“High standards are contagious. Bring a new person onto a high standards team, and they’ll quickly adapt. The opposite is also true. If low standards prevail, those too will quickly spread. And though exposure works well to teach high standards, I believe you can accelerate that rate of learning by articulating a few core principles of high standards.”
That’s Jeff Bezos – founder and CEO of Amazon, and also the wealthiest person in the world.
While you might wonder about how much a billionaire has to teach leaders in Australia’s NFP sector, the lessons from Bezos’ annual letter to his shareholders are hugely relevant for leaders in any organisation, of any size.
Are teams in your organisation open to new ways of working?
While “innovation” may be something everyone says they love, when push comes to shove, convention and tradition – ‘the way things have always been done’ – often rules supreme.
That’s because innovation can be risky, unproven – and scary. But given that not-for-profit organisations deal with some of our society’s most important problems, the need to apply creative solutions in order to make an impact is even more important – particularly with a rapidly changing external environment and increasingly strained budgets.
Enter “Design Thinking”.
Smartphone use is a relatively new office challenge, emerging with the rise of social media and the smartphones which make Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the rest accessible at any time, and in an instant.
But this instant access is changing the way our brains work, training us to constantly demand and expect updates from the external world, and potentially creating a constant distraction from the present moment.
That’s why this new research is worrying.
Burnout is a common problem in Australian workplaces – and in the NFP sector in particular.
Among the “most at-risk occupations” for mental heath claims, community sector workers – “social and welfare professionals” and “health and welfare support workers” – occupy two of the top five positions.
So do your organisation’s leaders recognise the role that your own processes might be playing in creating a high-stress environment?
Want more insights into your staff and volunteers, and how they compare to others in the NFP sector? The Australian Not-for-Profit Workforce Study wants to help!
The largest ever survey on and for NFP organisations, employees and volunteers, the Workforce Study is aiming to identify what matters most for making Not-for-Profit work healthier, more meaningful, and more productive.
Here’s how to get involved . . .
Who’s involved in setting your organisation’s strategy?
Traditionally, HR wasn’t a part of the strategic planning process in most organisations. People considerations were more of an afterthought or a response to the strategy that was already set by senior management.
But in the rapidly changing Australian NFP sector, can organisations afford to leave HR expertise and perspective out of their strategic planning processes?
You’ve probably noticed that the world of work is changing fast – probably faster than ever before.
Driven by technological changes, generational shifts and increasing demands for flexibility from both employers and employees, we’re rapidly leaving behind the traditional idea of the workforce to make way for new ways of working.
So how should Australian NFPs approach the changing landscape of work?
Dr Clare Allen is on a mission.
As CEO of VisAbility – Guide Dogs Ltd in Western Australia, she knows that work-life balance can be challenging for many people working in the NFP sector – particularly those in more senior roles, and for those in frontline services juggling high client work-loads with admin and/or management responsibilities.
That’s why she wants to spread the word about how organisations can move past a focus on “work-life balance” towards a vision of a much more flexible “work-life harmony” that empowers staff to achieve more powerful and healthier results.
NFPs aren’t doing enough to protect whistleblowers.
That’s according to the largest survey ever into the topic, examining policies and procedures around whistleblowing at over 700 organisations in Australia and New Zealand.
Protecting whistleblowers is crucial for stamping out fraud or wrongdoing. This post explains exactly where the problems are, and key areas your organisation should focus on to improve.
Flexible work is on the rise everywhere – particularly in Australia’s not-for-profit sector. But could working flexible hours have a dark side for employees?
In this guest post, Dr Heejung Chung outlines new research which finds that when it comes to work/life balance, having the freedom to work flexibly might not always be a positive force in the lives of employees.