Reset: Identify, Develop & Sustain High-Performing People for Your Social Enterprise


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Alicia Schoshinski: Hello everyone, and welcome. 


Thank you for joining us this afternoon for Nonprofit HR’s Virtual Learning Educational Event. Today’s session is entitled Reset: Identify, Develop and Sustain High-Performing People for Your Social Enterprise. My name is Alicia Schoshinski, and I’m the Managing Director of Talent & Development at Nonprofit HR. I’m going to be your moderator for today and we have a lot of great content, so let’s jump right in. But before we do, I would like to go over a few items so that you know how to best participate in today’s event. 


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You will have the opportunity to submit text questions to today’s presenters by typing your questions in the questions pane of the control panel. You may send in your questions at any time during the presentation. We will collect those and address them during the Q&A session at the end. 


Today’s event is being recorded and you will receive a follow-up email within the next few days with a link to view the recording. Live attendees will also receive recertification codes for SHRM and HRCI in the coming days. 


Today’s session is hosted by Patty Hampton, Chief Social Impact Officer for Social Impact Talent Advisors, better known as SITA by Nonprofit HR. SITA is a Nonprofit HR collaborative that supports the people management needs of the social enterprise community. You won’t meet a more pleasant, passionate and committed talent management champion than Patty. Nationally recognized as a beacon of light for the social sector and their people management since 2001, Patty has served in a dual leadership capacity as Vice President & Managing Partner for Nonprofit HR. Among her many accomplishments with the firm, Patty help to build its infrastructure, culture and workforce. Today, as its executive in residence, Patty is a creator of the firm’s social enterprise collaborative and spearheads multiple strategies and business initiatives. In her role as Managing Partner, Patty co-leads the firm’s business and financial strategies and is a member of the Senior Management Team. 


Today Patty is joined by three very special guests, all with extensive experience in the social enterprise community. I’d first like to introduce Rebecca Peel. 


Rebecca specializes in designing performance-focused people and culture strategies for the social impact sector and has spoken and shared her work at multiple prestigious events, including the Obama White House, the World Summit Youth Award, Harvard Business School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the World Congress on Information Technology. In her most recent position as Head of Talent at Rippleworks Foundation, Rebecca supported social engineers to overcome barriers to scale. She’s held multiple senior leadership positions within the philanthropic sector, including Associate Director of Talent and People Management at the Rockefeller Foundation. 


Next, I’d like to introduce Cedric Nwafor. Cedric has a passion for agriculture and its people. He is a social entrepreneur and public speaker who has organized, facilitated and spoken at various African and U.S. events. He’s the founder of ROOTS Africa, a youth-led organization that combats hunger, poverty and exclusion by connecting students and agriculture experts in the U.S. to farming communities in Africa. While earning his bachelor’s degree, Cedric visited farms in Idaho and Maryland, as well as for Rwanda, Liberia, Cameroon, Ghana and Uganda to learn different foreign life and management approaches. Along the way, Cedric became an agriculture evangelist, engaging African youth in civic affairs in both cities and rural communities. 


And finally, I’d like to introduce Rebecca Dray. Originally from the United Kingdom, Rebecca started her career in the hospitality industry working for Marriott Hotels. She transitioned into the charitable sector supporting mental health advocacy groups, and then founded her first social enterprise business in 2006. She went on to run a group of eight social enterprises in the UK, all engaged in social procurement, contracting and supported employment. Rebecca sat on the boards of regional and national social membership, social enterprise membership organizations, and traveled the country giving presentations, training and mentorship to the social enterprise sector. Rebecca moved to the U.S. in 2014 and started two social enterprises, Society Profits and Buy Social USA. 


Welcome to all of our panelists. You will have the opportunity to ask questions of our panelists throughout the webinar and during the formal Q&A session at the end. 


So, without further ado, Patty, I’m going to hand it over to you. 


Patty Hampton: Thanks, Alicia. Welcome, Rebecca D., Cedric and Rebecca P. We have a lot to cover today, as Alicia mentioned. We’re going to spend a really good 90 minutes together and at the root of this is the great need that social enterprises have to identify, develop and sustain their people management practices. 


But just a bit about Nonprofit HR, which Alicia has alluded to. At SITA at Nonprofit HR, we are the first global talent management collaborative exclusively designed to support the HR people needs of the social enterprise community. We were founded in 2019 and we are backed, of course, by our parent company Nonprofit HR. With 20 years of serving the social sector, we’re trusted advisors and of course, thought partners. We offer total lifecycle solutions for people management, and we are providing direct partnership with social enterprises, foundations, social incubators, B corps and impact investors. And, of course, I love to say we’re woman- and minority-owned. 


Here’s what we’re going to unpack today. So, you have before you why your people are key to the success of your social enterprise; best practices in attracting a mission focused workforce; actionable steps to engage and sustain a culture that will help meet your business priorities; and characteristics of high-performing people who own their results. 


However, before we get started, many of us who are on the call probably already know that there are lots of definitions around social enterprise. And what I wanted to share was our definition here at SITA of what a social enterprise is and what we believe it to be. Here at SITA, we believe social enterprises create, develop and innovate solutions that have sustainable social impact across the world. Simply put, social enterprises are communities where everyone is a change activist. 


I’d like to include my panel now. I’d like to pull in my experts and they, too, have definitions around social enterprises and what that means for them. So why don’t I give you all a chance to share your definition of a social enterprise. Rebecca Dray, let’s start with you. 


Rebecca Dray: Thanks, Patty. It’s great to be here. 


This is actually a topic that I talk about a huge amount here in the states. So, when I worked in the UK, there were legal business entity types for social enterprises. So it was super easy for the public and buyers to identify a social enterprise by its legal definition, a bit like a 501(c)(3) here. And then when I moved to the states, I said, “Wow, you can be one of seven or more legal entity types in the state,” so it’s really difficult to identify and then, when you look at the definition, it’s kind of vague. Particularly doing the work that I do around trying to bring social procurement to the U.S.—basically big corporates and governments buying from social enterprises—the main barrier for them was, how do we know that we’re social enterprise? Because there isn’t this standard countrywide definition and there isn’t a legal entity type that we can identify. 


Really, that was why we set up Society Profits and did a certification of social enterprises because then we could say that it doesn’t matter what your legal entity type is, if you meet this definition and the standards, you’re a social enterprise. So, for us, it is a mission-focused organization that reinvests or dedicates more than 50% of its profit to realizing an impact for people or planet, and it is one that is asset locked, so that it cannot have that profit diverted into bonuses or shareholder payouts; it’s asset-locked into the mission of the organization. 


Patty Hampton: Great. Thanks so much, Rebecca. And Cedric, how about you? 


Cedric Nwafor: I would say Rebecca Dray stole my answer, but she has done a lot more work in that area than me. 


