandemic, but I believe our organizations will be smarter and that we, as individuals, will be a bit kinder and gentler to ourselves and those around us. Many of these lessons will be incorporated into future policies and strategies. But as care teams, patients, employees and partners continue to navigate this new world of everything virtual, NTT DATA is here to help with enabling technologies that are simple, scalable and secure.
We are proud of our clients and our many team members who are rising to the challenge at work, at home and in their communities as part of the very personal, human response to those in need. We’ll be featuring stories of their courage and resilience on our COVID-19 resources site soon, and I encourage you to check back frequently for updates.
Read Part One of the series: Essential Lessons From the Pandemic’s Front Lines: Being Human
Read Part Two of the series: More Lessons From the Pandemic’s Front Lines: Fast-Forwarding Tech Adoption