Green Corps

Dear Green Corps Central Staff and Board of Directors,

We hope this finds you well and rested over the holidays. As we embark on a new year and plan fresh campaigns, we would like to express our support of the Green Corps mission and our deep gratitude that we are part of Green Corps.

Organizing is what we want to do as our life work, and we want Green Corps to be as effective as possible in its mission to train leaders. Given our role as representatives of the organization, especially as we recruit new leaders, we would like to take a positive, active role in the development of Green Corps as an organization. We believe that the productivity of Green Corps could be much improved by a few simple changes in management policy.

We want to see Green Corps grow to its full capacity, but we feel disunity between the organization and its organizers. This feeling stems from the lack of clarity around evaluations and termination processes. Addressing these issues will increase our confidence to represent Green Corps while recruiting and fundraising. The current Green Corps class has suggestions that will foster a more trusting atmosphere. We feel these changes would help us be more effective organizers and would foster a more comfortable, trusting environment.

Our suggestions are that Green Corps adopt:

1) A written policy on employee termination that is shared with all employees. We believe that a healthy organization should include a process for discipline and discharge that is spelled out in writing and known to each employee. Failure to engage in progressive discipline (i.e. there is at least one, if not two, instances of warning, usually followed by a “last chance” warning), is demoralizing to other employees who find out that a co-worker was summarily fired and, ultimately, is destabilizing because resulting paranoia infects employees and distracts them from fulfilling the organization’s mission and efficient performance of their individual duties and responsibilities.

2) An anonymous evaluation forum in which organizers can evaluate the organization and its staff without compromising job security or working relationships. We believe employees should be able to articulate freely to staff specific feedback about the organization in an open, structured manner. We believe that anonymous, written evaluations of the organization, at specific intervals throughout the year, would produce an honest, safe space to voice concerns and build trusting relationships within the entire organization.

3) A uniform, written format with which the administration and staff evaluates all of its employees at regular, pre-determined intervals. The organization should have a very clear, announced process of communicating formally and professionally how often it will evaluate performance and what criteria will be included in the evaluation. It is the right of employees to be treated equally in the evaluation process and to be aware of the process upon employment. It is the right of employees to know on what basis they are being evaluated and on what grounds employees would be disciplined or terminated—in writing and clearly discussed upon employment.

We believe that a healthy organization invested in developing leaders should consider this feedback from its organizers. We believe that our recommendations would cultivate a more unified organization and stronger leaders. We hope our suggestions are implemented for the next class. We feel confident that Green Corps will take the right steps to strengthen the organization. Our goal is to see Green Corps be as effective as possible in finding and training the next generation of environmental leaders. We are committed to organizing and believe that Green Corps is the best way to launch a life’s work in organizing. We want to feel loyalty and passion for this organization for years to come and we want to be proud when we say we are Green Corps.

Thank you,