You ask for something to be done and instead you get three reasons why it’s unlikely it’ll succeed. You highlight the success of a new initiative, and instead you hear about the aspects that made it almost impossible to get to that result. Sound familiar? Perhaps you have a difficult employee who is drowning in negativity. Read on for a few tips and resources that we’ve seen help.
Act Like a Business
Nonprofits are businesses and just like other businesses, they have operational and growth challenges that come from working with others. Think about your employees as assets that you want to maintain, nurture and grow. If nothing else, turnover is costly for a business to operate and particularly difficult for one who operates with individuals as the recipients who have nowhere else to turn.
If you haven’t already, establish clear and effective practices and processes beyond programming (and take the time to follow them and appoint someone to hold the team accountable). With all of the demands on a nonprofit, we often just expect individuals to be driven by the work and forget that each employee is human and also has a life outside of work. Moreover, we forget that investing energy in employees is a multiplier investment. To do all of this, we need to be more mindful of the structures we create to not only recruit, but also support and nurture strong talent.
- Read Classy’s article, Why Defining Your Nonprofit’s Culture Will Be the Most Important Thing You Do this Year, for great reminders of how to think about the culture we build and the way it intersects with productivity.
- Consider attending the Nonprofit Talent and Culture Summit for actionable ideas to attract, develop, and retain high performing employees. You might also consider the Gallup Q12 Employee Engagement Survey as a first step in checking the pulse of your nonprofit or social enterprise.
- Some ways you can add structure and create clear expectations for employees include introducing a time management tracker like Tracking Time chrome extension or consider implementing some dashboards to track key performance indicators using a tool like The Dash.
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