Employee Engagement Success Story:
Heart & Stroke Foundation

The biggest plus for being in a not-for-profit is we have meaning. People often go to not-for-profits because they’re connected to that. So that’s a bonus for not-for-profits but that doesn’t mean all those other drivers don’t matter.

Hi, I’m Sue Ward. I’m the Regional Manager of Human Resources for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. I’ve been in human resources for about 30 years and involved with employee engagement for about 20 years.

I think what the employee engagement survey process does is help us focus on our employees. We’re so focused on donors and volunteers that the third piece of that puzzle, and the very important piece, is employees. The employee engagement process has helped us focus on employees.

We’re not-for-profit, we don’t have a lot of money so we have to make sure we’re investing in the best use of those dollars to try to improve employee engagement. So that was a really big decision out of the gate, to go to a third party and not survey ourselves. There were enough of us around the table, myself included […], that knew how important it was for data to have integrity, benchmarks, and that employees trusted that it was a confidential process.

They’re very responsive. When we’re surveying, I’m talking to somebody like Marla almost every day and even though I think we’re annoying, we’re never annoying to her. It’s fantastic service. That’s one of the reasons I would recommend TalentMap.

I trust the data. I trust the benchmarks that we’re being compared to.

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You’ve asked the questions, you’ve given employees a voice – how do you respond to that? I think we were kind of stuck there or a while.  So, we brought Norm in to do some action planning with us, to work with our senior executive. They really value Norm. I think he’s been in now three times to help coach them and guide them through that process, around: “okay, you have to really do a lot more around actioning, around things that matter most to employees, and making it visible to employees.”

The first couple of times we did the employee engagement survey, a lot of what we were doing was behind the scenes. Norm really brought it to our attention that employees need to see what you’re doing, to see that they have a voice, and you’re responding too.