Effective Communication in Healthcare – Drumbeat Messaging

Creating an ideal culture in your healthcare organization requires a deep commitment to ongoing communication. Leaders cannot expect to convey their message effectively by saying it just once. Instead, it takes a well-planned and thoughtful strategy – or drumbeat messaging – to ensure that messages stick with employees.

What is Drumbeat Messaging?

For a successful communications strategy, it’s important to establish drumbeat messaging, where consistent and regular communication helps build a rhythm that becomes a part of the organization’s culture. A single drumbeat has little meaning, but a repeated beat can create beautiful music.

Effective communication requires repetition in multiple forms and across many platforms. Leaders should use a variety of communication channels, including emails, meetings, memos, talking points, intranet news, and even social media, to connect with all employees regularly. 

One email or one poster may not fully connect with staff. But, a series of emails, intranet articles, and meetings, combined with print communications can bring the message together and convey every aspect in a way each employee understands and resonates with it.

Tailoring Communications to Each Audience

In addition to using different communication channels, leaders should also tailor messages to specific audiences, especially when the information may be sensitive. Different departments, roles, and levels of the organization have varying stakes in each new initiative or policy. By customizing the message, leaders can better engage with employees and ensure that each aspect of the communication resonates.

Leave Room for Feedback

An often-forgotten aspect of effective communication is feedback. During our consulting, we’ve heard from many employees that say they would have followed the new directives, if they had understood them. Despite leadership’s best intentions, I’ve seen initiatives handed down, and when they reach the front lines, they leave more questions than answers. 

Face-to-face meetings should always be one part of a broader healthcare communications strategy. One-on-one and team meetings are the perfect way to listen to feedback and answer questions. 

According to Gallup, “A lack of role clarity makes all other engagement elements less impactful – employees cannot perform at a high level when they are confused as to what they are supposed to do.”

Creating an open and supportive environment where employees can provide feedback and suggest improvements is critical for a thriving organizational culture. By listening to employees’ feedback, leaders can better understand their needs and concerns and adjust communications accordingly.


To ensure that strategic messages stick with employees and drive meaningful change, contact Baird Group today to learn about our personalized consulting services at (866) 686-7672. Or schedule a free 30-minute consultation here


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