How To Increase Your Employee and Team Member Retention Rate With Spotlights


Paying members are not the only important stakeholders of your organization. Employees, volunteers, donors, and investors deserve some appreciation too. To do this, you should use spotlights. 

Just as you create member spotlights, you can also create team member spotlights. The main goal is to make your team members feel appreciated. However, other benefits include increased engagement, connection, productivity, communication, and retention.

In this article, we will cover the following:

Let’s go! 

No time to read this article now? Download it for later.


Member Spotlight vs. Team Member Spotlight

Before we move into the importance of a team member spotlight, let’s differentiate it from a member spotlight. A member spotlight highlights the achievements of a paying member of your organization. Team member or employee spotlights do the same thing for your team members — anyone else who supports your organization, such as employees, volunteers, and donors. It is just as important to highlight these individuals, as they also do important work for you. 


4 Benefits of Employee and Team Member Spotlights

Now let’s take a look at several ways in which using team member spotlights can help your organization. 

Encourages Engagement

If your stakeholders feel appreciated with these spotlights, they are more likely to want to continue engaging with you. For example, maybe a volunteer has been working with you for years. Their motivation has started to wane a little, but after their spotlight, they feel reinvigorated to put everything they have into your cause by signing up for more volunteer shifts.

team-member-spotlight-benefitsBea is thinking about all the benefits of team member spotlights!

Creates a Community

As your organization grows, it can be difficult for your stakeholders to get to know each other. You have your staff members, your volunteers, your donors, and others. With team member spotlights, you can create a feeling of cohesion among these different departments and groups. 

Cohesion is especially important during the pandemic era, as more and more organizations go to remote or hybrid office setups. These spotlights can become introductions between coworkers and departments. By getting to know each other’s motivations better, teamwork and camaraderie can increase. 

Improves Retention

Many people leave jobs simply because they do not feel like their work is appreciated. While boosting morale is not as simple as creating regular team member spotlights, it can be a part of the bigger picture. After all, recognition increases motivation, and motivation keeps a team member on board. 

Extends Your Reach

Spotlights can bring attention to your organization, acting as a marketing tool. The more likes, comments, or shares your spotlights receive, the more reach your organization enjoys. That way, you can bring in more prospective employees, volunteers, donors, and other supporters.

Pro Tip: Before you start your team member spotlights, decide on your target audience. There is no point in conducting interviews and creating content if you do not reach the right people. Knowing your target readers, viewers, or listeners ahead of time helps you tailor your questions to talk about popular topics to them.  


6 Best Practices for Employee and Team Member Spotlights

Finally, it is time to talk about tactics. In this section, we will cover how to create and promote a team member spotlight. 

Choose a Topic

Your spotlight will have the greatest impact if there is a specific topic guiding it, as you will know what direction to take the interview questions in. Here are some example topics to help you draw inspiration:

  • Helping Hands (volunteers)

  • Creating Balance (finance department)

  • C-Suite Superstars (leadership team)

  • Trailblazer of the Year (top employees)

Decide Who To Feature

Once you have your chosen topic, it is time to find the supporters who exemplify it. Consider every department and level, from interns to directors. You want to give every stakeholder a chance to be recognized, which provides almost endless opportunities for new spotlights. 

Just be sure that your team member is a willing participant. If a candidate does not like to be the center of attention, do not pressure them to participate. 

Write the Questions

Your interview questions should strike a balance between getting to know the candidate and addressing the spotlight topic. As you draft your list of questions, here are some sample ones to consider:

  • Give us an overview of what you do at the organization.

  • What is your favorite part of your role?

  • What do you like about our company culture?

  • Take us through a typical day for you. 

  • What do you consider to be your most successful project with us?

  • What do you consider to be your most useful skill?

  • Who inspires you most here?

  • What pathways does the organization provide for your professional growth?

  • What advice would you give to new employees or potential hires?

  • What keeps you excited to work with us? 

  • What are you working on right now? 

Use these questions as a jumping-off point, and make the interview your own. You can also find helpful member spotlight templates online. 

team-member-spotlight-best-practicesTristan is excited to let his team members shine in the spotlight!

Select a Format

When deciding what format to use for your spotlight, ask yourself a couple of questions. First, "how do I intend to use this material?" Then, "how can I best reach my target audience?"

The classic format is a written piece of content that you publish on your website, social media page, or blog. However, you can also consider videos or podcasts. If you have a younger audience, you can post the full interview on YouTube and clips of the interview on TikTok. On the other hand, podcasts are a popular format for commuters or fitness enthusiasts. 

Interview the Subjects

You can choose to interview your candidates in several ways:

  • Face to face while the interviewer takes notes

  • Face to face while the interviewer records the audio 

  • Face to face while the interviewer records the video

  • Back and forth in an email chain

If you want to record the audio or video of the interview with the intention of publishing it, give the subject your list of questions beforehand. That way, they have an idea of what to expect. 

Even if you are using a written format for your spotlight, you can still record the audio (with the interviewee’s permission, of course). You can refer back to this audio later when you sit down to write. This allows you to focus on listening to the person and their responses in the moment instead of taking detailed notes. 

Pro Tip: During your interview, do not worry about holding hard and fast to your list of questions. Let the conversation flow naturally. If they have a fascinating answer, use follow-up questions to dig deeper into the subject. 

Decide on a Release Cadence

How are you going to release your spotlights? You can push them live all at once. This method works well for website or blog articles. Or, you could release them on a schedule every few days, weeks, or months if you are doing a podcast, a video series, or social media posts. 

Promote the Spotlights

Now that you have published your spotlight series, how will you promote it? You can tease the spotlights on social media with photos and clips from the video interviews, include links to the written interviews in your email newsletter, or promote them in other ways that make sense for your target audience.

Regardless of the route or routes (more promotion cannot hurt), make sure to archive all of the spotlights on a specific website page for easy access. That way, people can catch up on any that they miss. 

Ask for Feedback

To refine your process, talk to your spotlight candidates. Ask them what they liked and disliked about their interviews. 

team-member-spotlight-best-practicesEmily is taking down feedback from her first round of spotlights.

You can also talk to the writers, editors, interviewers, and other employees who helped create the spotlights. For an impartial opinion, poll the team members who just read, watched, or listened to the spotlights. Use every insight you gather to improve the process for upcoming spotlights. 


Final Thoughts 

Creating spotlights regularly is just one way to recognize the team members who drive your organizational mission. By showing these individuals how much their support means to you, you can increase your employee, donor, and volunteer retention as well as give the general public a glimpse into your culture.

Enjoyed the article? Download it to keep or share with others!



💡What is a team member spotlight?

A team member spotlight is a video, audio, or written interview that recognizes an employee, donor, volunteer, or other supporter. Find out more. 

🔑 How are team member spotlights beneficial?

The main benefit of a team member spotlight is that it creates a culture of recognition, which, in turn, improves engagement and retention. However, you can also use it as a marketing tool to reach other potential team members. Find out more. 

📝 Who should I feature in my team member spotlights?

You can feature anyone who works for or with your organization. From summer interns to regular donors, every person helps you get one step closer to reaching your mission. Find out more.

Member Management
The Holy Grail of Nonprofit Tips ✨
Get all of the information you need to efficiently manage your nonprofit with our monthly newsletter.

What to Do Before Buying a Membership Database Software

16 min read

A Detailed Breakdown Of Nonprofit Accounting Basics

10 min read

How to Build the Perfect Nonprofit Board of Directors

5 min read