I’ll just dive in a little bit and talk about this aspect of actual nonprofits I saw that are so focused on getting the funding that they lose sight of that core mission. We have these ventures that are normally social enterprise, and for-profit ventures, but we, as people who run nonprofits, also lose sight of that in the pursuit of funding. Funding is important, but we always have to stay true to that core belief. I think it’s key along this journey to also understand that, the 50% that Rebecca just talked about, sometimes in a nonprofit world we also see that in the pursuit of money. So, we need to take that into consideration as we define ourselves as social enterprises. Now, I’ll give it to Rebecca Peel. 


Patty Hampton: Thanks, Cedric. Rebecca P.? 


Rebecca Peel: Yeah, Rebecca and Cedric stole my answer.  


In its simplest definition, for me, if you are taking an entrepreneurial approach to tackling a global or social issue, I would identify you as a social entrepreneur. And then really, I’m not going to touch on the actual organization aspect because I thought Rebecca Dray’s definition was so phenomenal. And I really appreciate that there was a structural component to being asset-locked, which you don’t always hear, as well as that 50% case. So, just a big hats off to the people who came before me. 


Patty Hampton: Wonderful, thank you so much. So as we all can agree, of course, I did hear for-profit and nonprofit. What I didn’t hear, I don’t think, was hybrid. In addition to what you see before you on the screen, we also consider hybrid organizations, which are your corporate socially responsible organizations, as well, so let’s move on. 


I’m sure joining us, no doubt on the webinar today, are emerging startup organizations, so welcome. These are organizations that have been in business for three years or less. We also identify and welcome growth creators. We identify here at SITA by Nonprofit HR, these are organizations that have been in business for three to seven years. And then, the more established organizations are established entrepreneurship organizations. These are organizations that have been in business for seven or more years. And I make this distinction because social enterprises, as you just heard, are at different points on their business journey regarding their growth and why people are key to business success as they scale. 


I wanted to make sure that I shared the definitions, the variety of definitions that you just heard, but there are some similarities that I hope you picked up on as well, and that you can see yourself as we continue with our conversation. 


So, we have arrived as to why your people are key to the success of your social enterprise. Let me first just touch on the fact that people drive your mission and deliver results based on your vision.  


People need to understand your purpose, why you exist. Impact. What does impact mean. What is the value the organization is creating internally as well as externally? Is everyone able to describe and organize your organization’s ecosystem? You hear the word ecosystem quite a bit, if you have followed social enterprises and the ecosystem, but also the community.   


I know here at SITA, we also are very intentional about our culture, values, beliefs and behaviors, wanting to make sure that they align with your business and your social enterprise. And then, look at the communities that you serve as well. Who are your stakeholders? 


I believe, which I’m sure you’ve seen on LinkedIn quite a bit, that every person that you employ has a purpose already inscribed on their heart. So, take that in just for a little bit, the people that you will be hiring already have purpose is inscribed on their heart, and you need to tap into what I like to call that “special sauce” as to what makes a difference. 


As we go deeper into conversations, let’s start thinking about your top performers. What do they look like? Who are they? I’m sure you have hundreds that you have wanted to talk to as you’ve been growing your business over the years. You should be able to answer several questions that you’d hear from our experts today, such as what are your ingredients? We’re talking about a special sauce that top performers have, so what are the ingredients? What are the behaviors? What do you need to look for that will engage the person you intend to hire? And, do you have people in mind that are already working for you? Maybe you can use them as a benchmark—I encourage you to use them as a benchmark. 


If you have employees already in your social enterprise, go back and ask them why they said yes. I often welcome people to Nonprofit HR, and people will tell you in a heartbeat, all the newbies that we have, that I always say, “Welcome home.” So, go back. I encourage you to go back and ask the people that said yes to your organization. Why did they say yes? You really should be able to answer that question. 


Alicia, before I go on, are there any burning questions that people want to get in around the definition of a social enterprise? 


Alicia Schoshinski: I haven’t seen any at this time, Patty, so you are welcome to continue. 


Patty Hampton: OkayOK, thank you very much. So, my panel of experts, here we go. Question number one for you all: Why do you believe people are critical for the success of your social enterprise? Cedric, why don’t I start with you? 


Cedric Nwafor: OkayOK, so I will go here from the perspective of younger nonprofit, and you saw the chart that Patty showed. At ROOTS Africa, we are a small nonprofit and growing. 


I think one thing that COVID has done is just showed us that your building doesn’t matter. The people you have in those buildings are what matters the most. And we have always heard that, that people are our greatest resources, but we take that for granted. 


A few months back, I actually thought to myself and asked this question, What is ROOTS Africa’s asset? What do we own? Eventually, I just saw that we own people. We built a coalition of the willing. As a young nonprofit, that’s all you have. You have to bring different individuals together that are passionate about a cause, or introduce them to the cause to be compassionate about the cause. 


For example, we have volunteered in the UN. We have students in the U.S., through video conference, we have students in Africa who reach out to farming communities and support farmers. And when you look at everything, there is an organization, but really you have people of goodwill that have all come together. And, to me, that is the only asset that we have. 


Going out to find those types of people, finding out who they are and recruiting them to come in and work for the cause is the biggest quest, and that’s exactly what my role is—finding these individuals. It’s a journey that you need to bring great minds together to achieve. That’s why it is important to us and basically why we exist today.  


Patty Hampton: Great. Thanks so much, Cedric. Rebecca P., how about you? 


Rebecca Peel: I mean, just to add and emphasize what Cedric said, and I think everyone here knows it, you can have any strategy built out in your mind to deliver on your mission statement and to drive that impact. But if you can’t get the right people, it just stays a strategy, an idea, and you don’t actually get to the impact. So, for me, your people are your future impact. And I think the ability to attract, engage them and set them up to deliver is the most important thing any leader is going to do. And if you’re an HR professional, like myself or Patty, we’re here to help leaders do that well. 


Patty Hampton: Thank you, Rebecca Dray? 


Rebecca Dray: I have nothing more to add other than I’m stealing Cedric’s line of, “A coalition of the willing,” because that’s just fantastic. I love it. 


Patty Hampton: I wrote that one down too Rebecca. I loved it, a coalition of the willing. See what you started, Cedric? 


How about the secret sauce or ingredients? I have already noted that I focus on behavior-based competencies, especially in the time that we’re in right now, cultural competencies as well as lived experiences. What else? What other sort of ingredients, if you will, that you look for in top performers or high-performing people? 


Rebecca Peel: I’m happy to hop in Patty. 


I love this question, and I hear secret sauce a lot and it’s very nebulous. For me, secret sauce is someone’s attempt to codify what makes your organization perform and your people. I like to think of it as a combination of your employer value proposition, so those sources of value that are why someone said yes, as Patty pointed out, why people stay in your organization and they’re the pieces of value that make it impossible for someone to leave or go on. Knowing and understanding that is going to help you attract, retain and honor that. So, I take that value proposition and combine it with culture and beliefs. And for me, culture is really your values, which drive the behavior, which create your organizational culture, which in turn gets you to that impact. And then, also as Patty said, there’s going to be a core set of competencies or sometimes aptitudes, those hints of a competence, that are going to help you get the right people that you need. That’s going to be dependent on your strategy and the type of organization you need to build to deliver on your mission. 


