Flexible work is on the rise everywhere – particularly in Australia’s not-for-profit sector. But could working flexible hours have a dark side for employees?
In this guest post, Dr Heejung Chung outlines new research which finds that when it comes to work/life balance, having the freedom to work flexibly might not always be a positive force in the lives of employees.
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.
Google is renowned for its ability to put together some of the world’s most innovative and effective teams.
But that doesn’t make its recruitment staff immune to unconscious biases – the assumptions and decisions our brains make without us even realising it.
Unconscious biases actually effect all of us, every minute of the day. And they can have a huge affect on an organisation’s recruitment activities.
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.
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.
Fundraising is critical to the survival of almost all not-for-profit organisations. And with more than 50,000 NFPs registered in Australia, the demand for fundraisers far outweighs the supply.
But because almost every organisation is looking for them, attracting fundraising staff is notoriously difficult. So what do you need to know to recruit talented fundraisers to your organisation?
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?
Joe McCannon is the founder and CEO of the Billions Institute, which supports organisations in the social sector worldwide to take local successes to a global scale, and trains thousands of others to lead transformative movements.
He says that mismanaging volunteers is one of the most common sources of failure for large-scale efforts at social change. And in turn, that a well-structured volunteer experience “can build sustained, collective action and generate enormous creativity”.
“Innovation” is all the rage in Australia right now. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has urged an “ideas boom”, investing billions of dollars to promote private sector innovation.
But what about NFP organisations? NFPs need to innovate too, even though it’s by no means easy.
More than one quarter of Australian not-for-profit organisations aren’t tracking even basic data about their recruitment processes, according to the latest Not-For-Profit People survey. But for the other three-quarters, which metrics are the most – and least – tracked, and which are considered the most valuable?