As a leader in the nonprofit space, you understand that running an organization requires hard work and dedication. As a leader, you know how the leadership qualities you have that help guide your team toward success. But what specific skills do successful nonprofit leaders need to develop if they want to successfully lead their teams?
In this post, we’ll delve into six crucial competencies—from public speaking to stress management—that all nonprofit leaders should strive to improve upon. Read on to learn how to expand your leadership skills to run a successful nonprofit organization.
Public speaking is one of the most important skills for all nonprofit leaders to develop. You need to be able to give persuasive and compelling presentations about your organization. Being able to clearly articulate your mission and financial needs is essential for building a strong base of donors, volunteers, and partners.
Public speaking helps you become an effective advocate, represent your organization in civic discussions, and educate groups on how working together can make a lasting impact. With strong public speaking abilities, you can be confident that you will be able to represent your organization’s goals in any situation or venue.
Fortunately, this vital skill can be learned with practice-perfecting speeches and presentations as well as gaining experience from media interviews and occasional unexpected questions from volunteers and associates. Attending conferences and presentations from other leaders is a great way to learn best practices. Building your communication skills takes time, but it’s easy to practice while working towards your organization’s goals.
This skill is often overlooked, but networking can make a difference in the success or failure of any organization. Nonprofit leaders need to be able to engage with potential stakeholders, sponsors, or investors and be open to hearing new ideas from various sources.
Networking is key in getting the word out about your organization and the work you’re doing and almost any event can be a networking opportunity. This is your chance to establish relationships and build strong connections that can be beneficial to both parties. However, this will require confidence in presenting yourself and your organization well. Improving public speaking skills is essential to successful networking.
Meeting new people should consist of a business introduction and exchanging business cards. As soon as possible, put their contact information in our phone with a note on how you met them and what they do. Take the time to connect with them on Linkedin. An important part of networking, that is usually overlooked, is maintaining networks. You need to interact with your connections through social media, attend networking events, and invite them to your networking opportunities.
All nonprofit leaders need to hone and practice their time management skills. It’s not only going to help your organization be successful, but it will help you take care of yourself while leading your organization. Figuring out your organizational style and the techniques you enjoy is first. Figure out what size calendar or planner you’ll need, if you need to have a hard copy, or if you can stick to digital calendars, and decide if you need additional help.
Being able to allocate tasks to others is an important part of time management. It is crucial, as a leader, to know which tasks you can complete and which tasks you need help to complete. You’ll also find as things get busier that you might need to schedule time for yourself and important things in your private life. There’s nothing worse than forgetting about a family member’s or friend’s event because of work.
Reading and Working with Budgets
This one could keep you from getting yourself and your organization in a lot of trouble. Learning to read and work with budgets and different financial statements might seem intimidating. However, this skill can be learned by simply reading and looking at other examples. Study other organizations’ financial records and evaluate case studies similar to your organization.
While it’s important for nonprofit leaders to be able to read and work with budgets themselves, it’s also important to learn when to give tasks to someone else. Hiring a trustworthy and reputable accountant can elevate a lot of stress for your organization.
Utilizing your problem-solving skills is more about being able to think creatively and on the spot. You can start by playing puzzle games and looking at different case studies on organizational struggles. Also, try working with other people when problems arise, you can learn other techniques and see how others use their skills.
Being able to solve problems quickly, efficiently, and without creating additional stress or problems is a part of this skill. Learning to resolve conflicts in a productive way benefits your organization and personal life. You might not always have the answers right away, but you take your time finding the answer.
Learning what is going to add to your stress and coping mechanisms to control that stress will help you in all aspects of your life. This skill is important for anyone to learn, especially nonprofit leaders, as your stress can affect the success of your organization.
Working with a trusted therapist and practicing mindfulness techniques are good ways to start learning about stress management. If you know your triggers and ways to cope with them, you’ll be better prepared for stressful situations when they arise.
While there are many skills required to help manage a successful nonprofit organization, these six are crucial. Furthermore, developing these leadership skills should be a constant pursuit, keep working on yourself. As a nonprofit professional, your actions and endeavors have a ripple effect on the entire community. It’s important to recognize this and work to make the best impact you can by improving your leadership skills.
As any great leader would tell you, know that hard work and perseverance pay off. In the end, we all want to be significant figures that leave a lasting impact on this world; why not start with your own nonprofit? If you need help in any aspect of your nonprofit, reach out to our team.
In recent years, the topic of quiet quitting has been getting a lot of attention. When an employee on a team slowly stops putting in the same effort or changes their working habits, it can be a sign that they are ready to leave. In this post, we will explore some of the symptoms of quiet quitting and what you can do to prevent it on your team.
