Sep 23, 2014
There is a constant focus on implementing new methods of keeping donors engaged and the nonprofit afloat. There is no denying that those are valid discussions and warrant fresh consideration. But before contributors can be happy and comfortable with a nonprofit organization (let alone donate), they need to believe in it. If the employees aren't energetic or passionate, chances are the donors won't be either.
Employee engagement is crucial in the for-profit sector, so why wouldn't it play a role in the nonprofit world, as well?
Dedicated employees are an absolute must for a charity organization. But in a setting where staffs are typically smaller and work longer hours, what can nonprofit employers do to keep their workforce lively and interested? Below are three approaches to just that:
Be flexible with your workforce
This does not mean allowing them to do whatever they want, but it does mean being respectful of their ideas and opinions. Employees typically have different viewpoints or concerns than their employers, and being responsive to these concerns shows the employees that they are being taken seriously.
With today's technology there are methods for job-sharing, work-from-home options and part-time schedules. Don't ignore the needs of the organization, but don't disregard the needs of the employee either. People turn to nonprofits for employment because they believe in the cause, so allowing their voices to be heard will be rewarding for the employees, which by default will be rewarding for the entire organization.
Implement a system of progress
While raises are great, they aren't always feasible. But that doesn't mean that incentives can't be provided based on productivity. All Business Experts recommends giving employees goals to shoot for and meaningful perks to reward them with upon reaching those goals. Even promotions without pay raises are beneficial because they demonstrate to the employee that he or she is a valuable asset to the organization, says the First Nonproft Group.
Many young workers are tired of the traditional "chain of command" policy that allows information to only go one way. The NonProfit Times says to simply abandon this practice. Instead, employers should be approachable and listen to what their employees have to say.
Being respectful of not only their place in the organization, but their place in life establishes a trusting environment. Not every employee comes form the same background, shares the same experiences or goes home to the same hobbies, so don't treat them as such. Be there for your employees as you want them to be there for the organization.
Like any employer, maintaining a level of superiority over the operation is necessary. After all, there needs to be a boss. But that alone won't get the job done to its full potential. Having a happy, energetic and creative workforce results in excited and willing donors. Donors respond to what is intriguing to them, as well as how the organization presents itself. If positive employees that believe in their cause are out there pushing for it, donors will certainly recognize it and respond.