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”.
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?
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?
Why do some teams succeed and ‘flow’ while for others, every day seems like a struggle?
Tthe success or failure of teams often comes down to communication. Not just good communication, but great communication.
But what does great communication look like?
A key part of any manager’s job is to know how to approach staff who are struggling to do their job to the required standards or expectations.
But with increasing recognition of mental illness in the workplace, before you begin a performance management process with a staff member, it’s important to ask: could this be a mental health problem, rather than a pure performance problem?
And how do you tell the difference?
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?
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?
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.
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?
Like going to work, death, dying and bereavement are things that at some point we all have to face. So it’s high time we started having the conversation about how the workplace responds to death and dying. This guest post by Jessie Williams, Executive Director of The Groundswell Project, might help to start the conversation in your organisation.