RNU in Action

Internal Communications & Engagement Strategy Report

March 14, 2023

Improving communication and engagement of our staff, volunteers and members has been a key priority for the RNU Board of Directors.

Last fall, RNU started the process of conducting an Internal Communications & Engagement Audit and Strategy aimed to explore opportunities to improve communication and engagement with our members, volunteers, and staff.

RNU is working with Inner Strength Communication to conduct research and create a plan to improve how we connect and engage with our internal audiences. Inner Strength Communication has worked with a number of member organizations to improve communication and engagement for employees, including the Ontario Nurses Association.

To date, the internal research portion of this project has been completed. This consisted of 1:1 interviews with key leaders, focus groups with staff, volunteers and members, and an online survey for all audiences to understand the needs of our internal audiences.

The online survey for RNU members saw a 19% response rate, with 1010 members completing the survey: 85% RNs versus 5% NPs and 14% volunteers – 48% branch executive, 47% shop stewards, and 5% board members. Inner Strength also conducted a stakeholder review, channel review and an engagement workshop to articulate goals and identify gaps in operational systems linked to engagement.

Inner Strength Communication has built a strategy that highlights a plan to improve communication and engagement of internal audiences. Next steps include review of the report of recommendations and implement tools and tactics to help us achieve our goals.

It’s important that we’re doing the project. We know every nurses’ union across the country are being challenged right now. Our members are angry and frustrated. RNs are hard to engage, and it’s no wonder given the workload and burnout they are facing. Our staff is struggling and greatly impacted by the internal and external environment. We know our volunteers are struggling too. This project will help us improve how we connect with you.

In the coming months, RNU will share research findings and identify priorities and timelines based on the report recommendations. Our goal is to begin implementation of the plan in the spring and summer months. RNU will keep members and staff updated on this work as it rolls out.