Internal Marketing: The Key to Successful Quality Improvement Programs

by Jude Carter

Thirty-one nursing homes in the Kindred Healthcare system have won quality awards from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. In an industry that is notorious for high turnover, low morale, and widespread workplace injuries among staff, these facilities have made a high-level commitment to investing in their people and continuous quality improvement.

We work with thousands of nursing homes across the country, providing innovative programs for workplace communication. Many of these facilities are engaged in quality improvement programs, yet the administrators will readily admit that they struggle with how to get their workers to embrace these long-term programs.

This is where internal marketing comes in. Most facilities think of marketing as something they do for external promotion. In order to get your workers engaged in a major change, you’ll need to commit to an ongoing marketing campaign targeted to them. Here are some tips:
· Launching the campaign with a kick-off celebration that announces the initiative, generates excitement and begins to build awareness for all workers.
· Understanding the Metrics – Employees at all levels need to understand what the goals are, how they’re being measured and most importantly how they will be personally involved.
· Communicating Results and Progress – When progress and results are publicized, and kept up to date, all employees know where they stand. Using high-impact graphics, signs and postings in areas where workers congregate is a great way to broadcast the good news and sustain buy-in.
· Celebrating Successes with employee recognition programs, rewards, incentives and ceremonies. The backbone of quality care is the people. The more they see your appreciation of their efforts, the more committed they will be.

How are you marketing your important initiatives to your employees?


Jude Carter
August 17, 2010

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