Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

A new survey in the March 22nd issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that long hours and low pay are key reasons why young nonprofit professionals do not expect to stay in charity work. Based on a survey released at the national conference of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, other findings were just as sobering.

  • Forty-five percent of nonprofit workers predict that their next job will not be at a charity, but in government or business.
  • Additional concerns included pressures form board members, grantmakers, and heavy work burdens faced by executive directors.
  • Organizational structure was also a disincentive with most chariies considered very hierarchical.
  • Others cite that racism and sexism are alive and well in the very organizations that rally against these ills.

What are you doing to encourage younger workers to make career investments in your organization? How is the “give-get” balance? What are you giving, so employees will stay, and stay engaged?

The complete study will soon be available on the Network’s Website at http://www.ynpn.org.

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mvv2As the concept of diversity grows and evolves, many nonprofits are taking steps to make diversity part of their institutional culture. Many larger organizations are establishing a diversity officer, sometimes as part of other responsibilities and sometimes as a separate position.

Kay Hoogland, vice president and corporate director for global diversity for Motorola, offers a few guidelines for those who may find themselves coming into the position of diversity officer:

  • Assess where diversity is in your organization. Make it a candid assessment. Window dressing does not help the organization.
  • Learn from others inside and outside the organization. Listening to your own team should come first.
  • Determine whom to trust. Solicitations, invitations and messages will come flooding in. Exercise determining who and what can add value.
  • Find reliable data sources. Managers won’t accept, “It’s the right thing to do.”
  • Resist the temptation to immediately adopt new programs. Look around first.
  • Ensure that you draw your support from a diverse set of disciplines across the company. Don’t let diversity be just a human resources program.
  • Protect and leverage your credibility. The way you communicate your observations is key.
  • Get into the rooms where decisions are being made. Be in the critical decision path. Keep your door open. Wide open.
  • Put yourself out there. Progress is not made without taking risks.

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motivation1Motivation is essential for people and teams to work effectively and harmoniously. Studies into what motivates people at work have revealed that motivators and demotivators are not necessarily the same thing. In other words, the things that make people feel motivated and enthusiastic are not always the same things that, if unsatisfactory, make them feel discontented and apathetic.

The top ten motivators for project team members are from Motivation in the Project Environment by R.J. Yourzak:

  • Reason #1: Recognition
  • Reason #2: Achievement
  • Reason #3: Responsibility
  • Reason #4: Team peer relations
  • Reason #5: Salary (notice that money is in the middle?)
  • Reason #6: Relations with project manager
  • Reason #7: Project manager’s leadership
  • Reason #8: Work itself
  • Reason #9: Advancement
  • Reason #10: Personal growth

Now, concentrate on the first four reasons!

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puzzleIn a great article from the Harvard Business Review, John Hamm outlines five key messages that every leader must manage. Hamm holds that a leader has one job: inspiring followers to create a better future for the organization. And effective communication is the single most critical tool for accomplishing that mission.

To inspire your workforce to greatness, Hamm recommends crystal-clear communication about these five topics:

  1. Organizational Hierarchy: When your organization reorganizes, quickly frame the change as a way to optimize your company’s resources – not to oust, blame, or devalue employees.
  2. Financial Results: Discuss disappointing results, including fundraising shortfalls, not as evidence of punishable failure but as useful diagnostic and leaning tools that enable constant improvement.
  3. Your Job: Let followers know that your job is not to provide all the answers but to invite new ideas.
  4. Time Management: Communicate the importance of using time strategically, rather than trying to get more things done faster. Ask where you can best focus your team’s energy. By understanding that you have a choice about how limited time can be used, you can free up needed resources to focus on your most important goals.
  5. Corporate Culture: Create a healthy culture by articulating the right goals, and defining criteria for success.

Good luck!

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