Patty Hampton: Exactly. Thanks for that, Rebecca P. Rebecca Dray, how about you and your organization? 


Rebecca Dray: I would say that my hiring practice has changed so much over the years from learning what didn’t work more than anything, really. 


But I feel, in the social enterprise world, that you really need to have people that understand how to have one foot in the nonprofit world, one foot in the for-profit world, or the corporate world, or whatever you want to call it. Because I think the social enterprise space sometimes falls into the trap of thinking that “profit” is a dirty word, and Cedric talked about this earlier, but actually no profit means no impact. You’re not trying to be grant reliant, then you would just be a nonprofit, you’re trying to be a social enterprise and have a business mindset to what you’re doing. 


And if you’re all business, it’s a problem. And if you’re all nonprofit, it’s a problem. You have to understand that it’s a balance of the two. I think that is something that tends to be somewhat unique to people. So now, like you, Patty, I interview based on connection and feeling with people because you can have anything you’d like written on a resume. I’d rather have somebody come spend half a day with the team or with other people that I trust and ask, “What do you feel? Never mind what’s just on your resume. What do we feel about each other? Is it a fit? Do you understand our passion?” For me, it’s my secret sauce. 


Patty Hampton: Great, that’s exactly right, Rebecca.  


What I’ve learned over the last several years. The sector in general now has sort of shifted, and it is about lived experiences. We’re going beyond what the resume calls for and what the resume says, not that people lie on their resumes, however, sometimes they’re overembellished. And so, you have to get down into what moves them, what inspires them, what they are passionate about, like Cedric said in the beginning. And I have to keep repeating, Cedric, the coalition of the willing. So, for you, Cedric, what has been some secret sauce that you’ve looked for in high-performing people? 


Cedric Nwafor: So, for all the young entrepreneurs out there, or the new organizations, you know that this is a tough question. You are going to have to ask yourself these questions because somebody will say, “I want to be in your organization,” then you say “Yeah, call me!” Because you need that help, right? 


So, what I do is I really go back and see, why did they join in? I think Rebecca Peel or Rebecca Dray talked about it earlier. Why did they join the organization? Really go back and understand their motivation, not just so I can use this in the future to attract individuals like them, but also, so that I can keep them longer. 


If they joined because they wanted to have a strategic role within the organization, am I providing them with those opportunities to be strategic? If they joined because they care about fundraising, am I providing them with those opportunities to do fundraising? I think that is really key, but one thing that Rebecca really touched on that I want to add to this aspect is that for-profit mindset. I think it is critical for every nonprofit to be thinking that way because we can get negligent in this process. The other day I was on a call with small business and they came up with this list of how they profile their customers. Every single detail about their customers they had in there. They cared so much about their customers that are giving them funds. In the nonprofit world, we think, “Oh, there are good people and they will give us money.” I think we need to do it even more rigorously because they are doing it out of the goodness of their heart and we need to care a lot more and provide them that intentionality that the for-profit world is doing with their customers. So, that mindset, that balance, is really important. 


Patty Hampton: Great. Thanks so much for that, Cedric.  


So, we talked about the secret sauce and the behavior competencies and what you all are looking for. Let’s talk a little bit more about, how do you keep them engaged? Once they’re hired, what are you doing to keep your folks engaged? Cedric touched on it already, and we’ll talk more about it later, but we can talk about it now as well. He touched on personal development and professional development. What are you offering to keep your employees engaged? Cedric, why don’t I start with you? 


Cedric Nwafor: So, my first thought about that is regarding, again, why did they join? It’s about going along that path. What are their motivations within the organization? 


The second phase of that is setting up these review sessions where they not only review the way our relationship, the way they are working within the organization, but also having a conversation we need and identifying ways in which I could be more useful to them or ways in which we could be more impactful for the organization. 


Because a lot of time, that’s when the disagreement really comes in. When the individual that you bring on board finds out that either the organization heading toward a certain direction, or they think that they have better ideas, or actually have better ideas, for the organization. So, those review sessions are a time for me to become more grounded, to know that these are the people that matter more and to focus on them. I think those are the key elements for me in keeping the people that volunteer and work with us. 


Patty Hampton: Great. 


Rebecca P., I see you chomping at the bit to dive in here.  


Rebecca Peel: Cedric kicked off in a really similar vein to how I would tackle this question, which was, for me, once again, in my terms would have been more around your employer value proposition. 


So, you went out and you did your branding across your jobs and you attracted people for these sources of value, whether it was learning and growth, whether it was your purpose, your actual mission statement, what you’re going to do, the work and the how that you’ll do that. And of course, you’re compensation and benefits are going to be a factor. In social enterprises, I have found there are three primary archetypal drivers of what really needs to be thought of under value proposition. One is the impact piece, it’s a huge driver, you cannot forget it. Two is learning and growth, it’s massive as a part of the social venture space. It often has had a bigger role in value proposition than in other ventures, particularly for a social venture that cannot compete on cash. Then, the third is what I call environment, and that’s everything from the workspace and the how to your compensation and benefits. 


For me, when it comes to an engagement in that ongoing way we motivate people, you need to put the systems and checks in place across those different archetypes to make sure you’re meeting all of them. You are going to get disengaged people, if you said, “Hey, come here for this,” and then you don’t deliver on that value in a sustained way. 


One way you can do that is through your HR practices, making sure in your performance check-ins that you’re baking in how you’re checking on those forms of value in that process. It can be in your learning and development offering, and checking in to make sure you’re in a repeated and systematic way checking in on those forms of value. And, as Cedric mentioned, if you know what sources of value most motivate your people at a team or individual level, that’s a really strong toolkit to help your managers take your value proposition and make sure you’re narrowing in at an individual level. 


Some of the most disengaged employees I’ve ever seen or say at the Rockefeller Foundation, we have a breadth of a mission. That means we could be really focused on health at one moment and really focused on food and agriculture at another. If someone’s number-one purpose in the world is to solve infant mortality and you said, “Come here. I’m going to give you the resources and the team to do that.” Then, you pulled that off the table, that is going to be the most disengaged, unhappy person. 


So, for me, it’s about understanding the pivots in your strategy you make that might cause a micro level of that degree of pain, and then figuring out how you’re going to manage that. And it’s not always manageable. If you have a big pivot in your strategy, and the number one thing someone was born and put in the world to do no longer gets to do that, you really need to think about it and you need to be proactive because it’s going to be painful to that person and to your culture if you don’t get a plan in place. I’ll stop, but that’s just a couple thoughts on that.  


Patty Hampton: Yeah. Great. That’s exactly right, Rebecca, I couldn’t agree more. You touched on something about pivot. You said pivot in your strategy. So, if you’re going to pivot in your strategy, at least have a conversation with people and saying, “Here’s why we’re pivoting. Here’s what we’re seeing. Here are the trends that we’re seeing,” and ask them for their ideas. We touched on ideas before. If you want that person to come and live over here with your organization and embrace their passion and commitment to your organization and then you’re going to pivot, have a conversation. At least, you owe them that much.  


