Office Politics: in most organisations they’re probably unavoidable. But when manoeuvring for power or influence becomes more important to staff or volunteers than your NFP’s purpose or mission, then organisational dysfunction is probably just around the corner.
When a group of people come together in a work context, the strategies and schemes they might employ to their own advantage can be difficult to stamp out. So what can you do as an NFP leader or HR professional to stop office politics taking hold?
With almost 15,000 employees, Facebook has some serious experience with office politics – and they’ve come up with five tactics that they’ve found useful in preventing politics taking hold and keeping their organisational culture healthy.
Bronwyn Sheehan is the founder and CEO of the Pyjama Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that transforms the lives of children in foster care through education. Since the Foundation’s inception in 2004, they’ve trained 4,000 volunteers with the values-driven leadership Bronwyn has worked to embed in the organisation and its staff.
For her work, Bronwyn was awarded Qld Australian of the Year in 2009, and was a national finalist in the 2008 Telstra Business Women’s Awards. In the lead-up to her presentation at the 2016 Not-For-Profit People Conference, we spoke to Bronwyn about her journey, and how she’s managed to establish an organisation with such a committed volunteer workforce, from the ground up.
When recruiting for your NFP, developing a great job ad is critical to attracting the best candidates for almost any role. But have you ever considered how the presence of a salary range – or lack thereof – could be affecting your applicants? According to one estimate, just 19 percent of Australian employers disclose salary in their job advertisements – and yet jobs that do disclose a salary range are more likely to be clicked on. Here’s what you need to consider.
Up until 1975, employers could take almost anything into consideration when recruiting staff. But the Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act – passed by the Whitlam Government – started a legislative trend towards protecting a variety of people from employment discrimination. And that means there are now some things you just can’t discuss when you’re making a decision about who to hire.
Kerry Shields is the National Volunteer Manager at Starlight Children’s Foundation, a not-for-profit that seeks to improve the lives of children and teens who are seriously ill or in hospital. Kerry’s team is responsible for attracting, recruiting, engaging and retaining more than 3,000 volunteers, whose contribution of more than 55,000 hours equated to over $1.6 million in value to the organisation in 2015.
Ahead of her presentation at the 2016 Not-For-Profit People Conference, we spoke to Kerry about the value of approaching volunteer recruitment in the same way as paid staff.
So you’ve advertised a job, shortlisted candidates and done your interviews. Now which candidate should you hire?
How do you differentiate between good candidates who might have different skillsets, experience and personalities?
It’s difficult to talk about power. Mentioning power can conjure up memories of encounters with parents, teachers, bosses, the law, family or partners who have exercised power over over us in negative ways.
But power relationships are woven throughout our lives, and throughout our workplaces. And being clear about who holds power – particularly the power to make decisions – in your organisation, as well as ensuring that structure reflects your organisation’s shared values – will mean that staff and volunteers understand how and why power works as it does. And that can mean the difference between an empowered staff member, and a disempowered, disengaged one.
Ahead of her talk about high-performing teams at the 2016 Not-For-Profit People Conference, the Climate Council’s Chief Operating Officer Katrina Porteus has given us a sneak peek of how the independent climate change organisation built a team that delivers real impact despite its small size.
Giving tough feedback to your team members is an inevitable part of managing staff or volunteers in any NFP, but can be incredibly challenging for a manager. But according to Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman of US-based leadership development consultancy Zenger/Folkman, these conversations are often harder than they need to be.
In the lead-up to her presentation at the 2016 Not-For-Profit People Conference in November, we talk to Bravehearts’ Director of People and Culture Pamela Weatherill about ‘radical self-care’, including why it’s so necessary in the not-for-profit sector.