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Measuring Nonprofit Employees’ Passion & Performance is Brook Foley’s take on how to build a better internal team. Here’s what Brooke has to share:
In Jayne Agency’s ongoing content series about “The Unexpected Generation Gap in 501c3 Engagement,” we uncovered how the disconnect among generational groups－ younger millennial staff, C-suite leaders and Boomer board members－ prevents many nonprofits from achieving their mission and delivering on expectations of donors and beneficiaries.
To begin to close that gap, we outlined a specific technique called Platforming in Stages, that helps 501c3s drive alignment and ultimately gets everyone on the same page.
Once platforming is complete, the Custom Survey is a powerful tool to confirm that staff across the organization are fully engaged and clear on their role in delivering against the mission. This step takes your overarching Brand Strategy and makes it personal, so when done right, will drive higher performance both on an individual employee and organizational level.
Measuring Nonprofit Employees’ Passion & Performance
The Custom Survey
Many times, organizations (not just 501c3s) use “HR Surveys” to cull culture and engagement from employees. These methods typically measure employee attitude, job satisfaction, motivation, cultural alignment and sense of purpose. While this information is undoubtedly valuable, survey results gleaned from standard culture surveys tend to provide a conclusion that there is a problem, but don’t get at what’s behind the issue of pain in culture and disengagement other than to highlight that it’s a problem.
A custom-designed survey can:
- Tap the core issues surrounding the unrest tied to the mission
- Help link mindfulness to job descriptions
- Demonstrate an act of caring on behalf of the organization
- Create concrete answers, that are actionable by leadership and appreciated by the staff, leadership and the board.
The result? Things can be talked about with transparency, actions can be taken and tangible impact can be appreciated all around.
Follow these tips, guidelines and boundaries for crafting the most effective Custom Survey to align your entire team with your mission, unlock individual performance, and drive desired outcomes for your organization.
- Stay true to the survey’s purpose. Remember that the goal is to glean real insights about your employees’ attitudes and engagement, to uncover root problems and help management address them. This may initially lead to negative findings or uncomfortable insights about the barriers that exist within your operating environment or among your constituencies. But sussing out these disconnects are the only way to fix them. Using a survey to align the staff’s engagement with the board’s vision and direction, within a clear story that everyone can see a place for themselves, is an incredibly powerful tool to unlock passion and exceptional performance.
- Ask essential questions to truly understand what employees think of their workplace and their role within it. Seek out quantitative and qualitative inputs. How do staff feel about their specific job responsibilities? Are they engaged? Why or why not? Do they understand how their role ties to the larger mission and values? Who or what are the barriers preventing them from doing their job? Are they individual challenges or systemic, based on patterns across multiple respondents?
- Ensure anonymity and confidentiality. Surveys are only as good as the honesty with which the answers are provided. Getting to the truth, and ultimately making changes for the better, means creating a safe space where answers can be given authentically, without fear of reprisal or retaliation by management. On the flip side, if you have staff who wish to offer suggestions or solutions, welcome the input with open arms. This creates agency, buy in and the highly motivating belief that leadership genuinely cares about bridging the gap.
- Communicate your findings & commit to an action plan. Summarizing the results of the survey and sharing a plan to address challenges or barriers can have a tremendous positive impact on overall performance. Doing so builds employees’ trust in leadership and bolsters the shared sense of values and culture. This will ensure that every single team member is engaged, purposeful, high-performing and locked in to the organization’s core mission.
In our next article, Part 4: Storyletting v. Storytelling, we’ll share the secret to creating brand fanatics who will evangelize your organization and its mission through a sense of shared ownership of your brand story. When you approach branding as an organic process of letting the story “continue to unfold” through individuals across the organization, the results are striking, and exponentially more powerful, than defining a singular narrative and dictating it from the top down. Stay tuned!
Measuring Nonprofit Employees’ Passion & Performance Using the Custom Survey to Ensure Team Members Are Aligned With Your Mission was first posted at INSIDE CHARITY
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