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.
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?
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.
Do you know what your staff are thinking?
As part of our annual survey of the EthicalJobs.com.au community, last year we asked jobseekers who are currently working in the NFP sector to tell us what advice they’d give their current employer to “help improve the workplace, processes and practices in your organisation?”
Almost 1,000 people responded to the question – anonymously of course – and the results provide a fascinating insight into the state of NFP organisations through the eyes of their staff.
Most people would not consciously decide to hire candidates based on whether they remind them of themselves. But one unconscious bias – affinity bias – may lead people to favour candidates who are like themselves, research shows.
If senior managers and NFP boards are made up of mostly men who unconsciously engage in such bias, it stands to reason that more men than women will continue to be hired and promoted – particularly men who share the same background with current managers. This only serves to perpetuate the cycle of men outnumbering women in leadership positions.
So what can be done?
What if we told you that even if you have a mental health policy at your organisation, it’s likely to be woefully outdated and could be costing you dearly in reduced staff well-being, engagement and performance?
Traditionally, not-for-profit organisations have focused their energies on the needs of their clients or issues, since they’re ultimately the reason for the organisation’s very existence.
But how can you be more deliberate about the ever-important staff experience – and boost engagement and productivity in the process?
‘Human resources’ – what does that even mean? Regardless of what name you go by, here are eight pieces of advice to be the best you can, and get the ‘human’ back in HR.
Just this week, we’ve had floods in Victoria, NSW and Tasmania and cyclonic storms in South Australia. Natural disasters – whether floods, droughts, heatwaves or bushfires – are rarely far from the headlines in Australia. Which makes it all the more shocking that 25 percent of community organisations say they might need to close permanently after an extreme weather event, while half think they’d be out of action for at least a week.
That’s why the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) suggests that community organisations are generally ill-prepared for disasters and emergencies. To help address this, ACOSS has developed a toolkit to help community organisations measure and improve their resilience in such circumstances.
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.