The Top 5 Alternative Influencers In Your Company…

Women sitting on curved desk with phone and laptop

And most of them aren’t even human!

There aren’t many other industries quite like healthcare, wherein the customer absolutely must come first. Putting the customer at the centre of everything you do drives positive reputation and the right kind of steady financial growth. However, within the running of your business, no single person or process makes your organisation successful. It is a finely integrated matrix of factors that defines your organisation and allows you to move up through the gears of great growth through interaction with your key influencers.

It is often easy to overlook the significance of certain roles, tools, softwares and processes in your company – such as dedicated messaging tools, flexible scheduling solutions, and company updates and news feeds that deliver contented customers and happy staff. The sphere of influence and effect, positive and negative, commanded by temporary and agency staff and the technology they use, through to permanent C-level management and investors is well worth considering when you are planning the next 12 months of strategy. Here are a few – some less obvious than others – that might help you…

1.     Influencer one: Your Staff’s Wi-Fi Network Provider

These days, the best providers of digital project tools work seamlessly offline as well as online, to support flexible scheduling for your staff in and out of the office environment. But that is not always the case. Who hasn’t experienced the frustration triggered by losing large amounts of input data or important notifications lost to the ether?

Of course, you can move from one network provider to another but they are often much of a muchness as they mostly use the same infrastructure such as mobile masts and fibre cabling in the same holes in the ground as everyone else, so we can’t really control all that stuff. The introduction of 5G may change this considerably but it will have to roll out to many more areas of the country.

Until that day, what we can control is our choice of well-designed, finely-architectured apps, native and web, that give your staff the confidence that they will not have to do things twice or lose critical information completely. It’s as simple as this really; when you are choosing the new digital application to support the next stages of your organisations’ journey, just ask the provider: “Does it work offline? Does it really work offline?” You would be amazed how many say they do, but really don’t. And you’d be amazed how happy everyone at your company will be that you asked!

 2.     Influencer two: Staff Aged Under 25

Clearly, the continued success of your team is inextricably linked to your ability to continue to attract great new staff. As people change jobs, retire, move house or get promoted, new people are needed to fill the gaps quickly. It’s possibly an organisations’ biggest challenge right now. And attracting young staff makes this even harder.

In such a short blog as this, there are too many variables to go through that influence a 23-year-old in their choice to pin their career to your organisation, including new things like environmental considerations, but here’s one that you might want to consider:

The best way to attract young people to come and work with you is to attract other young people to come and work with you!

Obvious, yes. But why? Well, the networking and influencing capabilities of people aged 18-25 is nothing short of phenomenal, and is far more powerful than your recruitment drives in the local press! It’s on a whole different level from good old word-of-mouth at the pub or in the gym. Your new, young staff member can influence the thinking of tens, if not hundreds, of similar young people. So, at the risk of sounding a little self-serving as a software provider, if on day one your new recruit discovers that they are going to be working in relative isolation with a ring file, pens and paper, believe me, everyone they know will know about your organisations dated processes by the end of the day and you won’t be seeing many more energetic young recruits around the place any time soon. And this viral negativity is potentially even worse if you use agency staff. And rightly so, in our (digital) book. So, imagine how powerful the opposite scenario will be if your young influencer is given modern tools to do their trade…

3.     Influencer three: Fleet Street and Social Media

We all know the power of perception. The negative influence of a badly worded or, worse, intentionally malicious social post can be catastrophic for your business. You may jump to disagree, but it is my experience that the ‘official’ media, including most well-established media outlets, are mostly fairly responsible in their approach to healthcare stories, even the salacious ones. Fact checking and regulatory controls are improving and support for healthcare workers in general is far more prevalent than criticism these days.

Of course, big media exposés still happen from time to time, and the actions of a tiny minority still affect the spotless reputations of the vast majority. This is always going to happen and all negative media coverage will have some knock-on influence on the way your organisation is perceived.

