Why NHS employees are turning to social media to speak up

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More than ever before people are turning to social media to make their voices heard. Through platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram these voices can be amplified globally in seconds. Movements such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter has shown us how when one voice becomes many, it can drive a cultural shift like nothing we’ve ever seen before.

In this paper we delve into why NHS employees are so open to sharing their struggles and experiences of problematic behaviour on social media platforms, but not with the Managers, HR Directors or CEOs within their organisations. We look at what the repercussions might be on employee wellbeing, and on the stability of the NHS if we don’t start encouraging people to speak up internally, and listening to them when they do.

We’ve highlighted three case studies of the social media comments from NHS employees but we know this is only ‘the tip of the iceberg’. Even since writing the paper, we’re constantly being exposed to more cases of the army of NHS employees speaking up and speaking out such as Surviving in Scrubs, Project S and the ‘Racism in the NHS’ YouTube short documentary.

It’s the responsibility of NHS people leaders to make employees feel heard, safe and supported. If many staff on the ground are telling you their only option is to speak on social media then something’s not working. But that’s challenging at the best of times not to mention the NHS being the largest organisation in Europe and fifth biggest in the world.

It’s not just about amplifying the scale of the problem but through our work and experience of tackling these problematic behaviours we share insight, support tackling these issues head on.

Download a virtual copy of the research paper here



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