Happy anniversary to me! It is hard to believe that I have been at the Idaho Nonprofit Center for one full year. I am still as proud as ever to serve our sector and to work side by side with an incredible staff and a passionate board, each and every one of us is dedicated to doing all we can to support our nonprofits, across the state.
Last year my 14th day on the job was Idaho Gives, and since that time we have consistently worked to make each and every program of the Center even better for you. Over the course of the past several months, I’ve also learned a lot more than I ever thought possible about the inner-workings of a nonprofit.
The Idaho Nonprofit Center strives always, and every day, to be the best that we can be. And, in that sense, it is also important for us to share when we learn something of value that might help other nonprofits.
Recently our Board of Directors conducted my annual evaluation. One of the unique things about how a nonprofit is structured is that the Board isn’t typically involved in the day to day operations of the Idaho Nonprofit Center.
While the chief executive is tasked with supervising the organization’s staff, the board, and most directly, the executive committee is the supervising body of the organizations' leader. There are many different facets to a good employee evaluation and I won’t touch on them here, but one of the most important areas that sometimes doesn’t get factored in is the office culture that is created in large part to the management style and philosophy of its chief leader.
As I mentioned, Board members may not always be at the office, and in particular, a statewide association like ours means that we have board members from outside the local area who rarely if ever, get to be in the office and see how management engages with staff. It’s truly impossible for the board to have a good understanding of how things are inside the four walls of the office.
In that sense, I might recommend conducting a 360 review of your chief executive, as part of your full annual review. This means collecting feedback from within the office. For me, this was an important step in ensuring that I am doing a good job not only with all the goals and metrics in place for me as an executive but also managing my team as well as the day to day operations.
This year our Board of Directors did just that and we also have added it to our handbook: the CEO will have a 360 review annually. It is important for me to get as much feedback as possible so that I can do my job to the best of my ability. Will I ever get my job right every single day? Absolutely not, but without feedback about what I do well and where I can improve, I wouldn’t even have the chance.
Our executive committee conducted the bulk of my evaluation and send this form to our staff members to complete. The staff was assured that everything they said would be kept anonymous to ensure their open and honest feedback. Our board chair conducted the actual review and while she read some of the feedback from the staff, I did not know who may have said what. We have a small staff so this is really critical that they have confidence that what they say will be anonymous.
I so very much appreciated that the survey focused in large part on the climate and culture in which we work. I am very thankful that the board decided to implement this 360 review for me. I truly love having annual evaluations of my performance, again, it’s truly the only way I can know how I can best perform internally and externally and support this amazing organization going forward.
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