What is quiet quitting?
The sensation of quiet quitting began with a TikTok video from Zaid Khan explaining the term. Zaid explains that people aren’t putting in their two-week notices but are starting to work less and be less productive. Quiet quitting might look like this:
Less interest in daily tasks and achieving goals
Projects taking longer, but not up to their usual standard of work
Being distant or even unfriendly toward coworkers
Actively looking for a new job but not telling anyone at your current job
How do you identify quiet quitting?
We are constantly stressing the importance of a strong human resources department, and this is yet another reason. You should be working with the HR department to evaluate and track employee performance.
It will be easier for HR to ask questions and get answers out of employees rather than have the person they report to address these issues. HR can act as a mediator between employees and management.
Before firing an employee, consider a few things:
Whether their recent poor performance is due to a temporary issue or if it is a permanent change.
Think about whether the employee was previously a high performer but has now lost interest in their work.
If there have been changes in their work situation (e.g. new team, new project), that could be affecting their performance.
Finally, have an open conversation with the employee to see if there is anything you can do to help.
Before giving up on an employee who seems to be quiet quitting, remember why you hired them.
How can you stop quiet quitting?
Once you understand why your employees are starting to act differently, then you can start to address those causes. This is a process that will take time, you should spend a couple of weeks working with employees to find causes. After identifying causes you need to keep working with HR to come up with solutions.
You will need to re-evaluate employee performance after an allotted amount of time to ensure your plans are making improvements. The next session is about different strategies you can take to improve employee performance and retention.
Work towards creating a better company culture
We’ve discussed this in other blogs before, both on this site and on our LinkedIn. In short, you can:
Define company culture clearly in your human resources manual
Connect people to your core values
Create a sense of ownership for your company’s success
Work towards building strong working relationships among employees
Give employees the freedom to make choices and express themselves
Promote a healthy work/life balance
Encourage employee recognition
Lead by example
Company culture is one of the biggest reasons people join a company and for people to leave. Building a strong and attractive company culture should be your first step to fighting quiet quitting and retaining employees.
Support employee’s mental health
Promoting positive mental health practices in our workplace can go a long way in improving not just the working environment, but potentially the lives of your employees. It’s important to work with your HR team about your options and how to take steps to improve working conditions
Hire and train strong leaders
Strong leaders will lead a healthy workforce. No matter how long they have been with the company, it’s important to remember that education is an ongoing process.
In an age of constant distractions, it can be hard to keep your office running smoothly. If you’re struggling to keep employees in your office, or retain them entirely, don’t worry – you’re not alone.
Our team can help you implement strategies to reduce absenteeism and promote employee productivity. With our help, you’ll be able to create a healthy workplace that retains top talent. Contact us today to learn more!
Setting SMART goals for your business is crucial if you want to grow and expand. Unfortunately, setting loose or unachievable goals can do more harm than good. It can be easy to say, “I want to grow my social media,” but that isn’t enough. You need to set a specific, measurable, attainable, and relevant goal for your business with a time frame in mind.
What exactly do you want to achieve?
Instead of saying, “I want to grow my social media presence,” think about which platforms you could use. After you know which platforms to use, figure out precisely what you want to do to improve your social media. Do you want to gain 100 followers? Do you want to get over 100 likes on every post? Maybe you need to be consistent on social media; your first goal is to post daily.
How will you know you have achieved this goal?
Making it measurable is pretty easy if you have your specifics figured out. Let’s say you want to gain followers, views, likes, or comments; you can use insights on social media. On the other hand, if the goal is more logistics related, like improving sales by 100% or improving profit margins by X amount, you need to find a way to track your progress. How do you know what you’ve achieved if you can’t track your progress?
Can you realistically achieve this?
Some people are better at dreaming extensively than others. Make sure that the goal you’re setting is attainable for your current situation. Do you have the necessary skills, resources, time, and energy to achieve this goal? Sometimes this is part of the goal-setting phase where you must decide if you need outside help. Hiring a consultant firm like ours can be highly beneficial if you have the resources but not the time and necessary skills.
Is this goal relevant to your current situation?
You need to ensure that your goals are relevant to your overall business plans and strategies. If you’re not getting website clicks, consider specific and measurable goals that will increase website traffic. “I want to increase website traffic” is not a SMART goal. This could be your primary objective, but what individual goals will get you to that? “I want to increase my Instagram followers by 100 people by the end of the 2nd quarter” is a SMART goal. It is specific, measurable, most likely attainable, and relevant to my current situation.
When do you want to achieve this?
