Recommendations for how to introduce and build support for Polco with staff.
Building Buy-In for Polco with Your Team
Every tool needs a hand to use it. And with internal champions on your team, Polco’s online engagement functions can benefit every department within your organization. Watching Polco actively used to keep your organization relevant and informed will show your team why the platform is so handy to keep on the toolbelt.
Polco is a tool that your team can rely on regularly to keep you updated on community sentiments and preferences. In fact, some of the highest-performing organizations strategically use Polco to engage their communities before, during and after the life cycle of important policy issues and projects.
5 Steps to Building Internal Support for Polco
1. Envision the impact of engaging your residents and stakeholders on topics that affect your community and organization.
Understanding community values, priorities and expectations will help align decisions with strategic goals and managing daily service delivery. As you consider how online engagement would be incorporated as an important component of your organization’s strategies, be sure to communicate those ideas with the rest of your team.
2. Involve the whole organization in planning an approach to using Polco.
Ask every department to identify some topics and issues for which civic engagement would be helpful and important. Then forward those topics to your internal Polco point person. Recruit a core group of staff from all throughout the organization to act as “Engagement Champions.” This group can build excitement around Polco activities and make sure each department is included as you move forward.
3. For local governments, it’s very important to get suggestions on topics to explore from your elected body.
Use Council worksessions to identify current, ongoing and proposed projects and issues. Display Polco results in staff reports or engagement presentations at open Council meetings. Cluing in elected officials to your Polco questions, strategies and results directly gives them opinions from busy residents, most of whom are unlikely to participate through traditional channels. Incorporating Polco into Council meetings also shows engaged residents that their elected officials are listening to them.
4. Regularly report question results to your organization, the elected body and the community.
Transparency around Polco results embeds better communication and trust into the overall culture at your organization and the community at large.
5. Showcase the benefits of civic engagement in front of staff.
The more that staff see why the organization is committed to engagement, the more they will buy in to the idea of regularly connecting with stakeholders and residents. And the more they see the unique benefits of Polco, the more they will support the platform and participate with it moving forward.