NFP People Blog

How ancient wisdom can help managers give their employees better feedback

Giving feedback is unquestionably one of the most challenging tasks for any leader, as it can be painful to both the giver and receiver. It is nonetheless invaluable: Research has shown that employees recognize the importance of feedback – whether positive or negative – to their career development.

Despite the research showing that many people welcome it, provided it’s given well, most leaders are reluctant and uncomfortable providing negative feedback. So how can managers become better at providing their employees with negative feedback that successfully highlights problems and how to resolve them?

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More NFPs are discovering the benefits of remote workers. Here’s how to update your recruitment process to make that work

If your NFP doesn’t already use remote workers, chances are good that you will in future.

That’s because – and this will be news to no-one – the landscape of Australia’s workforce is changing. Influenced by high-speed broadband and the ubiquity of virtual tools, organisations are increasingly using remote workers to maximise flexibility for both staff and the organisation as a whole.

In fact, many roles across to the not-for-profit sector can be performed remotely, from managers to graphic designers to counsellors – and beyond.

So how does your recruitment process need to change to take remote workers into account?

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The case for greater flexibility at your NFP

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.

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How to make tough decisions

Making a tough decision about your team or your organisation’s workforce can be, well…tough.

NFP leaders and managers are called upon to make tough decisions as a matter of course. But what do you do when the decision is really important, and it’s really not clear what course of action you should take?

Harvard Business School professor Joseph L. Badaracco is an expert in making what he calls “grey area” problems – ones that can sometimes be difficult to clearly assess. He suggests five practical questions you should ask yourself that can help you and your team illuminate the “greyest of grey areas”.

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Five hiring strategies to reduce staff turnover at your NFP

Keeping staff for the long-term is difficult for any organisation, but high turnover is a pain that many not-for-profit organisations know better than others.

The negative effects of high turnover are numerous and well-documented: lower productivity, declining morale and significantly higher costs to train newcomers. Organisations also miss out on the huge benefit of institutional knowledge when key people leave.

So what can your organisation learn from one company that has a 95% staff retention rate?

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Can you ‘teach’ staff to be more emotionally resilient?

You may know someone like this at work: optimistic and resilient, they appear to bounce through challenges drawing on an internal strength that helps them work through problems they encounter at work. Always hopeful and positive about the future, they treat stressful events as a “one-off” situation, appearing to have a built-in buffer that protects them against both ordinary and extraordinary events. Perhaps this is even you.

This sort of emotional resilience is often considered innate. But can it be taught?

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Three positive ways to lead your NFP through uncertain and troubling times

It’s no secret that the not-for-profit sector has faced unprecedented instability in recent years, with uncertainty fast becoming the ‘new normal’.

The drastic drop in donations caused by the GFC, constant fluctuations in government funding and sweeping sector reforms like the NDIS are just three examples of massive change – and that doesn’t even touch on the increasingly volatile political climate both in Australia and overseas.

To start developing skills to help lead teams during these uncertain times, and to prepare for change in the future, here are three important lessons for leaders at all levels of your NFP.

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Can you build a culture of candid feedback in your team? Here’s how to start

In a sector devoted to making the world a better place, creating a culture where everyone feels happy is an important priority for many NFP managers and leaders.

But could you be being too nice?

If you’re withholding feedback from your team because you’re afraid that being candid with staff would conflict with being nice, respectful and warm, the effect could in fact be that your team doesn’t perform at their best, and they miss out on opportunities to improve themselves and the organisation’s overall impact.

So if you’re keen develop a culture of candour and feedback in your team, here are seven steps you should follow.

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