May 13, 2014
A nonprofit can be an outstanding place to work, especially if all employees share the same passion for the organization's cause.
However, with increased competition in the not-for-profit sector, more charities are having to stretch their dollars and manpower to keep up in a fluid marketplace. Attracting and retaining top talent can be difficult for nonprofits trying to keep their collective heads above water, but fostering a great work environment is a strong start for any organization looking to grow.
Listed below are five ways a nonprofit can create and maintain a vibrant workplace culture:
- Employee orientation: Charities that want to have all employees on the same page should begin by requiring all new staff members to go through some type of organized orientation. It doesn't have to be a long, arduous process for the employee, but they should get a better understanding for what the organization does and how their roles can positively affect the group as a whole.
- Eliminate seniority titles, perks and merits: There shouldn't be a need to create dividing titles between a nonprofit staff since everyone is technically on the same team working toward a shared goal. In order to be successful, there shouldn't be an established hierarchy between employees, Business 2 Community says. Elitism is an ugly quality that can divide a team; continuity can bring workers together, and the more tenured staff members should act as leaders and role models by default.
- Be completely transparent: Corporate secrets can be unearthed with the few clicks of a mouse now that we live in the digital age, so nonprofits should be fully aware that transparency is key in today's world. When an organization is willing to bring employees up to date on its operations and processes, it shows responsibility and confidence in the direction the group is going, The Guardian says.
- Be flexible with work schedules: Now that there are more nonprofits per capita in North America, they need to stretch their budgets and staff to the limits to keep pace in the marketplace. A heavy workload can be strenuous on any staff, so a great way to cultivate an enjoyable workplace environment is to offer a flexible work schedule to employees. Some individuals may work well from home or remote locations while others are best at their desk in the office. In giving employees the option to work how they please, productivity is likely to increase and a happier staff will follow suit.
- Success should be celebrated: Lastly, a nonprofit can create employee camaraderie by letting them celebrate their successes. Conversely, management and board members should let employees know when they're doing well - it can only help in creating a positive atmosphere, Business 2 Community adds. Executives who give their employees a reason to succeed will see better results in terms of production and employee well-being. A happy work environment will translate into better organizational success.