Sunday, 27 October 2013

TLC - New meanings for a well-loved acronym

 How using Twitter has enhanced our leadership and made our communication more accessible.

Twitter. Almost all of our leadership team, our Board Chair and many of our managers use Twitter frequently. I was first persuaded by my Chief Executive 2 years ago, and could not have imagined fully the wider benefits. Advice on Twitter etiquette, its appropriate professional/private content, the accessibility of information and news articles for learning etc. is now well documented. I’ve only recently been realising and appreciating its wider value and benefit to leadership and engagement with staff.

Leadership. We tweet regularly in addition to using more traditional and internal ways of being in touch with staff (as Twitter is not for everyone and is a public platform). We are timely and responsive and this has made a huge difference during the current very sensitive change process we are experiencing. Our Chair tweets every detail that it is possible to put into a public domain, we all interact and we are highly visible as a united and transparent leadership team. We receive lots of feedback on this from our staff, our managers, TU colleagues and from similarly affected staff from other Probation Trusts. (I do not of course mean to criticise the way they are leading and communicating as every organisation is different– my focus is on how we do this.)

Communication. Our workforce is geographically dispersed, so we need to use accessible and immediate communication. They are also very busy (who isn’t?) So finding out what is going on in real time ‘bite size pieces’ is very effective. We also use Twitter to showcase widely our successful work in our community, which of course also keeps staff in other parts of the service up to date.

So what has the successful use of Twitter achieved? Another TLC acronym:

Trust and Loyalty at a time of huge Change.