The most sustainable nonprofits have talented teams. Have you considered that your staff must be engaged before they can effectively engage members? Staff engagement starts during the hiring process. Associations with successful engagement programs say it has changed the way they hire. Even when you have all the right people in place, it is important to continuously engage your staff just as you would your members to get the best outcomes. Here are some staff engagement ideas featured in Entrepreneur from Dwight Merriman (founder of several successful startups):
- Ensure that those you hire understand your mission at the outset — those that understand the mission will be a better fit for the long haul
- Foster collaboration between staff — open huddles and team meetings encourage collaboration and engagement
- Educate staff regularly – when people feel they are growing and learning they stay connected
- Be transparent to build trust – communicating the good, the bad, and the ugly encourages open communication and engagement
Staff engagement stays top of mind at the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. It’s a big part of the overall engagement strategy. Kathy Cannon heads up their engagement efforts and she fosters engagement with her team by facilitating a staff huddle twice a day to talk about training topics and highlight engagement achievements at the branch. The team also devotes 10 minutes to “Connections” (discussing connections with members) at their bi-weekly staff meetings and they regularly involve branches that are seeing the most success in team trainings to spread good habits across the association. The team there has a laser focus on quality interactions. Thanks to a strategic engagement plan and consistent tracking, the team doubled interactions logged from 3% of all check-ins to nearly 6% of all check-ins (that represents an increase of nearly 3,000 interactions per month!)
This is an excerpt from our recent Engagement Insights Report. You can view or download the full report on the Insights Report page.