The final step to setting SMART goals is to develop a time you want to achieve them. In our last section, I used the example, “I want to increase my Instagram followers by 100 people by the end of the 2nd quarter”. In this case, “By the end of the 2nd quarter” would be your time frame. It can be a day, month, or time frame you need to set a time to accomplish your goal. Remember all those school projects you did; you always had a deadline to complete them. The more time you gave yourself to work on the project, the less stressed and more prepared you were.
I’m sure we’ve all waited until the last minute to finish a project, but your business isn’t just a middle school project. Your business is your pride and joy; you must take steps to grow and expand your business. If you need help writing up a business plan and accomplishing all of your SMART goals, reach out to us. We have all of the tools and resources you need to be successful.
At the heart of every great company is a strong culture. It’s what drives employees to do their best work and helps companies attract and retain top talent. We even go as far as ranking the best businesses, the most influential being Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. What would being on that list mean for you and your business?
If you’re looking to improve your company culture, here are some tips to get you started. Use these tips to improve your company culture by creating a more positive, productive, and enjoyable workplace for everyone.
Define company culture and what it means to your employees
List your core values in your manual
Come up with a cultural ‘tagline’ for quick reference
Make sure your core values and tagline are visible in your business
Clearly lay out company goals and employee contributions to said goals
Every business is different in some ways, and it’s important to make sure the entire team is on the same page. There are a few things you can do to make your values clear.
Making sure that new employees know what to expect during the interview process will help keep your turnover rates down. Employee retention begins at your first interview.
Connect people to your core values
While it is important to list your core values in your manual, you might consider how you list them. Simply saying you want a focus-driven, hardworking team won’t relay much to your employees. Saying things like, “We look for team members who are customer-focused; who are willing to go the extra mile for our customers and our business.”
You don’t want to just list character traits, you want to give examples of how traits benefit your business. You want people to see themselves adding to your team, and know exactly how they can do that.
Foster a sense of ownership and responsibility for the company’s success
Take the chip off your shoulder and realize that while you might be the owner, none of this is possible without your employees. Make sure that they know that too, that they have a sense of importance and urgency to their tasks. If everyone isn’t contributing to their fullest potential then your business won’t be successful and that will hurt your employees.
Of course, you don’t want to scare your employees or add extra stress to their tasks, but just make sure they know their importance to you and your business.
Build strong employee relationships
As a business owner, it might seem hard to keep up with your business, customers, and employees. But, we promise you that this is a way to improve your company culture.
Plan monthly, quarterly, or yearly outings as a team. Schedule one-on-ones with each team member. Spend time working on employee engagement and building trust with your employees. Simple monthly meetings can go a long way to ensuring your employees feel respected and listened to by their leadership.
Get a calendar to put as many important dates as possible. Put all the birthdays you can, and not just your employees, try to figure out their kids’ birthdays and anniversaries are great to remember too. Get a bunch of gift cards and a set of blank cards to keep in your office.
You don’t have to go all out, a $10 coffee shop gift card and a happy birthday card can go a long way.
Let employees make choices, have freedom, and express themselves
More and more you are seeing people leave jobs because they are just simply not happy. For some, being happy with your day-to-day job, the company you work for, and the people you work for is more important than pay. Having a work environment that people feel comfortable in is so important. You want people to feel like they have some control over can help overall job happiness tremendously.
Allow people the freedom to decorate their desks or offices. Promote office creativity, let people have a say in the design aspect of the office, and have space for people to relax at work.
Reconsider your policies against tattoos, dyed hair, facial piercings, and other things deemed “unprofessional” by previous generations. Your claim could be for hygiene issues not to have visible piercings, but dyed hair and tattoos won’t hurt the quality of your product. Things are changing, and is it really necessary to stifle creativity at your company?
Promote work/life balance
The next generation of employees is not interested in spending all of their time working or thinking about work, and they will not settle on that. Time off, flexible work hours, paid maternity leave, a hybrid work environment, benefits and bonuses are just some of the ways to promote a steady work/life balance. Respect your employees’ lives outside of the office and we promise you will get more out of them in the office.
Encourage employee recognition
We know that in bigger corporations and businesses it can be hard to ensure employee recognition. There are quite a few ways you can be more consistent with your recognition:
Regular weekly, monthly, or quarterly rewards
Bonuses or incentives
Regularly thank your team in creative ways
Provide ways for your management and team leadership to recognize and reward their specific departments
Setting aside money in the budget for these things can go a long way. It can be as simple as providing breakfast once a month to ensure everyone feels recognized. You can also go all out and organize competitions to reward the hardest workers. There are several ways to recognize your team’s continuous good work and to foster even more hard work from your team.
Lead by example
All of these tips have a chance for you, as a business owner or corporate leader, you can take part in improving company culture. If you are doing these things, then you are showing your employees just how important they are to you. You can create a strong company culture by following these tips yourself.
