Every Employee a Brand Ambassador: A Message for Healthcare Providers (and others)

Think your clinical staff members—primarily doctors and nurses—are the only ones, or the most important ones to impact the patient experience? Think again. Every single one of your employees and volunteers has an opportunity to influence the patient experience while on the job, and off. In fact, every single one of these individuals has the opportunity to influence patients’ choices when they are considering a new provider or care facility.

While on the job, and off.

Consider this: a young family has recently moved to town and is in need of a care provider. The woman and soon-to-be mom (since women generally make healthcare decisions) finds out that her next-door neighbor works in the cafeteria at the local hospital. So she asks her: “Who would you recommend as a good family doctor.” That recommendation is going to hold as much weight, actually more, than the expensive ads you’re running on television, or your carefully SEO-optimized website.

Intellectually you may know this. But, behaviorally, chances are you’re not really taking any steps to do anything about it. Few healthcare organizations—in fact, few organizations in general—have a well-designed approach and process for developing employees as effective brand ambassadors.

What are you waiting for?

What do employees need to be effective as brand ambassadors? A few very important things:

  • They need to know that they are well-positioned to serve in this role. (Have you told them?)
  • They need to believe that you are a great place to work. (Are you?)
  • They need to believe that you are a high-quality, safe and patient-centered organization. (Are you?)
  • They need to have ready access to the tools, resources and messages you’d like them to share with others. (Do they?)

It’s shocking how many healthcare organizations (and other organizations) fail to do something as simple as letting staff—all staff—know when an administrator or provider will be on the evening news. Not just the leadership team. Or senior management. Or the docs. Everyone. Why? Because everyone has the potential to be asked by a spouse, family member, friend or relative about that interview.

Arm Them With Information

Without knowledge or background information your staff members won’t have much to say when asked about a news report they saw on TV or read about in the paper. Armed with information, though, they can be a powerful force to support your messaging—and add to it.

They can set the record straight when a news report doesn’t quite convey what you had hoped it would. They can help spread the word about an upcoming event. They can brag up a new provider or a long-time provider who gets exceptional patient reviews.

They can’t, or won’t, do any of that if: 1) they don’t feel you’re a great place to work, 2) they don’t think your services are worth recommending, 3) they don’t know what’s going on at your hospital or clinic.

Every Organization Needs Strong Brand Ambassadors

Much of the work we do is with healthcare organizations, and that has been our focus here. But, in reality, every organization can and should be taking steps to develop employees as strong brand ambassadors and advocates. If your employees won’t recommend you, who will?

Our background in both HR and marketing makes us well-positioned to help organizations of all sizes develop a plan and process to create strong employee brand ambassadors. Want to learn more?

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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