Human Bandwidth is an Asset to Be Treasured not Buried

bored staffAccording to Forbes, staff engagement is “the emotional commitment that the employee has to the organisation and its goals.”

Some might rightly ask: ‘Why does that matter? Why do my staff need to be emotionally committed to the organisation and its goals to do their work?’

The simple and scientifically proven answer is this:

Engaged Staff Get Better Outcomes

How does employee engagement lead to better outcomes? The ROI of engagement comes from:

   Higher service, quality, and productivity, which leads to…

      Higher customer satisfaction, which leads to…

           Increased Business (repeat referrals), which leads to…

            Higher levels of profit, which leads to…

               Higher returns ”  Kevin Kruse, Forbes (2012) 

I am a firm believer in staff engagement. This might be due to my discovery that it actually works! It may also be related to my cultural ethos: as an African saying goes:

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together

Understandably, some people find that the time and resource needed to engage staff is a huge challenge. This can lead to those with power, essentially foregoing the engagement and forging ahead with their plans without staff input.

Several weeks ago, I was sitting on my desk after a particularly challenging day and I checked my twitter (I do this to re-energize) and saw a welcome tweet from Dean Royles (CEO of NHS Employers) to announce a new guide for NHS Employers to effectively use social media. I remember sitting at my desk thinking that this is a great step in the right direction: an informed approach to using social media in health care for a host of uses, including staff engagement.

A week later, I was approached by Nursing Standard to comment on the growing use of social media in health care.  My response is shown in the below article:


Mary Seacole Award 2012



On 16th October, 6 dedicated nurses, midwives & health visitors were awarded the Mary Seacole Award.

After getting over my nerves of presenting the learning and results from my Mary Seacole Award project from 2011, I joined in with fellow Tweeps who made sure Twitter joined the celebration in Mary Seacole’s honour. You can see the summary and stats from the #seacole Twitter activity below:


Involved …

@S_Amani @VivJBennett @serrantgreen @unisonnurses @NHSE_Dean @carol_baxter @JonesAko @unisontweets @seacolestatue @mojo11273 @NHSE_Andrew @goodtochat @maxinejames @UNISONOurNHS @nhsemployers @DrHNaqvi @SDHCCEO @yvonnecoghill1 @nhsconfed @ManuelaRCM @StuartBerry1 @DavidFosterDH @e1ucidate @LeggeAngie @BongweSays @NHS_EDC @sutcliffe74 @NHSE_Paul @MandyHollis3 @nhse_Liz @jagtarbasi @SianRabi @JaneMCummings @RudiLickwood @NHSE_Bill @ProfSteveField @KateAlvanley @laings28 @Amartasan @MarieCuriePA @DrNaeemAhmed

Related tags …
#speakingupcharter #nhscb #flufighter #revalidation #bmeleadershipforum

See Twitter for more tweets, people, videos and photos for #seacole

@goodtochat Community Health Workers: A New Healthcare Workforce for the Era of Health Reform <seacole


How I Use Social Media To Compliment My Work

One of the biggest criticisms of social media is its potential to diminish performance by wasting time & encouraging procrastination. Whilst this is a potential risk, I am going to talk about my personal experience of using social media to compliment my work. I believe that smart use of social media can promote learning, collaboration and improve performance. This recent BBC article on the pitfalls of ignoring social media in any business strategy further affirms my beliefs. I am going to predominantly look at Twitter which I use more so than any other social network.

I signed up for  a personal account on Twitter (see @S_Amani) in 2009 but didn’t actually start to use it until November 2010. The reason being, I just didn’t get what it was about – why were people posting these short sentences – and links? And I couldn’t like their posts like on Facebook. And the whole followers thing. How can a person have 70, 000 followers – why were these people following this person? What are they gaining?? I was baffled.

That changed in 2010 after I signed up for a MSc in Health Care Management. I remember speaking to the professor who was leading the programme at the time and expressing my concern about the lack of time to read & analyse research papers due to my full time job. He had an amused look when I described my typical way of finding, reading & analysing papers. This used to typically involve a mix of library, google and Athens searches then printing papers out, highlighting sections with different colour highlighter markers…you get the gist.

He casually picked up his iPad and showed me his primary source of information: Twitter. This surprised me. At the time, I also remember thinking – this totally blows the whole argument of social media only being for certain generations. By following the right people and quickly scanning the timeline, I was soon able to find papers relevant to my studies. But that wasn’t what really sealed the deal for me – it was the ability to talk to the authors, the researchers and the very people affected by various policies, in real-time.

Another factor that drew me on to Twitter was a new part-time job as a Youth Mental Health Network Lead for the South East of England. I started this job in December 2011 and was tasked with mobilising people who are passionate about the mental health of adolescents and young adults across Surrey, Sussex & Kent. An exciting but challenging task. One of the more effective means of communicating across such a large geographical area has been via the Youth Mental Health Network Online Network (a social network for members) and via the Youth Mental Health Network Twitter account which has grown to 1100 followers in just 5 months (see @Time4Recovery).

My previous posts regards my Emerging Leader Award 2010, Mary Seacole Award 2011, TEDMED 2012 Scholarship etc are further testaments of the potential positive uses of social media – if used wisely & productively. I can honestly say that I would not have been fortunate enough to win these awards had it not been for me being able to access interactive information shared via Twitter.

Social media is not for everyone, but it is an option for those who enjoy working collaboratively and using less conventional means to communicate. For those still sitting on the fence, I say give it a try and lurk around a site or 2 – you might be pleasantly surprised.  Claire over at ClaireOT’s blog has a real handy quick start guide  for using Twitter.  Lastly, the most convincing element of social media for me have been the connections that I have made with a range of people from all sorts of backgrounds – some of whom I have been fortunate to meet in real life. This ability to network with thinkers and doers who pride themselves in making a difference by innovating has been the final selling point for me. I hope you find using social media as enlightening as I have.