May 15, 2018 • digitalmedia • Uniforms • Comments Off on How Uniform Programs Benefit Your Hospital
Uniforms provide standard dress for your employees, helping them stay comfortable, mobile, and protected all day. But uniforms also go far beyond their basic practical function. A great uniform program speaks volumes for your hospital, both inside and outside its walls.
The power of uniforms lies in their visual aspect. Your best business image, consistent branding, hospital organization, and a sense of unity and pride can all be achieved with the help of uniforms. If implemented strategically and in line with other branding, uniforms are a natural and effective extension of your marketing department. Here’s why.
Uniforms can make a stellar first impression that lingers. From a client’s first interaction with your staff, they provide a visual signal of organization, cleanliness, efficiency, and competency. As their name suggests, the “uniform”-ity of hospital uniforms creates an impression that your staff is first and foremost dedicated to the team task at hand. As in other highly regarded professions with uniforms, it may even make a philosophical suggestion: self-interest and even self-expression take a sideline to service. A first impression that your hospital staff is on the very top of their game, and that the business aspect of your hospital is on top of its game, can be invaluable to easing the minds of patients and families and building your reputation.
Many hospitals color code their uniforms. Giving patients, visitors, and families clear, simple visual signals regarding which of your employees is responsible for which aspects of patient care can be vital. This can prove even truer during unplanned hospital visits and moments of distress or pain when an employee should be identified easily and quickly. Nothing is more frustrating in a hospital visit than not knowing what is going on or to whom to turn. Florence Nightingale began to enforce uniforms among her nurses because of the dignity and professionalism they leant, but also for the clear signal they gave to patients that help was on the way. A recognizable uniform, when combined with effective and compassionate service, form a link in clients’ minds, and become mutually reinforcing associations for the benefit of patients, staff, and your hospital brand.
Uniforms are easy to customize with colors, names, logos, stitching, and even the design or cut of the uniform itself, without losing professional integrity. All kinds of modifications can be made according to what would best speak to the practical needs of your staff as well as emphasize your hospital’s brand. Something as simple as choosing a particular color palette or font can be used to complement other marketing materials and make it clear that your vision for your hospital’s identity is of a piece. The message and the service you provide are clear and consistent from outreach and customer service to billing and outpatient care.
Hospitals are workplaces in which sensitive situations frequently arise, and a need for discretion and patient safety are always a top priority. Especially in hospital wards that care for more vulnerable patients, such as children, infants, and the elderly, an extra level of care is called for to make sure that only the proper parties are admitted. Intruders have been known to enter such wards dressed as hospital employees, sometimes to steal away infants or other vulnerable patients. Carefully branded and color-coded uniforms increase the recognizability of your employees and therefore reduce an impostor’s ability to blend in or get past security.
Imagine getting free advertising on buses, subways, street corners, restaurants and coffee shops, and retail stores all around your locality. A brand-loyal employee around town or on break, if dressed in uniform, carries the reputation of your hospital along. Not only is your employee giving your brand free exposure, but the right hire will build your brand naturally by also embodying the values for which your hospital stands.
The “free advertising effect” will work best when staff enjoys wearing your uniforms. This first and foremost requires maximal comfort and approval of the design, which a professional marketing partner can help you achieve without losing any of your branding potential. But this also requires the uniform eliciting a sense of professional pride from the employees who wear them. If uniforms “feel” good, physically, mentally and emotionally, you’ve created not only a uniform solution but a holistic way to boost employees’ satisfaction and even their work performance.
Every service-oriented public profession, from police officers and military to the very finest of fast food and retail workers, rely to some extent on uniforms. A sense of unity and team spirit grow when a uniform is combined with a satisfying and positive work experience. And for professions with demanding and high-stakes environments, this uniformity has a practical as well as a psychological dimension. In moments of crisis, your team must not only visually appear as one; they must act as one.
Hospital uniforms also work like other public professional uniforms in this regard: building trust. When a patient does not know an individual employee personally, he or she can still learn to trust the office and thus become quickly capable of instantly trusting the person in a uniform representing that office. This feeling of trust and confidence can extend to your entire hospital staff and your hospital brand.
You have something unique to offer, and there are people out there who would genuinely benefit from your service. Don’t neglect to use uniforms as part of an integrated marketing strategy to make sure those who you seek to serve can find you and stay with you.
To make your uniform programs as effective and simple as possible, follow other hospital systems like MemorialCare, St. Joseph Health Systems, Redlands Community and PIH Health, and partner with Fontis Solutions. We’ll create a program custom designed to meet employee preferences, corporate standards, and marketing needs, all with a streamlined process and excellent follow-through. Contact us today.
Comments are closed.