Measuring Mindset and Positive Outcomes – or do we need to?

Over the years we have supported a number of organizations to embed a person-centred culture. It is a very detailed and often complicated process that results in putting more focus on positive results for people supported and teams. There are many metrics that are tracked based on the goals and resulting plan for each organization. Metrics like, how many purpose driven, quality one-page profiles are created, how many team member individual development plans are created, how many person-centred plans are completed with clear outcomes and action, to name a few.

The elephant in the room is always “how do we measure a change in mindset?” and “how do we measure positive outcomes for people?”

A few years ago, I reached out to the leader of an organization that has a strong person-centred culture to ask how they have tracked positive outcomes for people so we could have an evidence-based approach to showing other organizations and government that a true person-centred culture has a positive impact for all stakeholders as well as resources. Essentially his answer was “that’s a great question, when you find the answer, please let me know.”

Over the past couple of months this question has been raised again by several people I have had conversations with. I am always stumped for an answer.

The truth is we can provide all the group training possible for as many people as possible and still have little to no impact on the lives of people they support. It is what people do with the information they learn that is key. We need to begin to know our employees better. We need to be thoughtful and intentional about who attends what training. The right people need to be educated about the areas where they have the greatest passion and therefore the greatest impact. We need to fold the training they receive into their individual development plans and review them regularly; ask how they are using what they learned and measure the results.

I believe a person-centred culture starts with values. Organizations that have thoughtfully and comprehensively developed their values and then embed those values into every moving piece of their work have more success in leading a team with their desired mindset eliminating the need to measure mindset. If we continue to hire people based on education, qualification, experience first we will continue to have an employee compliment that we need to train to hold our mindset. We already know this is a waste of time and resources. If we hire employees with a values based approach we are hiring people who are aligned with the organizational mindset. Then we provide professional development opportunities based on their strengths, skills and passions which they bring back and intentionally use, track and evaluate creating a positive impact for people they support.

I guess the question remains “how do we track positive outcomes for people?” Or do we need to? Will it just be evident in our communities as people begin to belong more and more? Maybe the real question we need to consider is “how do we recruit the right people?”