You said it – we are listening!
Thank you for taking the time to fill in our Benchmarking Survey in September of 2012. This survey is part of the JCC Association’s Continental Research Project funded by JCC Association’s Mandel Centre for Excellence in Leadership and Management. The goal of the Mandel Center is to transform the JCC Movement by helping JCC’s to assess management effectiveness and leadership needs, be more responsive to difficulties as they arise and develop a practical approach towards continuous self-improvement.
This year’s study was the eighth year with 46 JCC’s represented. This was our second year of participation.
As this study is targeting excellence it is important to know what makes a JCC excellent. Benchmarking tells us that excellent JCC’s consistently exhibit the following characteristics:
a. Jewish Impact
b. Programmatic Leadership and User Engagement
c. Attract and Retain the Best Staff
d. Maintain Financial Sustainability and Growth
So how did we do? According to your survey responses, the Calgary JCC is doing lots of great things and you also gave us valuable feedback for ways we can continue to improve.
- Jewish Impact
Overall, we have one of the highest measures on the Profitability and Jewish Impact grid. You said our JCC has encouraged you to attend more Jewish Community events, make more Jewish friends, learn more about Jewish holidays and develop a broader perspective of the Jewish Community. These trends were evident in both our Jewish and non-Jewish members. And an affiliation with the JCC is more likely to encourage you to increase your UJA donation which is important since UJA is our largest funder and allows us to offer the wide range of Jewish programming you are all participating in.
- Programmatic Leadership and User Engagement
The three core programs that correlate with a JCC’s profitability are early childhood (BabeCare, Time for 2s and Kids 'R' Us), day camp and fitness. Our members are participating in more personal training sessions and more group exercise classes in a 30 day period than members at any other JCC in the Benchmarking Study! This is despite the fact that our facility quality was rated lowest of all the JCCs due to the age of our building. Only 18% of you said our facility was truly outstanding. So we got the message loud and clear – it’s our staff that are making the difference! Since this survey we have renovated the men’s locker room which was one of the areas that received the most negative comments. We will be making some more facility improvements over the next few months and would love to hear from you about what else we can do.
Also, please join us in congratulating our fitness staff who obviously are among the best on the continent! Watch the weight room for staff bios, featured favorite activities and more classes from the staff that you love to work out with!
Our early childhood programs and day camps were also highly thought of, the comments you made were that there is no space in them or you would utilize them more. We are trying to generate creative solutions to our space issues and we would be happy to hear from you!
As users, you are highly engaged participating on average in 2.6 programs. The database average was 2.5 programs and our goal is to have you participating in 2.7 programs because that is the number of programs that members who say they ‘definitely will’ continue their membership participate in. And it’s our staff who you want to listen to and whose encouragement actually gets you to sign up for new programs. The number of informal conversations you have with our staff is also a strong indicator for future membership commitment so it’s our job to make sure our staff are taking the opportunity to have these conversations with you. This is one of the measurements we will be watching closely so let us know how we are doing!
- Attract and Retain the Best Staff
Happy staff makes for happy members! This is one of the strongest correlations to a JCC’s success. Our staff feel that senior management cares about their well-being and that they are kept abreast of changes and future plans. They also feel the Executive Director has a clear vision of where the JCC is going. Although they feel that the performance evaluations they receive are meaningful and have an impact on their future, they would definitely like more professional development opportunities. We are committed to developing a more comprehensive professional development policy that opens more opportunities to more staff. We are also committed to developing a comprehensive staff onboarding, training, development and motivational plan. We have put together a staff committee to develop our “Happy Staff Plan”. If you have a background in human resources and would like to volunteer to help out please let us know.
- Maintain Financial Sustainability and Growth
Financially the JCC is sustainable. We can improve our reserve ratio and need to develop a more comprehensive five year capital plan to build in funds to replace and repair the building and equipment as the need arises. There is lots of room to improve on our fundraising efficiency. In fact, one of the top reasons for not contributing financially to the JCC was because you said you weren’t asked!
We also found that the JCC is one of the best kept secrets in town. Overall, our members feel we need to do a better job of telling our story. So we are coming to you to ask for help. We would love to hear your story! How did you get involved with the JCC and how has it impacted your life? What staff or programs or events or new friendships have made a real difference in your life? We’d love to hear from you! Please email us with your stories.
What else did you have to say? And what are we doing about it?
- Parking lot - we have put up directional signs, no parking signs and we are monitoring parking from non-JCC users.
- Knowledge of staff – we are working with all of our staff to ensure they are well trained and have access to the necessary information to be able to assist you in a timely manner.
- So many of you said this is your home, we truly are the living room of the community and you feel very comfortable here. This is the feeling we are striving to provide and we are so glad it's working! Please let us know what else we can do to continue to improve on this.
So now what?
Our staff and board have worked together with our JCCA representative to develop a plan to work on three major areas based on the results of the Benchmarking Survey. Over the next year we will focus on:
- "Happy Staff Plan" – including training, development, succession and increased communications.
- Enhancing marketing – telling our story better.
- Membership – plans directed at increasing new members and retaining our current members.
Thank you for your feedback. Although the Benchmarking Survey is only once a year we are interested in hearing what you have to say all the time. Watch the newsletter and display boards for dates of our focus groups where you can come and talk directly to the Executive Director, Janine Herman, and our staff team on a variety of topics. Or just stop by our offices and let us know how we are doing!
You Belong Here!