Margaret Mary Health
Background:Margaret Mary Health is a not-for-profit, critical access hospital located in Batesville, Indiana. They employ 850 team members across 12 locations and serve over 65,000 patients. Learn more at www.mmhealth.org.
Margaret Mary Health knew their communications were outdated. They had email, an Intranet, and various newsletters, but they were all housed in different locations. And the team at Margaret Mary Health knew they needed a channel that was more centralized. And with a team that was increasingly growing and more diverse, with more employees working remotely, an app was a clear choice to help solve their problems.
“When we were looking for an app, we were looking at improving internal communications, and making sure that employees felt communicated to and empowered,” said Adam Fischmer, a marketing specialist at Margaret Mary Health.
Knowing that employees were going to be at the center of any new tool, they surveyed employees to learn what they would want to see on an app, what would make them want to use it.
“Ultimately, employees are who we’re doing this for. We want everyone to be informed. And we want everybody to receive the same message as everyone else,” said Adam Fischmer.
So, Margaret Mary Health launched theEMPLOYEEapp to managers and supervisors in early March 2020 as the start of a comprehensive and strategic rollout plan.
…and then COVID-19 changed everything. By mid-March, the U.S. was beginning to shut down and the need to move up the timeline of their rollout became very clear.
“We were in the middle of the launch, but we realized this would be the perfect tool to reach all our employees because at that time we started to have employees working from home, we had people that were in departments that were temporarily shutdown,” said Adam Fischmer. “To get this information to everyone at the same time and to make sure they see it, it was a no brainer to use the app.”
THE APP: MMH Connect
A mobile communications app was an easy, cost-effective way to take their communication strategy to the next level. It allowed them to:
- Give employees access to documents, workplace resources, and other on-the-job information.
- Target content to specific user groups (e.g. physicians, nurses, supervisors, non-clinical staff, etc.).
- Increase engagement across the organization with the ability to like and comment (and multimedia content was easier to share).
- Improve team morale by having employees feel more connected to one another and the organization.
- Consolidate traditional communication tools by creating a go-to resource that houses all employee resources.
“The fact that we could target the content and get it to specific groups was a huge deal for us,” says Fischmer. “And the fact that we can hand over some of the permissions to managers and they can make the app their own. We’re really excited about that.”
With the app, they were able to share pandemic-specific content that their employees needed to stay safe and be effective in their jobs. This included daily video updates from their CEO and senior management team, daily graphs on COVID-19 cases at the hospital, Information on policy changes, and quotes and words of encouragement.
Outside of pandemic-related news, they use MMH Connect to share all regular employee communications. This includes, weekly video updates from leadership, patient testimonials, benefits, discounts, new team member announcements, the cafe menu, meeting recordings, and more.
LAUNCHING AN APP DURING A PANDEMIC:
Adam Fishmer: “The biggest lesson of 2020 has to be the fact that people during the pandemic are just hungry for any information and the most accurate information. People in the healthcare industry were understanding that this was a fluid situation. Things were going to be changing all the time. It was a new disease. So, the thing for us was, we needed to have a unified cohesive message that everybody could share. Because you have everybody in our organization getting questions from their friends, their family of what’s going on.”
So, when they changed their rollout strategy to give all employees access to MMH Connect, employees were incredibly receptive. They latched on because it was easy to use, the content was targeted (and therefore relevant) to them, and push notifications clearly indicated when there was an important update.
Launching a new tool during a global pandemic may sound daunting, but the Margaret Mary Health team knew the importance of reaching all team members, including their board of directors, with critical information and updates. As a result of this strategy that put the employee experience first, the team has seen some great wins in their first year of using the app:
- 96% of staff have registered for the app.
- Employees go out of their way to tell the team in charge of the app that they like the content and look forward to daily updates.
- Team members who didn’t have a computer or who had a shared computer can now access what they need from anywhere, including offsite.
And having a tool like this has opened up the future of communication at the company to allow them to continue to improve targeted content, give them a way to easily poll all employees for feedback, and the ability to enable two-way communication. The team plans to begin an ask the CEO series where any employee can ask any question of the CEO that he will answer through the app to increase trust and transparency.