#nhssm: Staff social media engagement

I can’t make tonight’s #nhssm chat on ‘Staff social media engagement: what are the barriers and how to overcome them’ so I’ve written the below to help me think it through. Hopefully it can add a little to the chat too. Then again I may have got completely the wrong end of the stick!

Telling the world what you organisation does

Social media gives the organisation and staff a free publishing tool with the potential to reach a number of targeted people, e.g. local councillors, the local paper, and local people.

I find showing staff how social media can help promote the work they are passionate in is often a good way of introducing them to new channels.

Helping staff understand how the organisation’s is perceived

All communications teams should be constantly horizon scanning and picking up on how the organisation is perceived outside of their four walls.

While this is a basic comms rule very often the information gathered doesn’t get much further than the comms team. By bringing social media in to the four walls of the organisation you can help educate people as to how the organisation and their work is seen, why it’s seen that way and how to maintain or improve that perception.

A round up of tweets to relevant teams by week (if you have enough to do that) or just passing on positive and negative tweets to teams would be a big start. A Twitter feed of mentions on the intranet is a good one, but can run into problems with people wanting to moderate which tweets appear.

Enabling staff to make better decisions at work

On both the commissioning and provider sides of the NHS social media offers people the chance to get customer feedback. If that feedback is negative it can be a good stepping stone to catalysing a discussion on what the service can do to improve. If it is positive it can help reinforce good service and behaviour.

But for now where I see the greatest gains to be made is on the commissioning side. By showing staff the wonders of the networked web and how it can bring useful information to them as they need it I see a time when commissioners aren’t sat together in a room with a few spreadsheets, but online with interactive maps, tweets bringing in relevant evidence and online discussion spreading best practice. That would be a giant leap toward evidence based decision making and continuous professional development via social media.