For many people, the way we work has drastically changed over the last five years. Working from home doesn’t mean you won’t have workplace stress, in fact, it can be more difficult to handle. Workplace stress from home can be different and new, meaning you might need new ways to cope with your stress. Some things that can increase your stress that might be new include:
Poor communication among the work-from-home team
Personal life things distracting you from work or making it difficult to work from home
Changes in practices or procedures can be harder to handle
Less in-person tech and leadership support
The last two are big ones because according to Upworks Future Workplace Reports 67% of businesses reported major changes in how they operate since their transition to remote work. Business leaders need to take steps to ensure employees have the support they need to be successful at home, but, you still need ways to cope with stressful situations.
1. Watch your Favorite Feel-Good Movie
Pop some popcorn and turn on your favorite movie, it’s time for a movie night. This is one of my favorites because it can be as simple as a laptop flick in bed to an elaborate fort and movies. You’re never too old to build a couch fort, especially in the times of COVID.
Order one of those projectors from Amazon and really enjoy the whole experience. Turn your phone off and just get lost in your favorite story. We used to turn our phones off when we went into movie theaters, why should watching movies at home be any different? The best part about watching movies at home is pausing them for bathroom and snack breaks.
Just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the experience of seeing a new movie. Bring that experience home in the best way possible with snacks, comfy pj’s, and total control over your viewing experience.
2. Get Creative
Most people found out they do in fact have hidden creative talent while in quarantine. If you didn’t use the quarantine to find a new hobby, that’s okay, it’s not too late. Finding a creative way to express yourself can not only be enjoyable, but rewarding. The great thing about art is it’s completely subjective, if you like it that’s all that matters.
Order a paint by numbers on Amazon, or maybe a cross stitch kit. Look up how to make your own jewelry or maybe start a bullet journal. There are so many ways to get creative at home, the possibilities are really endless. Getting creative also doesn’t stop at material forms of art.
I learned how to play a few songs on a ukulele one week in quarantine. Stop by a thrift store or an old music consignment store and try to find a used instrument. Your neighbors might not be too pleased, but you’ll have a blast.
Start that home project you’ve been wanting to do, pick out a new backsplash, change the shower tiles, or redecorate your space.
Getting creative allows you to focus on the process of what you’re doing, and enjoy a reward. You get a tangible reward when you finish your project, and it’ll be something you made!
3. Cook some Comfort Food
Cooking is similar to creative outlets in the sense that you not only enjoy the process but an immediate reward. Cooking a go-to comfort food you know won’t mess up and will taste delicious is a safe bet. But, trying a new recipe or mastering a more difficult one can be more rewarding.
Depending on why you’re trying to relax, just day-to-day time to yourself or a significant stressor, you can have the perfect meal for your needs. If you struggle with making time to cook every day, or finding the motivation to cook, then try meal prepping for relaxation. Spend part of a day cooking food so you have leftovers ready for busy or stressful nights.
Baking can also be a rewarding experience because you can share your sweet treats. Finding ways to handle workplace stress while working remotely can take many shapes and forms.
4. Read a Book
Disappear into a make-believe world with a good book. We are strong supporters of adults reading any and everything. Please avoid overindulging in self-help books, they are only good in moderation. You need to allow yourself time to relax and unwind.
Start thinking of books like you do your favorite TV shows. You can read books over again, just like you watch your comfort shows over again. You can also have comfort books and go-to reads for different moods.
Reading doesn’t have to be boring or serious, you can read whatever your heart desires. Find a book on a topic you’ve always wanted to learn about or pick up the book your favorite movie is based on. The possibilities are endless.
5. Play a Game
This one can mean a variety of things. You might immediately think of video games, which can definitely be stress-relieving, but we mean any game. If you’re not home alone, play a board game or a video game with your housemate(s).
If you are athletic or enjoyed sports when you were younger, find locals playing near you. You can easily find groups on Facebook that you might be able to join. It might take some time and effort to find a local league to play in, but if you enjoyed a sport, it might be worth it!
6. Practice Self Care
At the end of the day, the best way to relax while working remotely is to just do whatever you need to do. The tips before might help you as more of a distraction, but self-care is pure relaxation. Self-care will help you relax your mind and body and can help keep stress levels down.
Take a hot bath, complete with Epsom salt and candles. Put on a face mask and lotion up while you listen to your favorite music. Self-care can be whatever you make it, whatever you need. Just spend time taking care of yourself.
If you need help keeping your remote team on track, check out our services and tools. Workplace stress can create an unhappy and unproductive team, if you need help getting your team back on track or building strong company culture, reach out to us.