Measurement shows Cleveland Clinic whether messages are sinking in

Hand hygiene. Book signings. United Way drives. The hospital’s metrics help it sharpen communications—and ramp up manager participation and roadshows when needed.

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For the last seven years, an internal group at Cleveland Clinic has pushed for continuous improvement, urging every employee to ask, “Where am I being inefficient in my work?”

The people behind the initiative came up with “a brilliant model” that breaks down the steps for improvement, says communications manager Kevin Kolus.

Formerly, communicators might have been reluctant to detail the multistep model in an email, because without measurement, they had no way of knowing whether they were successful.

“When you can start measuring,” Kolus says, “that allows you to take risks and see, ‘Was this better? Was this worse? Is it something we should replicate in the future?’ It helps you to innovate.”

The communications team at the world-renowned hospital broke the model down into bite-size chunks in an e-news format, demystifying a topic that previously may not have seemed immediately relevant to many employees’ workaday lives. This is something they never would have attempted in the past, Kolus says.

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