With your grant, I propose coaching nonprofit employees (using Values2Wellbeing) to improve their wellbeing and develop authentic gratitude in the workplace. Your grant will cover the coaching services, so that nonprofits do not initially shoulder the cost. The coaching is a key step to develop a culture of wellbeing in the nonprofit world, where employees are cherished and gratitude is inspired. Improved longevity among fundraising staff will result in the nonprofits better meeting their missions. After our trial and evaluation, we can scale up our efforts and reach the greater nonprofit community.
I’m passionate about transforming the nonprofit world, by creating a culture of wellbeing where employees are cherished, rather than treated as workhorses. Developing gratitude is a key component.
The turnover rate among fundraisers is shockingly high. A culture of wellbeing will help the staff to have greater longevity. This will result in improved relationships with even more donors, a corresponding increase in giving, and greater success as nonprofits fulfill their missions. Everyone and everything that they serve will benefit.
I’m certified in Values2Wellbeing, a science-based coaching technique created by the folks at Science2Wellbeing. What I’m sharing with you now is part of their coach-training module.
What are core values? They are our intrinsic guiding principles that we’re born with. Examples include creativity, independence, and authenticity. Your special mishmash of values is what makes you – you.
This is key: we’re at our best when we’re living congruently with our core values. Years of research show that when our work and daily actions are aligned with our values, we experience joy and fulfillment.
If this is so simple, why do we often fail to apply this? Unfortunately, it’s challenging to identify your core values. And the process becomes even murkier when you consider that you adopted some values along the way from outside sources, like your family, culture, and media.
Sometimes our acquired values serve us, and sometimes they don’t. The problem is that we lack the experience to know that it’s our core values, and not acquired, that will ultimately make us happy.
You may be living each day attempting to align yourself with values that aren’t even your own!
I did this myself for a few months when I accepted a promotion that I didn’t really want, but I sure liked the title. I was “successful,” but not happy or fulfilled. Turns out I had made decisions based on my acquired values, and not my core.
My clients appreciate how Values2Wellbeing removes the guesswork from the process. They love the elegant structure that helps them to quantify their values, and objectively shows them which are their core values, and which they acquired from others.
To be happy, we need to live a life true to ourselves. This coaching technique gives employees the awareness to make effective decisions that are aligned with their core values. In turn, they feel deeply grateful when they can see how their job assignments are congruent with their core values.
As a coach, I help them consider their assignments, and match each task to at least one core value. Employees who once felt ambivalence (or worse, dread) about an assignment are able to view the same work as an opportunity to meet their deepest desire – a chance to live congruently with a core value they cherish. The employees who appreciate the silver lining offered by their job assignments are the ones who will feel most grateful.
Sometimes an employee needs more than a new perspective to feel fulfilled. She may need to incorporate more of what she loves into her job description, or perhaps in life outside of work. As a coach, I help her identify what activities light her on fire, and how she can bring more of those into her work and life. When an employee is living congruently with her values, she feels a deep sense of connection and gratitude.
A second way employees develop gratitude is by better understanding the values of challenging co-workers. Employees who have taken a deep dive into Values2Wellbeing have razor-sharp clarity about their core and acquired values. They understand how we may adopt values from our culture, our generation, or our families. With this new perspective, employees can think about themselves and their co-workers, and objectively consider previous conflicts.
Often, when we look at heated conversations from the past through the lens of our values, we feel more objective and less reactive. When we can see that differences in thoughts and actions may be attributed to a difference in values, we can maintain a basic respect for our co-workers as unique and whole individuals.
This respect, under the right conditions, can lead to an authentic expression of gratitude.
I understand the need for a top-down approach, by providing coaching to the leadership team as well as the development department. With Values2Wellbeing, I coach employees in person, as well as by skyping – making it possible to help employees across the globe. (I offer more traditional coaching by phone as well.)
The coaching sessions in Values2Wellbeing are more structured than a normal coaching session. There are three sessions, two hours each, scheduled one week apart. Gratitude will be incorporated throughout these six hours. In addition, I will include a follow-up session to help the employee shift towards greater gratitude and wellbeing. These seven hours of coaching will culminate in exciting, positive changes over time.
Partnering with the GGSC will accelerate my ability to mobilize against employee burnout. A grant would take my efforts from robust to supersonic! It would also transform the lives of nonprofit employees.