An organization is only as good as its people. This is also true for associations, who not only employ staff, but also attract volunteers to promote its work and advocacies. As a chief executive of an association, I embody the aspirations of my staff and volunteers. I label these aspirations through an acronym, “IF U CARE”, and here is what it stands for:
“I” is for initiative. I always value initiative as an essential trait of a fellow worker. Having initiative is doing one’s work beyond the call of duty, in fact, working extra without being told or asked to. The aim is to constantly improve on the status quo. Initiative also equates to resourcefulness that spawns innovation within the organization.
“F” is for feedback. It is difficult to manage an organization without a feedback culture, which refers to the staff’s conscious effort to let their supervisor know the status of their assigned job. This communication channel allows for better interaction and engagement among everyone in the workplace.
“U” is for utility of ideas. Creativity and invention are the ultimate results of the sharing of ideas in the workplace. I aspire for each staff member to be open and ready to offer new and fresh ideas to improve productivity and excellence in service, especially in the case of associations where service is paramount to its very existence.
“C” is for concentration. Focus on the organization’s vision and mission and concentrate on how to fulfil them. Without persistence and the passion to deliver results, your association will be like a ship without a sail that wanders aimlessly in the ocean of uncertainty. Doing one’s job doggedly with the goal of continuous improvement is certainly a “must” behaviour of a staff.
“A” is for accountability. While everyone has the responsibility and the authority for their respective roles in the organization, there is a need for being accountable for their actions. Accountability means being responsive to the tasks at hand and being sensitive to the implications that may occur in their performance. Being accountable, however, does not mean suffering from consequences of their actions, but to be aware that it is always better to prevent a miscue before it happens.
“R” is for reliability. Being there when needed and being able to lend a helping hand always is what reliability connotes. The essence of timeliness and orderliness also comes to mind. When you have no sense of time and order, you cannot fulfil what is expected of you at very crucial moments of the organization’s day-to-day operation.
“E” is for ethical behaviour. Habit builds character and character builds ethical behaviour. As they say, you cannot put a good person down. Such is the case in organizations made up of people. Ethics is one’s passport to credibility, and credibility is the association’s asset for sustainability.