Your employees are saying: Tell me how it works

In the workplace, there are few topics that will draw as much attention and interest as the subject of compensation and performance management.

compensationHow does it work? What does it reward? How do I earn more? How do I get ahead?

Your employees want to know, because for them—be honest, for all of us—the paycheck is loaded with value statements that affect our feeling of self-worth and is second only to a meaningful career path. If you change the way your hospital or health system compensation system works, you need a communications plan to ensure employees know why and understand your decision-making and the equity behind your decisions.

Working in partnership with you, we can help you create a communication plan that not only builds physician, nurse, clinical and non-clinical staff awareness and understanding of your compensation and performance management strategies, but drives those strategies forward.

We’ll outline your objectives, identify your key messages, assess your audiences, select the best methods to communicate your strategy and document how you’ll measure success.

Recent Experience: Supported hospital transition to market-based compensation; helped a hospital to resolve payroll and overtime mistakes without public or employee issue; communicated shift differential changes across a hospital system.

Shifting the Difference

Situation: A large hospital system had grown through acquisition over a number of years. As the system expanded, it adopted a market-based compensation philosophy. However shift differentials were never adjusted to market rates. In addition, there were inconsistencies in how shift differentials were applied across the system. The system’s Compensation Director decided to tackle the issue and develop one market-based shift differential plan that would be used for all employees across the system. The change impacted thousands of employees, some who would get increased shift differentials and some who would receive less. It was critical that employees clearly understood the change as well as the system’s rationale for making the change and the new process that they would be required to use. Concerned not only about the effect on morale but the potential for the compensation change to become a public issue, the hospital system reached out to Tipton Health Communications.


Solution: Tipton facilitated a number of working meetings with Human Resources and department managers representing every hospital in the system as well as the major employee groups affected by the change. From these meetings, Tipton developed a comprehensive communications strategy and messaging. Tipton identified six different target groups and created customized plans for each. Tipton also provided counsel that led to a change in timing of the shift differential as well as increased transition compensation for those employees who would receive a smaller shift differential. Tipton’s strategy relied on clear, consistent messaging delivered in small group face-to-face meetings by the affected employees’ direct managers, who were supported by Human Resources team members. Managers were provided education as well as talking points. Companywide information was distributed after the face-to-face meetings took place.

Results: The hospital’s Compensation Director and Vice President of Human Resources reported that the communications campaign was completely successful. Employees reported that they understand the plan change and how it affected them. The Compensation department received only a handful of calls about the change. The issue was effectively managed internally and never became and external media problem.