The COVID-19 pandemic introduced new internal communication challenges, from onboarding new hires to training and company updates. Adding the stress of remote work and quarantining to keeping employees informed and motivated seems like a nearly impossible endeavor. But internal comms was due for transformation before the pandemic.
With businesses reopening, pharma sales, marketing, and medical liaisons are resuming personal visits with customers. They’re often driving to locations, trying to read lengthy emails along the way. But as individuals and businesses, we’re moving too fast for traditional “read and write” communications channels to keep up. Emails, corporate intranets, and traditional learning platforms are now among our lowest engagement and lowest participation communications channels.
As a result, business leaders are looking towards higher impact ways to communicate, including those that fit more naturally into a rep’s “windshield time,” or when they’re traveling to and from remote sites.
Growth Through Adaptive Communication Models
What works one-on-one may not translate to scalable growth. When you start managing teams of hundreds or thousands, a more strategic plan is required.
Your favorite streaming platform is a good foundation to borrow from. Instead of presenting an overwhelming stream of information, let your team pick and choose the content that’s most valuable to them. Your sales reps may have binged the latest season of Ted Lasso—let them do the same with your company communication.
Newer hires may find more value in training content, while a healthcare marketing manager could benefit more from high-level overviews of company news and updates, especially in the wake of the pandemic.
There’s more to this strategy than an extremely likable Jason Sudeikis—audio and video content are 65% more engaging than the written word. It offers more flexibility, too. With a podcast, sales reps can get up to speed while driving to their next meeting or waiting in line at airport security. Paired with written content, audio and video are already accelerating internal comms. The key is finding the right balance between all mediums.
Building Your Internal Strategy
Communication has always been an essential element of healthcare; however, methods of communication changed during the pandemic. To develop your internal comms strategy:
- Build a core evaluation team. This squad should be as strong as the 1992 Dream Team. Think about internal groups and functional areas that might deliver content and get their input.
- Keep it consistent. Sending out communications whenever you get around to it will quickly lose your team’s interest. Build the habit of sharing consistently—your employees will build the habit of consuming.
- Get creative in promoting. With internal podcasting, set up push notifications to alert employees of new episodes. Regardless of the medium, techniques such as gamifying participation from employees or publicly encouraging their engagement work wonders.
Perhaps more than ever before, pharma professionals must be on top of the latest changes in their company and industry. With a strong foundation of communication, they can stay on top of those changes, driving better business results.