Your Roadmap to Healthy Advocates (Hint: It Involves Organizational Planning)
RAFT Team, September 20, 2021
Planning the Trip
A successful road trip starts with a bit of planning, especially if you want your time to be fulfilling. The same is true for a successful DV/SV organization and the wellness of your people. Below is your roadmap to healthy advocates.
With whom will we go?
When headed out on a road trip, you may go with your family, your bestie, or a group of friends.
In your organization, unless you’re the hiring manager, you don’t get to choose the crew. You’re alongside co-workers, supervisors, and volunteers. This team is the one you interact with consistently, that lifts you up when you’re low, challenges you when you need inspiration, and listens when you need to vent. You’re traveling with this support network day-in and day-out. Value each other. Help each other support boundaries. Be honest with one another. And be brave enough to open up. Ask one another for help. Your job is tough, but a solid team around you makes the journey a bit easier.
Where are we headed and why are we going?
Maybe you want to travel across the country, visiting as many little towns along the way as possible. Maybe you’re headed to the big city to explore all the excitement it offers. Or maybe you'll tuck yourself into a quiet cabin along a stream for a bit of a respite.
Ultimately, you want healthy, thriving advocates. You want a supportive team that can work together well. As an organization, you want low turnover and high engagement. You want an organization with depth, meaning, and a good amount of laughs. And a culture that invites communication and growth. Burnout won't even be on the radar if you provide your advocates the resources and support they crave.
What budget do we have?
When planning a road trip, you need to set a budget for yourself. You’ll need to estimate what you’ll need to cover gas, food, lodging and entertainment along the way.
When planning out your roadmap to healthy advocates, you still need to consider finances. But you’ll have to budget the time, energy, and emotional investment you’re willing to make. Much training can be done at little to no-cost, but all training takes time and energy.
RAFT offers free training to Advocates and organizational leadership teams to help clarify the path to healthy advocates.
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How long will we travel?
Don’t you wish you had a whole summer to explore the world? To set aside some time to make it a trip of a lifetime, filled with breathtaking views and memories to treasure? You’ll have to decide whether you have a day, a weekend, a week, or longer to take your trip.
Here’s the good news for your organization: You’re on that trip. Every day you show up at work, you get to choose how you view the world and what memories you’ll create. But if you’re embarking on a new, targeted journey towards organization health, create a timeline. Choose a week, a month, or a year to kick off a dedicated effort in caring for your advocates and organization. Set some goals, and when you’ve achieved them, your organization will be able to continue to use them in the weeks and months ahead.
What vehicle will we take and what will we pack?
On any road trip you plan, you’ll have to decide what vehicle you’ll take. You’ll probably consider things like the miles per gallon your car can get, comfort of the vehicle, and how much space you’ll need. You may choose to drive one of your own vehicles, or rent something just for the trip. You’ll want to pack the right clothing, accessories, and tools for your adventure. Don’t forget a first aid kit!
The same is true for your organization. If your leadership team doesn’t have the capacity to train, you’ll need to bring in some outside resources to support you on your organizational journey to wellness. (We can help with this!) Here are some of the things you’ll want to anticipate for your journey to healthy advocates that are built into our free training:
- Deal with the feeling of being overwhelmed and the exhaustion that leads to burnout
- Build resilience against compassion fatigue so you can remain empathetic
- Take care of yourself and your loved ones when you leave work
- Continue to show up and support your survivors
- Set boundaries for yourself and others so you don’t feel depleted
- Decrease physical, emotional, and mental stress with tangible relief techniques
Preparing for the Trip
In the days before you leave for a road trip, you’ll probably get your vehicle serviced. You’ll check the wiper fluid, vacuum it out, and give it a wash. You’ll pack things carefully, and make sure you’ve loaded in everything you’ll need.
On road trip day, you’ll have a map in hand, a clear knowledge of where you’ll take your first stop, and definitely what playlist you’ll listen to as you roll along.
The same is true when planning your roadmap to healthy advocates. You’ll schedule your training time, print out any resources, and make sure your team has all they’ll need when it’s time to train. And if you do it well, your advocates will be excited about building some resilience and team unity.
And before you know it, it’s Day One of your road trip. With your roadmap in hand, you’ll be making memories every single mile.