However, there are little or no controls over social media, and the influence that comments, pictures and accidentally shared data can have on public perception is huge. What the best companies do now is embrace most media and reveal the true stories behind great staff that they have. So, (and I make no apologies for reiterating this point when it comes to company culture, later in this blog!) making sure that you control the perception of your company by de-risking the way that information (both serious and silly), pictures and confidential data are shared amongst your staff means you are taking the right steps to make this massive influencer a safe and helpful one. And the best way to do this is to sign your staff up to a walled garden of media exchange and information communications, managed responsibly and contractually within a single platform with relevant, personalised newsfeeds and a dedicated messaging service. What people choose to do outside of this environment, in their own time, is their concern and you can sleep comfortably knowing you have acted responsibly.

4.     Influencer four: The Finance Department

A short but no less important business influencer is far from everyday-obvious. Often perceived as a source of frustration and budget blocking, the Finance Department should be loved more than business life itself! The efficient balancing of the books and navigation of endlessly complex regulation changes, VAT charges, HMRC initiatives, meandering Government policy, and local authority budget requirements is what will make your organisation sink or swim.

In the UK, most of us can happily take it for granted that the right pay for the right work drops into our bank account just in time for the banks, building societies and energy companies to take it straight out again(!) but that, and the continued success of your organisation is also down to the people we often talk to the least. Believe me, the powerful influence of an efficient Finance Department should not be lost on any of us!

5.     Influencer five: Care Comms and Engagement

How a workforce communicates with each other during a workday is so much a part of the job as to be almost invisible. It’s just always there from the day you start your new position, so no one really thinks about this huge influence on company life.

If you are lucky, you will work for an organisation that cares about providing the right ways to communicate for its employees. If you are the management of the organisation and you care about communication, then even better because I doubt you would bother reading this section if you didn’t care.

It’s fairly obvious that the MD / CEO / senior management have a huge effect on style and tone of communications as directives, memos and plans trickle down through the organisational structure. But does anyone stop and think for a moment about the other kind of message that is sent to workers by choosing to send company communications via inappropriate platforms?

As this is a blog, and a suitable place to discuss alternatives to the obvious, I’d like to float an idea about how a company’s communications get taken for granted and such an important influencer gets overlooked; and that is the ever-present push for growth from investors.

The drive to grow profits, often led by external investors at quarterly board meetings, can be relentless. The influence of this on the workforce can often be negative in the short term and high risk in the longer term as the first place that management is directed to look for cost savings and share price increases is staff compensation, productivity, and even office parties. In the face of frequent cap ex haircuts, no one would even dare to suggest that before anything else is done, the company needs to invest in secure, professional communications technology when a free app or two will do.

What I’d like to see investors communicate to their companies is their support of a professional workforce equipped with the right technology and, in particular, the proper communications tools reflective of the company’s position of responsibility. With the right technology, your staff can do everything you need in one place. That includes simple messaging and communication, full organisation updates and news feeds, flexibility and control over their and their colleagues’ workday, all in an effort to bring staff closer together, help them share issues and ideas, and make management much more available and accessible. In doing so, your organisation quickly becomes a place where trailblazers, ideas-people and innovators are openly encouraged and not crushed for fear of affecting the company’s share price.

Personally, I don’t think you could communicate a more lackadaisical approach to company reputation, security and client respect than using a free social media app, the same place you make arrangements to meet your pals in the pub, to communicate important information.

In my experience, organisations that communicate efficiently, safely and professionally are happier organisations. And it clearly follows that they will almost certainly be more productive, grow staff retention and are therefore more profitable. Growth shouldn’t start with cuts; it should start with modern company communications rooted in the right technology.

So, there are a few thoughts on some of the important alternative and less obvious influencers on your healthcare organisation. People at all levels talk to each other and other organisations either directly or inadvertently. Making sure that your next big change is underpinned by the benefits of digital security, accurate information exchange, and responsible community networking will mean that all those influencers work in your favour.

If we’ve influenced you to take the next step – then book your demo now!

Date posted:

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