Hello to all you Leaders & Change Makers out there!
“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did.
But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
–Dr. Maya Angelou
Imagine a young, resourceful and bright community minded change agent coming to the front door of your organization.
- It’s their first day of work as a program coordinator for your signature program. They sought you out because of the work you do and were thrilled to finally have the chance to contribute as a member of the team. OR
- It’s their first board meeting as a new board member, a volunteer role they’ve been told is a great way to enhance their community service and elevate their leadership skills. OR
- It’s their first training as a volunteer for an organization they have a deep emotional connection to because of the work you did to help a loved one deal with a significant time in their life.
After their first day, their first meeting or their first training, how are THEY feeling?
- Are they feeling like they made a great decision or like they are experiencing a different side of the organization than they did through the screening and hiring process?
- Are they feeling like a welcome & valued partner at the table or are they feeling like a bit of an unwanted intruder who needs to learn to sit still and be quiet?
- Are they feeling an excitement and deeper commitment to serving or like they may have gotten themselves into more than they bargained for?
The experiences you create at these pivotal moments, these BEGINNINGS, are an expression of your culture, your priorities and your organizational health.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Change the Way you Address the Beginnings in Your Organization
What if you were to be more deliberate about these beginnings in your organization?
Here are 3 changes you can make, starting today, to help you create more meaningful and powerful beginnings in your organization.
- Put yourself in their shoes. A quick way to do that would be to ask QUESTIONS. As a new employee, board member or volunteer what are they most curious about? Generate a list of questions you think they might be asking themselves or you. Are there different levels of information for different groups? Most often the orientation or onboarding process is designed from the organizations’ perspective –
“Here’s what WE want them to know.” Or “Here’s what legal wants them to know.” Your onboarding becomes more powerful when both perspectives, yours AND theirs, are considered.
- Update. Upgrade. Uplevel. Depending on how long your organization has been around, you may have documents and other sections of documents and training that are no longer relevant or as relevant as they once were. Creating a regular schedule of reviewing, updating, upgrading and upleveling your onboarding experiences is a great investment of your time and a great way to use volunteers and/or interns. The questions THEY have might be just the kinds of questions you’re missing. They can find missing or outdated links, make suggestions for new ways to deliver the same information or help you see the gaps in your current program you may miss.
- Ask a different question. Many of you may have some sort of evaluation process you use after someone’s first day or first experience, but many of you probably don’t. And those who do, may be collecting that information but not doing a good job of integrating it. And worse may be that the evaluation itself is not the effective feedback tool it’s capable of being. Take time to create or revise your feedback mechanisms around the beginnings in your organization. Instead of asking some version of “did you like the experience”, ask “How are you feeling now about your decision to become part of our organization?” Take time to generate as many questions as you can, then prioritize and elevate the best ones. Now you’re ready to create a feedback mechanism that actually captures more about their experience and helps you continue to elevate that experience moving forward.
That’s an important sign of a leader and an organization capable of navigating the dynamic waters of change, transformation and community impact.
- What are the most critical beginnings in your organization?
- What are you willing to do differently to be more deliberate about those critical beginnings?
- What impact would that have on you, those you lead and those you serve?
Read: The Power of Moments by Chip & Dan Heath
I’m serious. This book is a MUST READ. Fabulous. The Heath Brothers have done it AGAIN!
Watch: Stop Fixing Potholes & Start Building Peaks by The Heath Brothers
Listen: The Power of Moments for Employees by Chip & Dan Heath
Are you ready to create more deliberate, positive change inside your organization?
Just say the word. I’m ready to be of service.