Rebecca Dray, I’m not leaving you out here. What would you like to add? 


Rebecca Dray: Yeah, I think you’ve said it all. I’m just agreeing with all of you, but I think in this social enterprise space, it’s really important to give up yourself, be authentic to your passion and why you did this. And also, listen to other people’s passion and their reason and their why.  


And, I actually hired somebody this morning, so this is quite relevant. This morning I was talking through this with the potential employee, she’s been to the office and did a half-day meeting and everybody on the team loved her. And she said to me on the phone, “I’ve got this idea for a thing that I’d like to specialize in in maybe a year, is that going to be possible or should I set up as something else that I do?” And I was like, “No, bring it on.” 

I told her if you have a passion for something and it fits within our mission, I’d love you to spearhead that and take it forward, and she was so excited. She said, “Oh, my goodness, I’ve never worked anywhere where people are so open to the idea of a new person bringing a new idea and running with it,” To me, this is how we evolve all the time as an organization. So, listening to people’s passion and the giving of your own passion is so important. 


Patty Hampton: Yeah, give them the space to run free, as we say at SITA and at our parent company as well. 


Rebecca, I have a follow-up question for you. Knowing that you’ve worked in and run organizations with 500+ employees, and then, of course, where you are today, I’m sure you have a story to share about a successful hire and a not so successful hire. And I’ll ask that both Cedric and Rebecca, of course, begin to think about that too, if you have something to add. 


But Rebecca, I have a feeling that you have something to share. 


Rebecca Dray: Actually, I have a great example of that, and this just shows you the learning curve of setting up your first social enterprise.  


The first one I ever setup was like a multi-use center, and it had a café, restaurant and gift shop that were going to serve as supported employment for people that had struggled to be in employment. And in the set-up process, I used to go and sit and work in a well-known coffee chain that shall not be mentioned and there was this barista who was amazing. Every time you went in there, he remembered you. He knew your name. He remembered what you usually ordered. He was so chatty and personable. 


So, while I’m thinking about running this coffee shop, I was like, “Oh, this guy could be amazing because he would be great bringing in people. They would all feel good when they came in the coffee shop.” So, I stole him from this organization. I offered him a job and said, “Hey, do you want to come over to this startup?” And he said yes.  


He was the worst employee I ever had, and not because he wasn’t a lovely person. But because he came from this nice world of everything being in an employee manual. And in the social enterprise space, I needed somebody who could be thinking on their feet, who could pivot, who could use their initiative. We were creating a business that had not been created before, so running that kind of social enterprise café in the city where nothing else like that existed. And, we had to let him go. I felt terrible about it, but the person we hired in this place was actually a woman who had a teenage son who was on the autism spectrum and she had worked in a corporate setting. She was the most perfect person to run that space because she absolutely understood the compassion that you needed and the motivational skills you needed for the people we’re trying to support. She also understood that we were there to make money and run a really good business. So, that’s my good and bad at the same time. 


Patty Hampton: That’s wonderful. Thanks for sharing that, Rebecca. 


Cedric, Rebecca P., what do you have to add? 


Cedric Nwafor: I will add a little. And this was my error. A lot of times, somebody may see something about ROOTS Africa… 


Patty Hampton: I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Cedric, are you admitting as a leader that this was your mistake? 


Cedric Nwafor: Yes, yes.  


Patty Hampton: I love it!  


Cedric Nwafor: Most often, people will see on social media or via video and reach out and say, “Hey, I want to volunteer for ROOTS Africa. I want to do something.” And I say, “Yeah, sure come in.” And I could give them a few options of what they could do and it’s always very challenging with competing priorities, and onboarding almost tends to fall at the bottom line of the things that I need to do each day for the organization. 


There was an individual, his name is Charles and he reached out and said, “Hey, I want to help you guys.” He’s super passionate and wanted to do so much with us, but again, it got pushed down. I did not take the time to onboard him and give him the opportunity to know more about the organization. 


And over time, I realized how much we were missing out from the individual, bringing his resources, bringing his goodwill, bringing his expertise to support us. And it’s our fault. It’s on me not figuring out a way to bring him on. Looking back and understanding his why based on different conversations with him, understanding why he wanted to support us, I realized that this would be the perfect person to help us set up the volunteer program, where we set up each of the stages with the people that reach out to us that want to volunteer to come and work with us in different capacities. They want to travel to the African continent and work with farmers. They want to work with our students in the U.S. They want to help out with building the right foundation for the organization. Whatever that capacity is, this individual is going to build up a program that will make the make volunteers come in and be engaged. And, this is something that is important, while it shouldn’t be misused, a lot of times when people raise problems or when people make you see problems, sometimes they are the solution. I do not have the capacity to actually have that entire onboarding process. But, figuring out that this was his skillset and this was his passion allowed me to give him that opportunity to really make a huge impact for the organization moving forward. So, that is my error on that and how I corrected it. 


Rebecca, will you hire me after telling you about my weakness? 


Patty Hampton: Rebecca, P.?  


Rebecca Peel: Yeah, I’ll share a specific type of mis-hire. I think most of us are really privileged to be able to attract purpose-driven, extremely talented people. An area that I’m still honing, and I’m still holding all my practice areas, is around maximizing value between yourself and a hire, specifically as it pertains to learning and growth. 


I think we’ve all hired people who were a perfect culture match, had all the competences they needed, but we’re disengaged and unhappy in the role because we didn’t get someone who was happy to do the work we needed done. And, that’s a painful mis-hire. 


Google has the privilege of being able to say, “We’re just going to get culture, and we can move you around our company if the role isn’t right.” But often in social ventures, we’re resource-constricted and we have specific roles we need to get done, so we can’t just hire really smart, purpose-driven people that are a good match. 


So for me, one of my favorite questions I’ll share because I think it’s a great toolkit in anyone’s interview practice is: What are the forms of value, or learning and growth, that you hope to get during your time in this position? And then really listen and make sure what someone wants to learn, the skillset someone wants to build, is aligned with what your organization needs to achieve.  


For a specific example, at the Rockefeller Foundation we would hire a program associates into all of our verticals, health, food, et cetera. And I’d get a lot of applicants who wanted to work on their thought leadership. The reality of that role is, it’s someone writing grants and doing research for a managing director, who is doing thought leadership. 


So, being able to hone in and make sure that if you have all your other ducks in a row, you’re aligning as much value on the actual capabilities and learnings someone’s going to have. To me, that’s one of the really important success metrics that you need to hone in on once you have the other nuts and bolts in your hiring system put together. It helps avoid these painful mis-hires where you have sharp, talented people that are super unhappy and they just stay there, but they complain a lot and it makes management hard. 


Patty Hampton: Exactly. Yeah, when you were talking, Rebecca, I had the image of one of our clients just saying, “I just need some butts in seats.” And so, I just said, “No, it’s a little bit more than that. You don’t want to rehire all of 12 of those people. So how about we not go in that direction?” And we were able to reshift them, if you will, so thanks for sharing that.   


