of community tools to help create compelling user-generated content, increase SEO and drive engagement. Community Accessibility Accessibility should be more than a consideration–itshouldbeaguidingprinciple. We are now at a stage where interacting with others through web content across devices is standard. The accessibility challenge of today reflects our highest priority for all users – engagement. What is really important for community members is not just reading web content, but interacting with its creators and building upon it – at the office, on the couch, or in line at the supermarket. Diversity makes the online experience better. We want everyone to engage. Perhaps most important to website accessibility is starting with a good baseline. It should ensure usability on mobile and touch devices, ensuring that it will work with every web page on your site, and should implement the best available practices for accessibility. Of course, there is no substitute for testing. Our partnership with a great organi- zation like the International Associa- tion of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP, accessibilityassociation.org) made its website, have the luxury not to take a strengths-based approach. Let me illustrate. I was consulting with a group of nursing unit supervisors in a large university healthcare system. The supervisors were discussing the challenges to nursing in today’s healthcare environment. One supervisor told the group that her staff had been cut by two full-time employees and another was out on maternity leave, leaving them three staff members short with no plans to replace them – and their workload expectations were not reduced. She said her staff ’s stress level was rising and their morale was low. Sound familiar? Here was her solution: she evaluated her staff, looking closely at what each member did best, and then realigned job responsibilities according to the strengths of the members of her team. She reported that morale went up, their energy level climbed and, more importantly, they got the same amount of work done as they had before they lost the three staff members! Strengths-based
and others, as accessible as possible. Different users use different assistive technology tools – readers, magnifiers and more-specialized tools – based on individual needs. IAAP and its partners have facilitated broad testing across assistive platforms, which has proved invaluable. Community Engagement with Better Technology Online community engagement will sig- nificantly improve when an organization uses technology and data tracking to its advantage. Community platforms should be kept at the forefront of improvements like automation, responsive design and accessibility for all us- ers. These systems benefit an organization and its members by streamlining both engagement strategy and tracking abilities, giving all com- munity members the room to grow and develop distinctive experiences. Andy Steggles is the author of Social Networking for Non-Profits, published by ASAE, focusing on how to increase member engagement in a mobile and web 2.0 world. He is the President and Chief Customer Officer of Higher Logic, a social media and mobile software company serving associations, nonprofits, franchises and member-based organizations worldwide. Prior to joining Higher Logic, Andy spent ten years serving as the Chief Information Officer at the Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS) where he headed among other things, their social strategy initiatives. www.higherlogic.com
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40 I Professional Performance Magazine.com Now you might say, “We are short-staffed! Everybody has to do a little (or a lot) of everything! We don’t have the luxury of letting people do what they do best!” I would reply that in today’s world, where everyone seems to need to do more with less, you don’t subconscious excellence when you wonder how you did that? • Satisfaction: What activities give you a kick, either while doing them or immediately after finishing them, and you wonder when you can do them again? Strengths-based teams assign tasks and job responsibilities differently than do other teams. In most teams, the main qualification of who takes on a task is who’s got capacity or who raises their hand. Strengths are not taken into account. Strengths-based teams, however, make assignments based on who is best suited for the task from a strengths perspective. matter what device is used, a user should have an easy time finding what they need, and the material needs to have a consistent look and feel. Usability for you and your members : Once users arrive at the organization’s website or community site, what are their experiences like? All content should be easy to understand and concisely answer key questions. This is an opportunity to remind members that the website offers a seamless, informative experience. Back-end usability counts, too : It’s just as important to have a user-friendly back- end. An easy and simple CMS (content management system) to manage website content and make updates as the community grows goes a long way. Pick the right CMS that’s intuitive and makes it easy for non- technical users to quickly create and update content to accommodate your evolving needs. Engagement : Use community as a hub to collaborate, connect with members and drive engagement. Even though building an online community might not seem like a priority when revamping a website, it’s a great way to galvanize a greater audience, increase membership and drive revenue. Consider enhancing the website with a suite Winseman , continued from page 17
teams are more productive and more efficient, and members of these teams are more engaged and report a much higher quality of life. Begin to put a
strengths-based approach to work for you and your team today – and begin to experience the difference. Albert L. Winseman, D.Min., is a Senior Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup. Al has led change management programs and executive leadership sessions at Gallup since he joined the company in 2000. He has contributed to Gallup’s thought leadership as a featured writer and content editor for the Gallup Tuesday Briefing (now Gallup.com) and as an author and coauthor of two Gallup Press books, Living Your Strengths and Growing an Engaged Church.