Organizations are more successful when their employees are engaged. However, in the nonprofit sector, this can be difficult to achieve. Besides, when employees are deeply engaged in their work on an emotional level, burnout can often result. This means attrition and high rates of turnover can be a significant problem in both nonprofits and foundations. The overarching solution is to work toward process improvement, not just in administrative tasks, but in the way workers approach their jobs. tips to increase nonprofit employee engagement.
Disengaged staff isn’t just a problem in the nonprofit environment. A 2013 poll from Gallup found that just 13 percent of all workers, internationally, were engaged. The level of engagement in the U.S. and Canada tended to be higher, with 29 percent reporting being engaged in work. Still, that leaves 54 percent not engaged, and 18 percent actively disengaged, according to the poll.
How to keep employees invested by employee engagement
Many elements can lead to burnout. Working unceasingly toward a goal in which staff is emotionally invested can take a toll. However, the problem is even worse when staff members feel like cogs in a machine. On the other hand, when workers feel like they are a part of the decision-making process and that their opinions matter, they are more likely to feel engaged in work. Organizations that take on a strategy of dynamic governance are better able to achieve this goal.
After Living Well Care Home, a small residential senior care facility, switched to a policy of dynamic governance, the organization saw its revenue increase, Nonprofit Quarterly reported.
In an interview with the website, Dee DeLuca, executive director and co-founder of Living Well, said that the traditional decision-making structure equates to a lot of staff needs going unaddressed. Dynamic governance, which involves a more inclusive approach, allows employees to feel more creative.
“With dynamic governance, the needs in the organization get met in a much more efficient way – and we have more fun!” DeLuca said.
The environment of Living Well does sound somewhat different than most organizations. The residents have access to farm-to-table meals and receive holistic treatments from a naturopathic physician, who serves as the medical director. Keeping employees invested can not only benefit the bottom line of an organization, but the increased input can lead to innovations that make lives better for the constituents being served.
Other ways to solve burnout
Many nonprofits and foundations use outmoded processes to work on various tasks. For instance, charitable organizations rely on external donations to keep operations in motion. This means the development staff is ceaselessly working on fundraising campaigns. It’s a job that never seems to end, and it can be exhausting over time. While the nature of fundraising may not change, making it more effective can enable these staff members to spend less time inputting data and more time helping to make their organizations run better. Instead of maintaining spreadsheets or multiple databases, nonprofits can switch to an effective cloud-based donation management platform to streamline these processes and save valuable time for busy employees.