All right, so let’s talk about best practices and attracting a mission-focused workforce. This one is my favorites. All of them, Rebecca P. and Cedric and Rebecca D., have already touched on brand identity. I heard that in a lot of your responses. And can people see themselves when they visit your website? That is what’s key right now, especially for social enterprises. 


If you put up certain websites, I won’t say what sector, but certain websites, and then you put up a website that’s in the social enterprise space, you can see a difference. You really can. And people need to see themselves when they visit your website. Do you have an inclusive culture that is being demonstrated through your website? 


The other one that’s my favorite in this area around best practices is engaging in storytelling. All of you already know that social enterprises know how to tell a story. So you need to engage in storytelling. It’s very simple to do. And I do it a lot when I interview people as well. People often ask me, “How did you and Lisa meet?” Well, it’s a great story there, and I always start with, “Well, Lisa and I met in a cab.” I have you intrigued already, right? 


So, Lisa Brown Alexander, she is SITA’s Strategic Advisor, and she’s also the Founder of our parent company. So, I did. I met Lisa in a cab ride, we went to the same meeting and we shared a cab ride, pre-COVID, 20 years ago. And I’m still at Nonprofit HR. I never left, and there’s a reason for that. She told a story. I told a story. Together, we’re still telling the same story, and you can see our passion, you can feel our passion when you talk to us about the organization. 


And guess what? I was a top performer. I still am a top performer, and Lisa recognized that. I know she did or else why would she hire me? And so, I hope to continue to serve in this space. Most importantly, it’s about the legacy that we leave behind. And we still today have legacy client. Two of them, in fact, that I will not name, that we’re still servicing 20 years later. That is an engaging story that you can tell people when you’re having a conversation with them. I don’t mean to brag, but what does it mean to be a top performer is your story? What’s the story that you’re telling? What’s the story that you’re sharing in the interview process? What’s your vision? Are you really purposefully telling them about and sharing with them your vision and the purpose of your organization? Why does your organization exist today? What is the short-term game plan and what is the long-term game plan? They need to buy into what that vision and what that story is. 


So, demonstrating that in an inclusive culture and offering a culture of belonging with DEI, where we are today in this country, people want to know, do I belong in this culture that you’ve created? Am I going to be treated fairly? Am I going to be respected? And Rebecca Peel mentioned earlier about compensation structure and benefit offerings, and Cedric also mentioned about professional and personal development, and a learning culture is also what we shared earlier. One of my favorites is around the WIIFM. Do you guys know what WIIFM is? “What’s in it for me?” 


People want to know. You called me. I’m happy over here at company A, organization A, but you tapped me on the shoulder to come and work over here with your organization. What’s on their mind? “What’s in it for me?” I call that the WIIFM approach. So, people are looking for a well-being holistic approach to attract them to your organization. What are you offering? Rebecca Peel said it earlier, and all of you have mentioned it. What’s the value? What’s your value proposition? Are they buying into that? 


Then, we talked about lived experiences. Do you want people on your team to have a coaching mentality? To have mentoring behaviors and skills? I know for the social enterprise sector, there is this, what I call, servant leadership style. They want to serve, you have a leadership style where you want to serve, and you want the organization to thrive. So, you have a servant and thriving approach to leading. Do you want your top performers to have the same? Then you need to interview for that. 


So, I could go on and on about this one, but I want to bring in my panelists again. Cedric, share with us some best practices that you’ve used to attract mission-focused or high-performing talent. 


Cedric Nwafor: I would say, you’ve touched on most of them. I think that story piece is good stuff.  


One of the things that I really focus on is, would they have the opportunity to make a difference? 


When you’re running a social enterprise, it easy for you to be doing a thousand different things at once. You’re doing fundraising, you’re doing strategic planning, all of these things, you’re doing them. And because of that, sometimes you get to touch on everything and overshadow everyone else. So my goal is, how do I make sure that I let them shine? It’s a constant battle because sometimes by you not being at the forefront and saying, “Hey, this is the initiative I am leading,” means the initiative doesn’t get the audience that it could get or the attraction it could get. It’s a constant battle to see how do you ensure that you give somebody a task, and when they excel at that task, you put them at the forefront. And showing them as well by saying, “Hey, this is the role that you can play.” 


The good news about smaller organizations is that it’s easy to tie folding donor letters to how it makes an impact for the organization. And to me, that’s something that I hope to carry on as we grow ROOTS Africa moving forward; being able to tie every single activity that has been done in the organization to the impact that they have on the organization. For example, if a donor reaches out and says, “Hey, I really appreciate your thank you note,” or “I really appreciate the way that you thanked me,” I will send it out to the person who did that activity so they can see for themselves that this is not just checking a box, this is actually important work. So, for me, that’s one of the ways in which I try to win and attract people. 


Patty Hampton: Great. Thanks for sharing that, Cedric. Rebecca P. and Rebecca Dray, anything you’d like to add? 


Rebecca Peel: Yeah, I’ll jump in. So, on the attraction piece, I’ll bring it back to understanding your value proposition again. And if you’re thinking to yourself, as Cedric mentioned, “I’m doing a million things.” It doesn’t have to be that hard. When you ask a candidate when you’re interviewing them, “Why do you want to work at X?” You’re getting an answer to tell you what your perceived value proposition is in the market. Every time you ask that question, it’s an opportunity to write down what you hear and start codifying what people think your value proposition is. Go ask your three highest performers, “What is the piece of value that keeps you here?” And you’re going to know what your lived value proposition is. 


And, if you’re doing exit interviews, it’s as simple as asking, “What was the hardest thing to give up when making the choice to leave?” And that, that system, that check, is feeding back into your understanding of value proposition. Once you know what that is, how you’re going to attract top talent is to take that value proposition and bake it into your employer branding. And this will come down to how you’re talking about the work, and the very language you’re using. Are you using words that are going to attract creative problem solvers, if that’s what you’re offering? Use the right attraction language.  


At Living Goods, where I was for a couple of years a couple of years ago, we had a really strong value proposition that actually needed to be changed, depending on what roles we were recruiting for. Our mission was to reduce infant mortality. When it came to attracting in our San Francisco office, that was the number-one driver we needed to make really clear—that you’re going to change the world and have the opportunity to help dropped infant mortality by 25% where we work. When it came to hiring the branch staff in Kenya and Uganda that would actually manage the work, many of them came from Last Mile healthcare. That wasn’t a differentiator for our value proposition. For them, the language we needed to use was, “Do you want to become an outstanding manager and get the best management training in the world?” And that’s the number one source of value for that human being. 


So, beyond understanding and codifying what your value proposition is, make sure you’re asking yourself, are there variants to this within my company that I need to consider when I’m hiring? And so, I think when it comes to attracting, really taking the value proposition work, and making sure you’re thoughtfully putting it in to your job descriptions and your branding. Make sure if you don’t have your philosophy and your work on anti-racism and diversity, equity and inclusion, you get it up there, fast, and you do the work. Many people I know in our space will not consider an employer that doesn’t have a stance, or at least doesn’t have a stance saying, “We’re working on our stance. We know this isn’t good enough. We’ll get there fast.” 


