Using a “net purpose score” to measure engagement

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I was reading an article by Stephanie Vozza on how measuring employee engagement and performance by productivity and output may not give you an accurate view of employee desire to stay.  As I was reading it I was seeing parallels with the world of #bellringing and whether people stay or leave when they’re learning to ring.

A survey conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review of nearly 4,300 leaders explored shifting attitudes about leadership during challenging times. They found as the research went on and the pandemic hit, it became clearer that we ought to be paying more attention to all dimensions of experience, where attrition rates aligned to emotional, mental and purposeful wellbeing.

The net purpose score is based on whether someone would recommend a product or service, or whether the employee would be an advocate for the organisation.  In #bellringing terms would someone learning to ring recommend it, become a champion for it and recommend it to their friends and family? 

On a wider #bellringing scale when thinking about Associations or the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers we don’t tend to ask questions such as “Do you feel the organisation stands for something?” and “Do you feel the organisation reflects and honours the principles and purpose for which it says?” and “Would you recommend someone getting involved?”.

In the same way as corporate leaders do, #bellringing leaders at every level have a direct impact on their band, Association or organisation net purpose score.  How do we, as #bellringing leaders lead by example ensuring connection between words and actions?

I was speaking with a ringer recently who he said he didn’t understand the Central Council or what they did.  As being an active member of Central Council activities, I explained how the Council provides a common language and terminology for describing aspects of method ringing. It provides guidance and support, and aims to support and encourage ringing by:

  • helping to find alternative long-term sources of recruits who have the potential to be good ringers;
  • ensuring no ringer should hit a barrier to their own progression;
  • promoting the pursuit of excellence in everything we do;
  • ensuring that the sound of church bells remains part of our cultural soundscape and is appreciated and understood;
  • recognising that the pursuit of method ringing is not the only measure of success for a ringer; and
  • ensuring that the Church continues to value our contribution

The Central Council President has recently issued the updated Strategic Priorities, noting action and progress to date.  Clear evidence that action is connected to words and that even due to the pandemic, and in some cases because of it, so much has been going on.

But how do we get that message out, so that grass roots ringers feel we stand for something, that we reflect and honour the principles and purposes we state and they feel they want to get involved? The same could be said at Association level too.

Of course we have communication methods.  We have various email groups for Association officers, to Central Council Reps, our website and social media but at best we probably only reach about 15% of ringers worldwide. We also now have RingingForums where anyone with a particular topic interest can pose a question, ask for and offer advice.  Most of these methods require the individual to engage in some way i.e. register to receive email updates or participate in RingingForums. 

It seems that only those who are interested in engaging will engage, whilst those who don’t won’t.  There comes a time when we need to recongise the effort put into trying to engage the unengageable isn’t worth it.  However, there are many reasons why people don’t engage. The trouble being, because they don’t engage, it’s difficult to find out their reasons why and do be able to do something to address it. Being able to reach those leaders to show them what’s on offer is the difficulty though, especially if they are unengageable.

It brings it back to the “user experience” and how the individual feels at their local tower.  If the local leadership demonstrates active engagement, including in respect of emotional, mental and purposeful wellbeing for each of their ringers, and is engaged with and promotes the support and mechanisms the wider group of towers, district or Association can offer, then others are more likely to follow suit, thereby increasing the net purpose score.

I spent a lot of time writing articles for #bellringing journals, social media and press yet I still hear stories from people who say they don’t know what’s going on, or hadn’t seen anything about a particular event.  When I ask if they read the article in the Ringing World, or on the website, or the email I sent round, or in the newsletter (as I generally send things out in multiple formats) and they say “no”, I rest my case.  You can take a horse to water but can’t make it drink.  It’s all out there. 

I am trying to provide a platform for people to feel the organisations I’m involved with stand for something, that they reflect and honour their principles, but I can only be responsible for so much.  The rest is down to you.

So I’ll ask the questions:

On a scale of 0-5 where 0 is “not at all” and 5 is “absotootinlootly”:

  1. Do you feel the organisation stands for something?
  2. Do you feel the organisation reflects and honours the principles and purpose for which it says?
  3. Would you recommend someone getting involved?

Let me know if you’re responding at a local, district, Association or Central Council level.


One thought on “Using a “net purpose score” to measure engagement

  1. I won’t score as I’m a bit closely related to your efforts so of course I’m aware. But I totally resonate with the comment that you can lead a horse to water as a Branch Secretary said that exact thing to me in an email earlier in the week 😉 Keep plugging away 👍


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