Staff and volunteer turnover
During our “A Culture of Evaluation” clinic earlier this month, we talked about the challenge of being consistent with evaluation in light of staff and volunteer turnover. Recognizing that a staff or volunteer might leave your organization at any time is the first step to putting a plan in place to protect your evaluation efforts. If your evaluation tools have ambiguity in them or if the process isn’t clear you’ll be open to the risk of having inconsistent information. Your evaluation results won’t be valid and it could end up being a big waste of time.
Some ideas I have to build consistency and succession in the evaluation process include:
- Create a one page “how to” sheet including the process for implementing whatever evaluation tools you’re using. Include tips on do’s and don’ts.
- Create forms and tracking charts that people can use to guide their efforts. Make sure they’re stored where at least two staff or volunteers can access them. If a volunteer or staff person leaves suddenly, at least you’ll know where your organization’s evaluation efforts stand.
- Have a weekly evaluation check-in with anyone involved to see where things stand and to address challenges as they arrive. You’ll be able to identify inconsistencies through these conversations and if a person leaves your organization suddenly, you’ll have a current overview of the evaluation that’s happening.
Does anyone else have ideas that help to guide an organization’s evaluation efforts during staff or volunteer turnover?
I like your ideas Anne Marie. Something that we do here at CLO is making sure that Evaluation "belongs" to someone. And not all evaluation belongs to the same person. For example, for this project, evaluation "belongs" to the project manager. Project staff are all aware of what is needed for their part of the project, but ultimately the responsibility for ensuring that it happens rests with the manager. It is clearly laid out in the project work plan so that if the manager was ever replaced, it would be easy to have someone else pick it up and know exactly what has been done and what still needs to be done and when.
Evaluation responsibilities for CLO's general activities rest with whichever Co-Executive Director is leading that activity. And again, these activities are part of a large work plan that clearly states what evaluation activities will be taking place, how they are being done and when they are being done. Then these results are shared more broadly.
So if someone were to leave their position, it would be easier for someone to pick up the evaluation responsibility.