And then, the third thing when it comes to attracting really good talent as a nugget that I think is helpful is making sure you’re carving out, specifically in social venture, talking a little bit about the how you do your work. There’s a lot of people solving the same problem, and you want to attract people that are not only fired up about the problem you’re solving, but actually how you’re solving it, and listen for that in your interviews. They can’t just care about the issue you’re solving. They actually have to be deeply committed and invested in thinking your approach is the number one approach to get there. 


Patty Hampton: Yeah, thanks for that, Rebecca. 


You touched on something that I’d like to move over to Rebecca Dray. Rebecca Peel touched on already the fact that we’re climbing out of three crises. One of them around the Black Lives Matter movement, and now we are faced with AAPI hate and other racially-charged issues as well. So, what’s different? What have you seen that’s different in the social enterprise space that we should be focused on, and how we should be attracting people that will drive the mission forward? What’s shifted? Have you noticed anything that’s shifted? 


Rebecca Dray: Yeah, I think people care more than ever right now about who they work for and why they work there. But I think one of the things I observe is that social enterprises aren’t always fantastic at really talking about their impact. 


I remember seeing this really interesting study that was about who the best people to work for and the worst people to work for were during the early part of the pandemic. And I think in the top three was Walmart on both sides, so they were perceived both as the best and the worst. To me, it just showed how perception is truth for most of us. What we perceive of an organization becomes a truth of that organization. I think sometimes social enterprises focus too much on the business side and not enough on demonstrating impact.  


And, I see this doing certification. One of the things with the criteria for certification is, can you demonstrate the impact that you’re making? Actually, quite a lot of social enterprises say, “Well, we don’t really record it. We just help people.” Well, that’s great, but that’s not going to help you to attract people. Particularly now, people care more than ever. It matters to them who they want to go and work for and feeling invested in the organization.  


The first time I started a social enterprise, it was in 2006, and I’ve told you this story before, Patty. I originally started a social enterprise that was, in theory, going to be there to support people with mental health conditions. I, myself, have mental health issues that have plagued me my whole life and I was very open about that. And I went to another social enterprise that was run by people with mental health conditions, and I said, “What do you love about working here and what would you change before I open our place?” And this one guy said to me, “I hate the fact that everybody that walks in the front door knows that I have mental illness because all we talk about is that we’re here for people with mental illness.” And I was so horrified because I realized that I was in theory trying to attract people to an organization that was about getting away from barriers and away from stigma. And actually all I’ve done is slap a huge label on everybody that was coming in the door saying, “Come and love us because these people all have mental health problems.” 


So, we immediately listened to that and really pivoted our model, and we actually opened up the first social enterprise in the country that had an open-door policy. We just said, “We don’t really care what your reason is. It’s not relevant, really. It’s not relevant to us. What’s relevant is you’re struggling to keep a job or get a job. If that matters to you, come to us.” And I did a radio interview to attract people to come and work for us, and I think our business plan said that we would support 45 people in the first year. I did a radio interview, and I talked about my personal experience. I talked about this new kind of organization that we were trying to start this new business and said, “We’re hiring. If you consider yourself disadvantaged in the workplace, for whatever reason, or you want to come and work for an organization that’s helping people that are, turn up to this open day and learn more about us.” And an hour before the open day started, people were queued all the way down the street, all the way around the corner, all the way down the next street. I think we had like 150 people that came to our very first day just to learn about the organization because we were really authentic and honest, and we talked about the impact and who we were and why we were trying to do it. So, to me, that’s a vital piece, sharing that, and not being afraid to share what your impact is. Your why. 


Patty Hampton: That’s right. That’s right. Thanks for sharing that story, Rebecca, I appreciate that. So, we already have on the screen the next part of our conversation, but before we move on, Alicia, are there any burning questions that the team here can answer? 


Alicia Schoshinski: Yes, Patty. This one is a little bit related to engagement and some of the things you’ve been talking about: How can organizations create intentional space for staff well-being while performing fast-paced, high-volume work? 


Patty Hampton: Hmm, I love that one. Rebecca P.? 


Rebecca Peel: Thank you. That’s a great one. I think that’s one that has been really hard and important over the last 12 months, and is always really important. 


It can feel like sometimes a tradeoff between creating space for wellness and delivering an outcome and performance. Then, you have the burnout paradigm that means if you don’t create the safety, you’re actually not going to get there anyway. Some methods I’ve seen, more recently, in the last 12 months, to try to figure out how to create the safety, have certainly been around leaders sharing things that they’re doing for wellness, and really creating the space for other people on their teams and managers to do the same. And that’s as much as trying to, as a leader, know that if you’re telling your team, “We’re on zoom a million hours a day, you don’t have to show up with your camera on because we know that that’s emotionally and physically and mentally exhausting,” but you as the CEO or a member of the executive team absolutely always have your camera on, it might send a signal that it’s actually not okayOK. So, when you are putting together the things that your team believes they need, and this can be done through listening sessions or you can do this through step input surveys, just asking your team, “What do you need to feel good right now?” or “What do you need to restore yourselves right now?” Make sure that as a leader, even if it’s not what you need, but it turns out that’s what your team needs, that you’re still modeling that behavior. Anyone want to add to that? It’s a big question to unpack. So, let’s say that that’s one idea, but there’s a lot you can do here. 


Patty Hampton: Yeah, Rebecca Dray? And I can see your finger, Cedric. 


Rebecca Dray: Yeah, I was just going to say a practical thing that we did when we had a lot of employees. We started seeing tensions rise up between people, and one of the things we did was a piece of work around how you experience the world. It was probably the most valuable thing I ever did with a large staff team that were working in a really stressful environment sometimes. 


So, we helped people to understand whether or not they were inferential or direct people. We actually created what would now be a nice spreadsheet on some cool Cloud software, but at the time, it was a massive whiteboard. We would say, “OkayOK, Rebecca is an inferential listen, but a direct speaker,” or “Cedric, sees the world this way.” And it actually helped us in the way that we communicated with each other because we’re all different people. We all experience things differently. And as a classic example, poor communication, to me, is the root of a lack of well-being in an organization, and part of that can just be that you’re expecting other people to experience the world the way that you do. And so, if I say to you, Patty, “I need this report today,” or I just say, “I need this report typed up, Patty,” and you say, “OkayOK.” And in your head, you’re just hearing she needs it whenever. But in my mind, I’m thinking, I need that typed now, then there’s this disconnect between the way that you have heard me and the way that I have said something. 


And when you learn about the way in which we need information, it’s actually super helpful. If you learn that somebody needs direct, then you’re learning that what you’re saying is, “Hey Patty, when you type this thing, can I have it in two hours? Is that reasonable?” And actually, it got rid of so much tension in our workforce, and really helped people feel compassion for each other and to communicate in a really healthy way, so that was a top thing. 


Patty Hampton: Yeah. Cedric? 


