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.
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.
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.
Have you ever considered how fair or “just” your behaviour at work is?
It matters more than you might think. In fact, research shows that if managers behave fairly their staff are more likely to feel committed to their jobs and perform better overall.
The good news is that justice can be embedded into the culture of your organisation – particularly through the improvement of policies and procedures – which can ultimately improve the impact your not-for-profit organisation is able to make.
There’s an emerging type of worker who usually knows more about their job than anyone else in the organisation and is not likely to suffer fools gladly. This type of worker can be difficult to manage as they don’t consider themselves to be subordinates in the traditional sense.
Numbers of these “knowledge workers” are rising steadily in the NFP sector and beyond. And a key challenge for managers today is how to get these sorts of staff members to want to do what you want them to.
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?
How does your organisation balance the sometimes-conflicting needs of your staff and clients?
A recent landmark legal ruling highlights the potentially dire consequences of failing to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of your staff.
It’s the age-old question: are leaders born or made?
While there’s no hard and fast verdict, the general consensus is that it’s a combination of both – and that’s great news for the up-and-coming leaders in your organisation who might need further development.
What motivates the people in your NFP to come to work each day? And others to apply for the jobs you advertise?
Many in the NFP sector, decrying the inability of the sector to match the wages that corporates and government often pay, reckon it’s mostly about how much your organisation can pay them.
Your organisation might already have a broad mental health policy in place. But have you ever considered implementing an action plan tailored to each staff member’s individual wellbeing needs?