Self service is key to making the best use of the limited administrative resources in your hospital. Your IT and HR staff in particular can benefit when employees know how to find information without having to ask, call, or email others. This is particularly important for those employees that work off hours and might not have access to administrative staff. The key to self service is to make the information easily accessible, educate staff on where to find it, and shift the culture by reinforcing self service. It sounds so easy, right? Let's discuss a little more about how you can put this into practice.
The first step to improving self service is providing a central location for staff to find information. The intranet is an excellent platform for providing self service tools to your staff. If you are not taking full advantage of this tool, you should be. Great intranets should be the "one stop shop" for communications and resources that staff need to do their job.
Be sure you have the tools and information staff want and need available to them at their fingertips. The sky is the limit when it comes to the types of tools you can provide, but here are a few samples:
IT and Maintenance Work Orders
IT Downtime Procedures
Links and Single-Sign-On to web based systems
Policies & Procedures
Electronic Request Forms
Staff Education Tools
Trusted Resources and Content
Are your staff using a search to locate information? One of the most important things you can do is encourage your employees to search. Place a search box on homepage, in the banner, in the footer, make it visible. If employees are having trouble locating information with search, ask for feedback and determine how you might improve this with a more robust search engine or better keywords and descriptions on your pages and content.
Ok so now you have a great intranet with all the self service tools your employees need. How do we get them to use it? You may need to train existing staff on how to use the intranet. Try creating a training video or PowerPoint that gives staff an overview of the intranet. Make it available on the homepage so staff can start their self service by viewing the training on their own. Rather than emailing a copy of the training to the staff, send them a hyperlink to the intranet page where the training is instead. This goes for other resources as well. Get in the habit of redirecting staff to the intranet for information rather than calling or emailing them directly. This continuous reinforcement of using the intranet will in time shift the habits of your staff.
For new employees, many hospitals with a self service focus include an introduction to the intranet as part of employee orientation. Show new staff right off the bat how to locate the information they need on the intranet and set the tone for a culture of self service.
Hopefully these ideas will help you get on the path to employee self service. Don't forget to checkout our upcoming webinars and past webinar library on a variety of topics to help your hospital improve communications.