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Message from Leadership: Say What?

Published August 4, 2014

Too much.  Not enough. Too vague.  Too specific. Too many opinions.  My voice wasn’t heard. I know I sent it.  I never received it. I need more detail.  I need more brevity. Send me an email.  Quit sending me emails.

By now, you probably know we’re talking about communication.  As Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, one of my responsibilities is to help our ministry with communications.

Over the years, we’ve tried a lot of different things to improve communications.  We’ve experimented with different content, formatting, frequency and distribution methods for our newsletters.  We’ve tried CEO brown bags, CEO open forums, and CEO blogs.  We’ve implemented leader rounding and executive rounding.  We’ve suggested team meetings and team huddles.  We’ve improved the usability of our intranet and SharePoint sites.  There’s no end to the number of things we’ve employed to try to improve communications.

And still, communications continues to rise to the top any time we solicit ideas for things we need to improve upon.  Results from a recent survey among Northwest Region leaders were no different.  So at last month’s Choose Prov meeting, leadership discussed the challenge once again.

One interesting theme emerged:  we know communication is the issue, but we don’t really know what the root causes are.  Do we need to improve the communication between individual caregivers?  Or the communication between managers and staff?  Maybe it’s the communication from the System and senior leaders.  Or is it the communication within departments?  Or even between departments?

Maybe it’s the content—it’s not clear, it’s too general, or it’s too technical.  Or perhaps the frequency—sometimes we’re bombarded with the same message multiple times; other times we feel left out of the loop. 

Could it be the delivery method?  Some of us like email, while others prefer a phone call or a face-to-face meeting.  And who is it you really want to communicate with?  Your supervisor?  Your manager?  Or the CEO himself?

The Senior Leadership Team wants to make progress in the area of communication, but we need your help.  We need you to communicate with us!  Tell us, specifically, what’s not working.  Tell us where we should focus our efforts.  Tell us what success looks like.  And tell us your ideas! 

By working together, and communicating with one another (good idea, huh?!), we can make a difference.  Communicate your feedback to nwsacommunications@providence.org.  We’re waiting to hear from you!