Cedric Nwafor: The only thing that I will add is the fact that sometimes I tell people to take a break. For the individual that would not take a day off, I know other things that they are involved in, so I ask them to take a break and go recuperate and then come back. I think that is important because it tells them like, “Hey, this person realizes that I’m working really hard.” 


There may be other things that are happening in your life and I ask them to take a break, and go recuperate before they come back. It looks like I’m doing it for them, but it turns back to bite me because if they become disengaged, they can become grumpy, and it affects us all. So actually, intentionally, you’re going out saying, “Hey, this is going on in your life, or these are the things that you’ve been working on, you need to break a little bit to recuperate.” And maybe tapping into Rebecca Peel’s idea of sharing with them what I do as well to make sure that I stay engaged is also important. 


Rebecca Peel: Can I “Yes, and” Cedric? 


Patty Hampton: Yes. 


Rebecca Peel: To “Yes, and” Cedric on the take a break—use your management practice. 


If you’re going to implement something like this, I’ve seen this go well and I’ve seen it go poorly and cause disengagement. If Cedric, as CEO, starts telling just his reports to take a break, but the CEO who has the other half of the organization is not doing that, you get a different experience that’s going to cause not great stuff. 


So when you think this is what the organization needs, build a management practice, so that you’re telling all of your leaders, “You know what, we’re performing. We’re knocking it out of the charts. Let’s see what happens if we start telling our people to take more breaks.” And you can then have a more consistent experience where you’re not going to get these fractures in your culture. So, yes to what Cedric said with the, also, scale it across your organization. 


Patty Hampton: That’s right, that’s right. I appreciate you mentioning all of those because it’s heartwarming to know that we require that at SITA, and of course, our parent company. Our top performers are not clock punchers, they work on results. It’s about results. It’s not about how many hours you worked, it’s about delivering results. And self care, especially nowadays, is really, really important, and we, as leaders, have to practice what we preach; it can’t be any simpler than that. 


What you have on the screen before you are some actionable steps to engage and sustain a culture. That’s really where we’re headed, as we roll into the last few minutes of our conversation here. 


So, Nonprofit HR conducted our 2021 Talent Management Priorities Survey. We found that culture and engagement continue to be a top priority, and that’s really what we’ve been talking about here as well. So, you see the statistics, the data, on the screen. And it couldn’t be more true and telling. We’re talking about culture, attracting and engagement right now, we previously talked about a learning culture, and look at the percentage there.  


And then, of course, what we haven’t touched on, and we won’t do it on this call, but performance management is just as high. And then the two obstacles impeding organizations from realizing those talent management priorities, and all of us should know this well, we’ve already said it upfront, is not enough staff and not enough financial resources. I’ve been in this space a long time, and those have been the two forefront issues at the center of what we’re talking about today, as well as across the social impact sector. It’s always about people and capacity and financial resources. 


So if you’re going to engage and sustain a high-performing culture that thrives, your priorities have to align; we’ve already mentioned that. What we haven’t mentioned is just some specific things, so let me share that with the folks on the webinar today.  


We talked about well-being, but I don’t like the term work-life balance, and so I try my best not to use it. I even encourage my business partner, Alicia, who’s on the call, she’s our Managing Director of Talent & Development, and I said, it’s not about work-life balance anymore. It’s about, how do you integrate your life with your work? No one knows that my mom is a dialysis patient and she’s downstairs. She’s probably waiting for me to come and fix her lunch, but it’s almost dinner time. So, I have a whole another crew, a whole another life happening downstairs, one floor below me. And that’s happening all around us. We said it earlier too: Have you had stay or engagement conversations with the people in your organization? 


And then, we already talked about a culture of learning. Cedric said it earlier. It’s about personal and professional development. If you have folks that are jazzed about working with your organization, what sort of personal engagement are you engaging them in? How about financial literacy? That’s a huge one nowadays. Do you invite someone in to teach your folks about financial literacy? And then life purpose, their life purpose has to align with their professional purpose. I said it earlier. All of us come to organizations with our purpose already inscribed on our hearts. 


All right, so we’re going to wrap up a little bit. We probably won’t get to all of these questions. I want to make sure that we’re conscious of our time and also, making sure that we can answer any burning questions that are in the chat. 


But, as we begin to close out, I want to ask just one question around actionable steps to engage, and I want each of you to give some suggestions here. So, what are your thoughts on high performing people that have an emotional connection with the organization? You all touched on that earlier, but why is that so important? Who wants to start? 


Cedric Nwafor: The one thing I’ll say about this, and I’m sure that the two Rebecca’s would have a lot more to say about it, but I think this is the only reason why we in the nonprofit world kind of survive is because these individuals have that drive in them, have, like you said, that purpose inscribed on their heart. Because there is opportunity cost of running a nonprofit or working in a nonprofit, we could be out there in sales doing so much more and making a lot more money, and we have chosen to be in this space. So realizing that, and ensuring that the individuals that are within the organization know that  

purpose and reminding them of that; it’s the reason why we have the organization and why it survives. 


Patty Hampton: Great, thank you. Rebecca D. or Rebecca P., anything you’d like to add? 


Rebecca Peel: I’ll just add, it seems obvious, but as social ventures, the most important piece of value we’re offering people is the opportunity to make meaningful progress towards the impact in our mission statement. 


You can compromise on a lot of sources of value, but that is the one you absolutely cannot sacrifice. And one of the ways, I like to present it is if someone’s life purpose is to end human trafficking, and that’s what they care about, they’re obsessed with the problem, you’re getting more than 40 hours a week from them. Because everything they do, the articles they read, the forums they participate in, the books they read, are adding so much value to your mission.  


So, to me, that’s the one that, if you don’t know how to do it well, that’s the one you have to get good at doing well, to get the right people. And I’d say the double-edged sword of that when it comes to engagement is that they will be the most frustrated, disengaged people if they feel like we’re not making progress toward XYZ. And we’ve all heard it. So, it’s the number one source of value, and it’s also going to be one of the most painful things in your culture to keep people engaged: this frustration to do it faster, harder, better. 


Patty Hampton: Great, thank you so much. Rebecca D., anything you’d like to add? 


Rebecca Dray: No, I think they’ve said it all. I could tell more stories, but we need time for questions. 


Patty Hampton: Me too, it’s one of my favorite subjects. All right, so I’m going to run through my top 10, and if you guys want to do a “yes, and,” that’s not a problem. 


So, characteristics of a high-performing people who own their results. We’ve said most of this already. It’s about commitment and passion. An entrepreneurial mindset and an innovation itch. Focus on people, coaches and mentors and a positive outlook on the mission. Self-managed people, those who self-manage their time. Time management is critical. They push through procrastination. I am a top performer and I push through procrastination. They’re humble and audacious. They embrace performance feedback. So, if you have a top performer in your organization, and you’re not providing them with any feedback, they’re going to seek it somewhere else. They take initiative. All of you have already experienced that. There are solutions-focused, I think Rebecca Peel said it best around the value that they’re bringing to the organization. And then, they value networking. I am a troll on LinkedIn, and I look to engage with people in an open conversation, especially around the social enterprise space. I want to network. I want to dive into this space in a way that it feeds my soul. It literally feeds my soul. 


