Publications & Products
Volume 2, Issue 39


Assess Your Organization to Boost Performance

Advancement offices should conduct formal staff assessments to improve work outcomes, says an institutional talent manager.

Karyn Reif, associate vice president and chief operating officer of alumni relations and development at Northwestern University, discussed a comprehensive assessment of her institution's advancement office at the recent CASE Strategic Talent Management conference in Baltimore, Md. Reif hired a consultant to conduct an assessment following a leadership change and significant staff increases in Northwestern's advancement office,

"We wanted to make sure we were doing the right things at the right time," she says. Also, amid all of the changes, she says that "people needed to feel like they were being heard."

Instead of assuming, leaders can use the results of an organizational assessment—comprised of a staff survey, individual interviews and focus group discussions—to answer the following questions:

  • What motivates your staff?
  • Why does your staff stay—and why might they leave?
  • How should you set priorities for talent management resources?

And such assessments aren't simply for organizations that are going through significant changes, says Reif. She notes that "organizations that ask employees for feedback are likely to have employees who are motivated, loyal and high-performing."


This article is from the April 8, 2013 issue.

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Help Find America's Top Professors

CASE and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching are now accepting nominations for the 2013 U.S. Professors of the Year awards, which honor the nation's best undergraduate teachers. The deadline for entries is April 15, 2013.