In the charity world, a primary goal seems to be a “culture of engagement.” But what does that mean? Here are three ingredients to test how your “engagements” are working.
Warm and comfortable? Cold? Business focused? Different for different people?
Are conversations animated or subdued? Loud or soft? Guarded or open?
2. How is your physical space arranged? Yes, expenses are always tight, but the physical arrangement does say lots about your culture and attitude.
Is there a collaborative feeling or just a rabbit warren of little offices all separated by solid walls?
Is there any open space where people can gather, be seen by and meet with others? Are meetings always held in “the conference room” out of sight?
What hangs on the walls? Pictures that fit the décor? Slogans? Mascots? Statements of philosophy? Mission?
3. What are the general impressions of your culture and attitude … by your employees, your donors, your beneficiaries or your prospects?
How do you think each of these groups would describe your culture or attitude? If you could get an honest answer, what adjectives would they use?
Would they be similar during times of stress or problems?
What do you suspect people are thinking after they leave a visit or meeting?
Results: If you want to think about your organizational engagement, start with your own team. In our highly competitive world, a deeply engaged workforce builds a winning organization, not one that is just surviving. Talking together identifies attitudes. Learning together builds aptitude. It takes continuous attention to both to build a successful “marriage.”
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