Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) among health systems and IDNs seem to be a regular occurrence. In fact, PwC called 2016 the year of “merger mania.” While it’s a must to explain the benefits of consolidation to patients, stakeholders and the community, employee and volunteer communication is arguably more important. In other words, position internal communications as a priority over external communications.
Reasons include reducing anxiety about layoffs, removing uncertainty and improving morale. A Northwestern University study said “high quality communication has a positive relationship with employee outcomes, such as satisfaction, commitment and decision to stay in the organization.”
HOW YOU SHOULD COMMUNICATE TO STAFF DURING A MERGER OR ACQUISITION
- Set goals. What do you want to accomplish from your communication efforts with physicians, nurses, PAs, volunteers, etc? You’re likely looking to kill the rumor mill, reinforce desired behaviors, have staff parrot your messages, keep staff from bolting and ensure staff feel like their needs are being met/heard.
- Have senior leadership budget time for internal communications. Your IDN’s senior leadership is probably extra busy during the time of an M&A, but they need to devote time to staff. Write talking points for the senior leaders, and perform “media training” with them.
- Communicate frequently. Hospital leadership may be restricted from revealing many details, but pass along what you can via email, intranet, etc., and do so on a regular basis, preferably no less than weekly. In addition, give talking points to department heads and team leaders to disseminate to their staffs and volunteers.
- Communicate alongside the other provider. Whether you’re the acquiring health system or the health system being acquired, the leaders of both organizations need to participate in the communication process. The aforementioned Northwestern study said staff found this participation to be important. In addition, both communication departments should coordinate their efforts.
- Plan for leaks. You may already have a contingency plan in place for external communications in case of a leak, but you need to have one for internal communications, too. Figure out what to do and what to say from pre-deal to closing day.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media offers healthcare providers services related to media relations, crisis communications, internal communications, media buying, content marketing and social media management. Please contact Brian Lee, brian [at] experiencerevelation.com or 608-622-7767.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2017
‘Gateway’ Development at Essen Haus on Hold
(MADISON, Wis.)—Restaurateur Bob Worm today announced that he is holding off on his proposed re-development of the block housing the Essen Haus and Come Back In so that he has more time to gather input from the community.
Worm’s goal is to make sure the site, which also includes four duplexes, Lakeview Bakery & Deli, Hotel Ruby Marie and the Up North Bar, serves as a gateway of downtown Madison. All businesses will remain open.
“This gateway project would continue the revitalization of the east side of downtown that’s currently underway,” Worm said. “It’s going to be meaningful to Madison.”
The current buildings are energy inefficient, according to Worm. He will work with neighbors and city officials to figure out how to preserve the historic character of the buildings while adding modern amenities.
No timeline has been set. In the meantime, Worm and his staff remain focused on providing customers an Oktoberfest-like atmosphere at the Essen Haus and a neighborhood bar experience at Come Back In.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2017
Local Owner Opens Two New Anytime Fitness Clubs
(MONONA, Wis.)—Madison native Andy Gundlach announced today the opening of Anytime Fitness clubs at 2045 Atwood Ave. and 737 University Row to better serve the west and east sides of the city.
“We’re focused on making working out as convenient as possible, and that includes providing clubs close to where our members live or work,” Gundlach said. “As we like to say, our gyms work around you, not the other way around.”
The club on Atwood opened March 17, and the club on University Row opened today.
For new members of any of the 35 area locations, Anytime Fitness is offering a free month of coaching, the club’s new, all-encompassing solution to meeting members’ health and fitness goals.
Gundlach, who recently celebrated his 10th anniversary with the world’s largest and fastest-growing fitness franchise, now owns 32 clubs in southern Wisconsin.