The American nonprofit sector is growing at lightening pace, employing over 10.3% of today’s changing workforce. With such rapid growth, it’s crucial for the modern nonprofit CEO to focus on the future to keep up with their competition. Unfortunately, nonprofit executives are faced with unique hurdles that they must overcome to tackle today’s challenges and prepare their workforce for upcoming challenges that may arise.
The recent DATIS State of Workforce Management report, which surveyed hundreds of nonprofit executives, revealed the top three initiatives that they admittedly are unprepared for in 2018. This isn’t due to a lack of preparation or desire to provide their clients with the highest quality of care possible. All nonprofit leaders want to see their organization succeed and serve more clients. However, they’re unprepared because the landscape around them is changing so rapidly, and without the proper guidance or tools, keeping up is a steep uphill battle.
Discover three trends that today’s nonprofit CEO is unprepared for in 2018 identified by the latest State of Workforce Management Report.
Investing in Digital Tools
As the nonprofit landscape continuously evolves, many executives feel that they are ‘behind the curve’ when it comes to technology. In fact, only 19% of the executives that took helped build the latest report were satisfied with their current digital tools and strategies. Using spreadsheets and other outdated solutions to manage a growing workforce is a thing of that past, yet many organizations have yet to streamline and automate these areas with more current technology that allows their workforce to allocate their time strategizing improvements and providing the best care to their clients.
So how do these nonprofit CEOs better prepare themselves for technology advances in the year ahead? For starters, a staggering 98% of executives will reportedly be investing in digital tools over the next 12 months. With that in mind, it’s important that they set aside time to review the processes they have in place to properly identify gaps and opportunities for improvement. This will help pinpoint the exact tools that could take their organization to the next level. Next, executives should then research what is out there, and find the vendor that will best suit their unique needs.
An often-overlooked part of this process is finding a partner that understands the industry and can provide valuable insight on best practices and how to overcome challenges. Partnering with companies that offer industry-specific solutions and have an unparalleled level of industry expertise can be the difference maker when moving investing in tools and solutions. Download the DATIS Decision Checklist to help you identify digital gaps, compare vendors, and prepare your workforce for today’s digital trends.
Recruiting Top Talent
The unavoidable turnover in the nonprofit industry is something that constantly plagues HR departments and leadership teams. Over 42% of organizations surveyed reported having a turnover rate over 20%, forcing executives to constantly replace employees and heavily rely on their often-inefficient recruiting strategies. Nonprofit HR departments are often left spending their days reviewing applications, interviewing, and negotiating salaries and benefits; all while competing with surrounding nonprofits to win top talent. As this competition does not seem to be going anywhere, organizations need to start focusing on their strategy now.
Given that many nonprofits operate on tight budgets and limited resources, it’s no surprise today’s nonprofit CEO is currently unprepared for recruiting in 2018. When asked to identify their top recruiting challenge, more than half of executives revealed it was their inability to offer competitive salaries and benefits. One in three respondents also admitted to struggling to find qualified talent. As nonprofits attempt to build their workforce to serve more clients, it’s important that executives revisit and invest time and resources into their recruiting strategies.
Defining and creating a concrete system and on how to best attract top talent often ties back to investing in digital tools. Using different platforms such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and CareerBuilder to target different skill sets of potential applicants is key. Nonprofit CEOs currently have access to sophisticated recruiting software that automatically posts to top job boards, redirecting applicants back to the organizations personalized job boards. This not only expedites the application process for potential candidates, but also helps HR view, organize, and compare applications.
Improving Employee Engagement
Employee engagement has become a key buzzword for executives in all industries. Everyone has heard the word, leaders love throwing the term around in boardroom meetings, but not many actually understand what it means or how to increase it. As executives are beginning to realize it’s impact on retention, productivity, and performance, they’re starting to prioritize how their organization is engaging its workforce.
Address a work-life balance. Provide feedback & recognition. Take a break! Those were just a few of the ways that executives are helping their employees stay engaged not only throughout a work day, but throughout their career. Having employees that understand that they are valued within their workplace is something that increases workplace morale and, without a doubt, improves their engagement. Setting up informal one-on-one meetings to best understand any challenges or roadblocks that employees are facing truly shows employees that their leaders are committed to helping them advance at both a personal and professional level.
Understanding initiatives, creating a strategy, and executing on that strategy are key steps in addressing the challenges that most executives are unprepared for. As nonprofit executives travel to conferences throughout the year, they’ll be able to interact with thought leaders on how to best handle these challenges. It’s important for the modern nonprofit CEO to use this time to converse with peers and colleagues to understand what is best working for them. Don’t be afraid to try it out back home at your agency!