Today we explain what not to do with the results of our Partnership Survey.
Firstly, having commissioned the survey, paid for it and more importantly partners have spent time answering it – don’t ignore it. Even if you don’t like the results it is important to try and understand why your partners feel that way about your organization. The very best way to find out more about their responses is to talk about it with them.
But secondly, don’t rush this dialogue. Don’t send mass emails. Take time to go back to your partners and share the findings with them. Discuss with them why they responded as they did and see if they have suggestions for ways to improve the partnership. Having frontline staff do this informally as part of their normal interactions is easy and effective. This step is vital for making partners feel the value of giving feedback. It also means the next time you ask them for feedback, they will be happy to help.
Thirdly, don’t be exclusive. Share the results of the survey widely within your organization. There are many different departments involved in creating partnerships and they should all have a change to digest the results and discuss ways to improve. Publish it on your website so donors and others can see how you are doing.
Fourthly, don’t duck the hard stuff. Making changes is not always easy but in some cases it is necessary. In the longer term not making changes can be worse. If partners are unhappy about things you can’t change explain to them why these things are fixed and try and come up with solutions together.
Finally, don’t think you are finished. Partnership is an on going process. You need to regularly check with your partners whether things are better for them. This can be done through light touch surveys using our online tool The Feedback Commons or by retaking the full partnership survey.