Perspectives: Nonprofit Leaders of Change

Using Salesforce to Motivate Staff

One of the biggest hurdles organizations face during a platform transition is getting current employees to use the new technology and make it part of their daily routine. But once data is collected through the new platform, organizations can better illustrate impact, a key metric for motivating and recruiting staff.

Getting Employees On Board

A Salesforce implementation is often the first step of a nonprofit’s data collection journey. The next step is teaching and encouraging staff to use it. Here are some key tips for a smooth transition from human services organizations that have flourished: 

Start Slowly

No matter what level of tech familiarity and expertise your employees may have, consider a slow roll out. The head of technology at a major affordable housing nonprofit called it a “progression.” You can give employees a little bit to show them what can be done, and then you give them more. By giving them something that is inherently short-term valuable, you can tease them into things that are longer-term valuable.

Create a Holistic View

For ICD-NYC, a career development and employment services nonprofit that serves people with disabilities, the Salesforce database provides a holistic view of a client’s progress, so case workers can zero in on those who may need more support. The data also shows which services clients are using and how different departments are operating. President of Programs and Operations, Dio Gica, EdD,  describes how the platform supports clients in the context of career services:

“When participants come to our program they go to an array of services, delivered by different departments and sometimes – because of the volume of clients that we see – assessment doesn’t talk to training, or one department doesn’t talk to another – so we get only a piecemeal view of the client. Now, we can see the arc of the different services each client is using and identify the gaps in our resources.”

Getting a comprehensive picture of their clients’ engagement in all their programs and services  was a game changer for ICD’s leadership team.

Motivate Staff to Maximize Use

For SNAP, an organization that provides low-cost loans and services to repair health and safety hazards in homes, staff found comfort in their old-standing systems. “We used our prior database for 30 years, so staff most familiar with those systems tended to have the hardest time transitioning,” says Lucy Lepinski, Chief Operating Officer. “The new staff comes on, and they love it. They jump right in. The next challenge is motivating them to dig deeper and utilize the technology to its fullest.”

Once you scratch the surface of what’s technologically possible, you can continue to explore and expand your nonprofit’s capabilities with solutions such as CRM Analytics and utilizing external data sets to benchmark your own data sets.

The Outcome: Impact, Efficacy, Satisfaction 

The efficacy that Salesforce provides leads to greater overall impact. Staff can see the participant’s progression, how effective each service is, and where there are gaps.

We use Salesforce so we can show the effectiveness of our impact. Now, we are able to ensure that the story we share about our impact is based on data and evidence-based outcomes,” says Taylor Herrell, PhD, Director of Measurement & Evaluation at MAAC, a community organization that helps families to become self-sufficient. “With Salesforce, the narrative is much more compelling.” 

 

In the case of ICD-NYC, the data leads to more satisfying long-term goals for both clients and workers. Often a workforce development organization is asked simply: Did you get the person a job? But the technology now allows an appreciation for the client’s full journey.

“As a caseworker, you really want to help people find a career-impact job, not just something for the short term,” says Gica. “To me, in a nonprofit, that’s the golden egg that everyone is trying to crack. Seeing things from the participant’s perspective.”

Staff are motivated by the outcomes they see for their clients. Plus, spending more time with their clients and less time dedicated to paperwork and dealing with bureaucracy adds to their job satisfaction.

Dr. Herrell agrees:

“The data helps us tell stories to our community members and to people who potentially want to work here and contribute to the impact we make. I think we all know that right now, especially in the current talent market… you’re starting to see people who want a higher purpose come to an organization that is doing good work. Data helps us communicate that. It helps us keep our people motivated and oriented towards our clear North Star.”

Salesforce Solutions to Increase Impact

While implementing a new platform can be intimidating, you can help employees navigate the transitional waters by starting slowly and showing how the technology will make their work more efficient and effective. The final result of your data collection gives your entire organization a much-needed holistic view of the people you serve and the ability to tell your story.

Ensuring long-term impact is Provisio Partners’ specialty. As the largest dedicated Salesforce consultancy with a single focus in human services, Proviso implements and streamlines operations to support an organization’s needs as they evolve, such as showing opportunities for services or mission impact to staff and donors. For more information, please visit provisiopartners.com or fill out this form.

About the Series

Provisio Partners wanted to examine how their clients are faring with their Salesforce implementations and if the technology was keeping pace with their customers’ needs in these evolving times. They enlisted several partners to participate in deep conversations about how Salesforce is helping to maximize their missions, how their data needs are changing, and what wisdom they would impart to other nonprofits. The result is the blog series entitled Perspectives: Nonprofit Leaders of Change.

 

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