- Posted by Kaycie Miller
- On July 16, 2020
- 0 Comments
To ensure that Caring Team’s are truly representing the employees in the company, Caring Team Members should be elected by the employees they represent. Each company handles these elections differently, but we’ve compiled some best practices to help you as you manage these elections.
Follow the guidelines set by your Vision Team.
These guidelines should be outlined in your Caring Team Manual. These guidelines often include how long members will stay on the Caring Team, how often members roll off and how to handle the elections. Most Vision Teams set guidelines requiring that Caring Team Members are elected by their peers (aside from the very first Caring Team Members) and not selected by the leadership company or the Caring Team members rolling off.
Your election process begins long before you are passing out the ballots for employees to vote.
The better your Caring Team Members are communicating with the employees they represent, the easier it will be for you to find candidates interested in replacing the Caring Team Member representing them when it’s their time to roll off. As employees are hearing about the great things being done by the Caring Team from the Caring Team Members, they will naturally want to be part of the great things happening. This one reason it’s so important that Caring Team Members are communicating well and often with those they represent. To read more about teaching your Caring Team Members to communicate well, check out this article.
Create a timeline and start early.
Before the election actually happens, you’ll need to communicate with the employees who will be choosing a new Caring Team Member to begin identifying candidates, educate the voters and the candidates about what makes a good Caring Team Member and once elected the new Caring Team Members should be onboarded (sometimes the Vision Team stipulates in the Caring Team Manual that new members should attend a Caring Team meeting with the Member they’ll be replacing before they actually begin as a member). Because this process takes time, you don’t want to wait until it’s time to hold the election to get the process started. If you wait until it’s time for the election to happen, you’ll be behind in the process.
“As a Facilitator, preparing in advance for each upcoming election is essential. The transition of new members should flow as a process not an action, therefore plan in advance. Remind Care Team members to share positivity and to encourage participation with fellow co-workers about being a team member. Communicate regularly as a reminder for volunteers and nominations for new member representation. Once the elections are complete and as the team changes keep an open mind to the new insights and enrichment that others may bring to the table, ” says MaryEllen Sneed, Caring Team Facilitator at Lineage.
Educate your voters.
Educate your voters so they understand what the person representing them is expected to do so they can choose someone they can trust to do it well. Some things they should be looking for in a good candidate to join the Caring Team is someone they feel comfortable talking to, someone who listens well, can represent others well, has good discernment and can balance being loving, generous and caring while not enabling people. By educating your voters, you can trust them to make a good decision when it’s time to hold the election.
Educate the candidates.
Also educate the candidates so they know what will be required of them if they are elected. Everyone loves to love other people, but the candidates need to know that being a good Caring Team Member requires more than loving people. Some of the things they’re committing to by joining the Caring Team are to show up to all of the Caring Team meetings, to make sure their voice is heard when someone else on the team says something they don’t agree with and they are agreeing to always keep things confidential.
Have a process for onboarding.
Once the new members are elected, you also want to make sure they are onboarded well. Usually this is handled by the Caring Team Member that is rolling off. They need to share with the new Caring Team Member about how the Caring Team Meetings work, how the Team votes on the needs brought to them, what Caring Activities are in place in the company and how each of them works, etc. As the Caring Team Facilitator, it’s also a good idea for you to meet one-on-one with the new Members so they know your expectations as well. Part of your onboarding process should also include an agreement that the new Caring Team Member signs committing to what’s expected of them, especially the commitment to keep things confidential.
Finally, if you have a Caring Team that is working well together or you feel comfortable with your Caring Team as it is, it is natural for you to feel some resistance to having a Caring Team Member roll off and having new Members join the Team. Caring Team Members who are enjoying the work they get to do on the Caring Team may also feel some resistance to leaving the Team. Even though this resistance is natural, it’s important to hold elections to give new Members a chance to be part of the Caring Team. Bringing in new Members also creates even more advocates who will share with the employees about the great things the Caring Team is doing.
What best practices have you found to be important in holding your Caring Team Member Elections?