Sun, Sand, Lake – Are the Employees of Huron County Engaged?

Cathy    February 2, 2018

Is it really necessary in 2018 to teach your staff and colleagues to be more socially engaged in social media?

The quick answer is yes it is necessary, but it can also be risky at times.

Social media is one of the strongest most powerful tools we have at our fingertips. It is the way that we now do business. 20 years ago it was mostly being used as an internal tool and many didn’t dream that it would become a part of everyday life for business in general.

Huron County has had an internal employee involvement protocol, with their intranet that has been set up for 5 years. Is it used by the staff? Do they even know how to use this valuable tool? The answer is only 20% ever use it. There are over 700 employees who work for Huron County with only a small percentage of them being engaged.

“We have had our intranet in place for over 5 years and there was never a communications plan in place, so very few staff used it. Says Jenna Ujiye, Deputy Clerk and Communications Coordinator for the County of Huron “In 2018 we want to make better use of the system, adding more social aspects to it, this includes door decorating contests, corporate communications, staff profiles and more!”

It is mind staggering what could happen if even half of the staff would start to use the power of social media that is available to them. Huron county is along the shores of Lake Huron and call themselves Ontario’s West Coast. There are 16 beach access points along the coast Ontario’s West Coast. That have access to many of the most beautiful sunsets in Ontario

Huron County is also home to one of the most productive agriculture lands in Ontario. With over 250 local producers, restaurants who use local food, wineries and microbreweries with more being opened regularly throughout the County, this is the newest culinary hotspot for local everything!

Huron County is one of the most beautiful places in Ontario yet only a fraction of the key demographics know about the outstanding experience they would have if they visited. If all the 700 employees who work for Huron County sent out one Facebook post or one tweet about this amazing county, the effects could skyrocket the consumer knowledge and increase potential economic activity overnight.  With the ease and proper apps available now online it would be very simple for the communication staff to create a post that could be shared through the intranet and sent out to all employees. The employees could then easily share that very post to all their contacts.

84% of consumers value recommendations from friends and family above all forms of advertising. 77% of consumers are likely to make a purchase after hearing about it from someone they trust (Source: Nielsen).

Brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when distributed by employees’ vs the brand (Source: MSLGroup). Leads developed through employee social marketing convert 7x more frequently than other leads (Source: IBM).

So sharing that one post would make the employees engaged in their own county and show their pride for where they live and work.

Another very useful internal social media involvement would be to post about all of the special events they are having for the county employees. Their potlucks, celebration days, food drives, etc. can be sent to all employees. Any special training opportunities and job postings can be sent out to employees. Unfortunately since employee engagement is so low, it isn’t as effective as it could be.

How to engage the employees to share, show pride, participate in programming – that is the question.

The stats show that engaged employees work harder, enjoy their jobs more, are more satisfied in their future, and are easier to retain. Is it possible to engage the employees more? Of course it is! One opportunity is to offer initiatives to employees for being engaged. There could be a draw for employees who use their social media platform or engage in the internal communication tools that Huron County has in place. An example of a prize could be a chance to win a day off a month. There are countless ways to engage stagnate employees into active users of the social media programs that are already set up.

One thing to keep in mind before they can even think about that sort of engagement with the employees, is that you will need to have social media policies and guidelines in place for employees to follow. With these in place it will protect you from negative comments and/or disgruntled staff. The last thing you want internally is an unhappy employee complaining and poisoning the work environment for the rest of the employees. With the proper policies in place it will also give Huron County the opportunity for all their social media platforms to show continuity, unity and togetherness.

Lessons for Others

What can you learn from this:

  • Engagement of employees is key to running a successful County
  • Proper social media policies must be in place to engage the employees
  • Ease and proper use of social media is beneficial to all employees
  • The best form of engagement is testimonials by the employees themselves
  • When your employees are engaged then it forms unity, pride and fulfillment

Organization: County of Huron
Industry: County Government
Name of Organization Contact: Jenna Ujiye, Deputy Clerk and Communication Coordinator

Authored by: Cathy Bieman

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.