Sybil Stershic wants you Taking Care of the People Who Matter Most: the employees, volunteers, and Board members of your nonprofit organization. In her new book, Share of Mind, Share of Heart, she explains the top two reasons why.
“Your service is your brand.” Think about it: there are a lot more points where people touch your organization than just the newsletters and emails you send them, or the social media you want them to see. Every time a client or stakeholder walks up to your reception desk, calls on the phone, takes advantage of a service, attends an event, or volunteers for one of your programs, they are forming their impression of your agency.
That means that the people who represent your organization the most often are not the Executive Director, the Communications Director, the Development Director, or the Board chair. They are the employees and volunteers who face the public every day.
“Connection is the key.” People who work at your agency for love or money must feel connected to the mission of the organization (and know how they are helping to move you forward). They must connect with your customers (or clients) to stay dedicated to a high level of customer care. They want and need to connect with other volunteers, and with employees. Indeed, that may be the reason they came to work for you in the first place. It certainly will be key to keeping them coming back for more.
Stershic calls this concept “internal marketing.” The term focuses attention on the fact that employees, volunteers, and Board members are also customers, and they need to be motivated to keep buying what you’re selling: the good name of your organization.
What happens when employees don’t feel valued? They disengage and leave the organization. Or worse, they disengage and stay.
Don’t let this happen to you! Share of Mind, Share of Heart is full of examples, tips, and “action plan starter notes.” The book is slim enough that you can read it through in a couple of hours, then go back and put the suggestions into practice that best fit the way your agency functions now. That will help you make your organization a better place to work, improve your customer service, and at the same time, communicate to the world what you are all about.