So, anything you’d like to add in terms of characteristics of a high-performing people? 


Rebecca Peel: Yes, and. I would say, in ninety percent of the round one culture interviews I have built for organizations, fifty percent of my time is spent on learning. 


It’s identifying wide learners, unpacking learning motivations and aligning learning motivations; assessing for a growth mindset, so that growth learning orientation; and then the interesting piece is around learning and feedback, and using feedback, actually, as data for learning. 


So, for high-performing people, to me, I’d break down learning and I’d have four different segments strictly focused on learning. That would be my “yes, and” to let’s take the list of 10 and then build out three more and make it 13. 


Patty Hampton: There you go. 


Cedric Nwafor: I think the view of just actively learning and applying was one of them, but Rebecca already touched on that. I think empathy is really, really important for me and for the organization. The other day we were doing a stakeholder analysis and were dealing with so many moving pieces that are included in the organization in order for us to deliver impact. If somebody doesn’t understand exactly that it’s not really all about you, you’re an important piece in the puzzle, but it’s not all about you, and doesn’t understand the moving pieces and how it applies, then we’re setting ourselves up to face conflict down the line. Having a sense of empathy is something that I really look for in anybody that is joining, and understanding that the cause is the top priority. They are very important, of course, in achieving that, but there are so many other pieces making this work. So, let’s work together to make it happen. 


Patty Hampton: Great. Thank you so much, Cedric. Rebecca D.?  


Rebecca Dray: Everything, yes and just people that want to turn up with a solution. I know you said solutions-focused, but I used to think that it was just in the startup space that you needed to be good at pivoting. And then, of course, you get into the actual doing of it in a social enterprise, and you realize your whole job is pivoting all the time. 


The business plan I wrote, however many years ago, I might as well rip out and throw away because it means nothing to what we’re doing now. But you don’t just want people to come to you and tell you the problem. Be part of the solution, own the solution, come with the solution—so yes, solutions-focused. 


We have this little saying, “positivity finger.” That’s our thing. I’m going to give you the positivity finger because you need to just bring the positive and what’s possible and the solutions, rather than focusing on the negative. That’s something I think is a characteristic of a high-performing person. 


Patty Hampton: Great. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you all, and we could talk about this for another half hour. But I’m conscious of our time, and the time that we have left. Alicia, are there any additional burning questions that we should respond to? 


Alicia Schoshinski: Thanks, Patty. I thought this one really dovetails nicely with what you were just talking about. Somebody asked: What metrics you could use to measure all those characteristics of the right high-performing people, and are they specific or unique to social enterprise organizations? 


Patty Hampton: They’re not unique, just quite a few of them are unique to social enterprise organizations, but a good overarching of them are not. High-performers are everywhere, and in every sector as well. 


I think one of the measurements that I use is around the performance management system itself, their goals and KPIs. Those are our measurements and I call them measurements of success. Generally, with top performers they are measuring and collecting their own data. They have data points and metrics that they can deliver on a moment’s notice, and they do share those with you as well. 


Rebecca P., anything you’d like to add there on metrics that you’ve seen that can be used? 


Rebecca Peel: Well, for one, I’m just pumped that our first question was on, how do we measure it? Snaps to that question asker. 


And, Patty, same thing as you, what I’d say is, if you’re a social entrepreneur, and you have limited time in your resources that you’re able to allocate, I would say a starting point is everyone has to hire. When you’re hiring, if you have not managed to get a trained system in place on how you’re ranking your inbound assessments of talent, put it in place now, you can do it in an Excel sheet, and start gathering data. 


It’s as simple as when you ask someone, “What do you hope to learn, gain or develop in this role?” And you rank them 1 to 5, starting to codify what a five looks like, a four, a three, a two and a one. If you are assessing someone’s ambiguity tolerance, similarly, you’re going to rank it 1 to 5. 


Once you start getting this data and you’re not spending any extra time getting it, you’re just adding a number when you do an interview in an Excel sheet. 


When it comes time, at the three-month mark, you can go back. And now you’ve worked with this person. You know their competence. And you can score 1 to 5 across the same competencies you looked for. Go back, did you get it right when you are selecting this person? If you didn’t, and you didn’t over time at scale, you need to get better at selection. If you didn’t get it right, and they’re not performing in the role, did you hire what you needed? 


So, my strongest recommendation is if you’re not tracking your hypotheses on what someone’s talent is on the way in, then you can’t systematically build your learning and build that muscle. So, I wouldn’t wait. I’d start now and start to build that muscle or practice as you scale across your hiring managers, your management practice, and team, and start to define that capability. But it’s certainly something that I’d say can become unique within your organization as to what a high performer looks like within your organization, which is why there’s a lot of great places to start on defining these competencies. I personally use Korn Ferry’s Competence Models, but every organization I work for or help tailor those competencies to what that looks like in their organization, and that muscle gets built by getting the data and using your performance management systems as a way to keep building that muscle. 


Patty Hampton: That’s right. That’s right. Rebecca D. and Cedric, anything you’d like to add in terms of metrics? 


Rebecca Dray: We use a system of 360-degree feedback, where we don’t just ask. When I do performance reviews with people, I don’t just ask them how they think they’re doing. I ask their colleagues, I ask their customers, I ask other vendors that they have to talk to. I ask them, too, to rank themselves, but I ask from everybody’s different perspective of how a person is, is perceived and is working. I think that’s really helpful as a metric to help people listen to the feedback of how they are being perceived. 


Patty Hampton: Great, thank you so much. Rebecca D., Cedric and Rebecca P., thank you so much for your time today and partnering with me on SITA by Nonprofit HR’s first webinar. We’re super excited that we’ve launched and super excited about continuing the conversation around social enterprises. This is the space that I love and that I thrive in as a top performer myself. So, thank you so much. I’m humbled that you have partnered with SITA by Nonprofit HR today.  


I’m sure, Alicia, that there were some burning questions that we didn’t get to in the chat, but I do want everyone to know that we will answer them after the webinar and follow up with responses to the questions that you’ve had. Alicia, is there anything else in the last second that we have?  


Alicia Schoshinski: No, thank you, Patty. And thank you, Rebecca, Rebecca and Cedric for this really insightful and inspiring conversation. I think you all could have gone on for a bit longer because there’s so many great things to talk about, and I’m sure our audience certainly appreciate everything you had to offer.  


Please keep in mind, we have many, many more webinars coming your way in 2021, and you can check out these events on our events calendar at nonprofithr.com. Please be sure to complete the feedback survey that will pop up once the webcast has ended. Your comments help us with planning and can inform the topics that we cover as well.  


You’ll also receive a follow-up email, as we mentioned, with a link to the recording, the slides and the SHRM and the HRCI recertification codes. That will come in the next few days. But if you’d like more information about available services or support from SITA by Nonprofit HR, please visit us online at gosita.com. 


We want to again thank you all for coming, and thank you again to our wonderful presenters. We hope you have a wonderful day. Thank you.