“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.
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.
If your people are the heart of your NFP, your culture is the blood – invisible from the outside, but the primary mode of nourishment and growth. But if that culture is poor, it can filter down through an entire organisation and cause problems like high staff turnover and reduced productivity.
Just one not-for-profit organisation made it into the BRW list of Best Places to Work in Australia in 2015:
The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME).
Established in 2005, AIME connects thousands of indigenous high school students with mentors – with participants in the program being almost six times more likely to enter university than indigenous students outside the program.
And undoubtedly, these impressive results have had a lot to do with AIME’s substantial investment in, and innovative approach towards, supporting their staff to do their best work.
So how does an organisation, set up just ten years ago by a university student, become one of the best places to work in the country?
Learning is essential for any NFP organisation to be able to adapt to ever changing conditions and survive. Peter Senge is an expert on building a culture of learning, and says ‘learning organisations’ are those organisations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of […]
NFPs that take the time to work on, and communicate, their unique workplace culture effectively to potential candidates and existing employees can significantly improve their ability to attract and retain staff.