Aligning Your Mission, Values, and Benefits for HR Success

At #ASAE16, Learning Lab Speaker Mark Sedgley told attendees that aligning your association’s mission, values, and benefits will attract, engage, and retain talent.

When I hear the word “alignment,” I think of Bikram yoga—that sweaty brand of stretching, which entails 26 repeated poses in a 105-degree studio. Whenever I exit a Bikram studio—and it’s been awhile, since I have yet to figure out how to incorporate a 90-minute yoga class into my family life—I always feel strengthened, stretched, and aligned.

“Alignment” has a different meaning for Mark Sedgley, president and CEO of MemberClicks, who led a session called “Talent Management Trends in an Age of Disruption” at the 2016 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition, which just wrapped up in Salt Lake City on Tuesday.

Sedgley encouraged attendees to think about their talent-management programs—the attracting, engaging, managing, and retaining of talent—in terms of how they align with their association’s values and mission.

“What we need to start understanding is that folks want more than a 9-to-5, they want more than just teleworking, they want more than unlimited paid-time-off,” Sedgley said. “What they really want is to be part of something.”

And ideally, they’ll also want to be part of your association’s mission. You want to “create mission-minded people,” Sedgley said, but how do you do that?

“Philosophically, you have to buy in to the idea that you’ve got to get people focused on your mission every single day,” he said.

The first step is for you to know your own mission—and for you to live it out each day. To help do that, he recommended writing a handful of “values” that will enable both yourself and your employees to actually accomplish the mission. “The values are how you operationalize the mission internally,” Sedgley said.

For instance, MemberClicks’ mission is “empowering member-based organizations to thrive through refreshing technology and a heart for service.” The company’s values—those characteristics that will enable MemberClicks to accomplish its mission—include “be shockingly refreshing; take it personally; collaborate; work hard, play hard; embrace autonomy; enable transparency; and forgive.”

You want to design “your entire operation from a human-resources-management perspective around your mission and values,” Sedgley said. “You have to start there.”

“If you’re not authentic to your values and missions … you’ll continue to see cycling through your organizations from a talent perspective, and you won’t see retention, and you’ll get a lot of complaints about a lack of engagement,” he said.

You don’t want your mission and values to “ring hollow” to your staff, Sedgley said. In other words, everything should be aligned. To illustrate his point, Sedgley said MemberClicks doesn’t allow staff to work remotely. Because one of its values is collaboration, the company wants staff to come into the office and, well, collaborate. But they also offer flexible schedules since another one of its values is embracing autonomy.

“The key to success to engaging your employees is making sure you’re aligned,” he said. “Align your benefits with your values and mission. If you just do that, your engagement will be higher, you’ll retain your employees for longer, and you’ll get more productivity out of them.”

Do your association’s values align with your mission? Does your staff buy in to your mission? How can your incorporate this idea of alignment in your own association? Please leave your responses in the comments.



Emily Bratcher

By Emily Bratcher

Emily Bratcher is a Contributing Editor for Associations Now. MORE

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