Many workplaces are experimenting with some version of a four-day workweek to help address issues around work-life balance, burnout, and employee retention. Research on four-day workweek trials looks promising, but also identifies challenges. Here are some things to know if you decide to explore this option.
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How To: Deliver Bad News at Work
No matter what your role at your nonprofit, on some days you’ll have to deliver bad news. You might have to tell an employee they need to improve their job performance. You might need to share with a client that the state has cut the benefits available to them through your agency. Or you might have to tell your board that the construction schedule for your new facility has been delayed—again. Here are some tips to help you deliver difficult news in any circumstance.
When to Hire an Interim Executive Director
Your nonprofit’s executive director just notified the board that they will leave the organization. How do you know if you should hire an interim executive director? Here are some signs that an interim ED could be the right fit for your nonprofit.
How To: Secure Private and Confidential Data
Your nonprofit works hard to build trust with the people and communities you serve. To maintain that trust, you must safeguard the data that clients, constituents, partners, website users, and others share with you. Many nonprofits don’t have an on-site cybersecurity expert, but creating and applying some simple data security principles can make a big difference. With that foundation, your nonprofit can continue to improve its data security as best practices change.
How To: Tell Employees About Layoffs, Restructuring, or Cutbacks
At some point in their life cycle, many nonprofits will have to lay off employees, restructure their operations, or make other budget cutbacks. Here are tips to help you communicate the news to employees in the most humane and helpful way possible.
How To: Offer a Sabbatical Opportunity
The concept of work sabbaticals has existed for a long time. It’s gaining popularity in nonprofits as organizations work to stem turnover and address work-life balance. A sabbatical gives an employee a designated period of time to disconnect from work and rest, recharge, and focus on other aspects of their lives. If your nonprofit wants to offer sabbaticals, here are some things to consider.
An Inclusive Alternative: Turn Walking Meetings into Strolling Meetings
Wellness experts tout “walking meetings,” in which participants walk while they talk. Movement brings health benefits and can catalyze creative thinking, offset boredom, and even help foster connections among participants. But not everyone has the same level of physical ability. The Nonprofit Technology Education Network (NTEN) encourages “strolling meetings,” welcoming to walkers at all mobility levels and wheelchair users. Here’s a guide to inclusion in strolling meetings.
How To: Become a Better Manager
Most of us weren’t born knowing how to help other humans reach their potential in their careers. Here are some ways to learn to become a better manager at any stage of your journey.
How To: Foster Flow (Instead of Distraction) In Your Workplace
The elusive state of being immersed in something, feeling creative and productive, is called “flow.” It’s difficult to find in today’s workplaces, with constant interruptions from various devices and other humans in your office, at home, or online. But you can cultivate flow and create an environment that helps your employees find flow, too. Here’s what you need to know about flow and how to create it.
Providing Mental Wellness Support and Services to Staff at Small Nonprofits
The pandemic made clear that nonprofit employers must recognize and respond to employees’ mental health and wellness needs. It also brought to light workplace patterns that take a mental toll on teams. Learn how to provide assistance your employees value and avoid common pitfalls.
5 Superpowers of a Great HR Manager
Most of us have encountered HR managers who seemed neither human nor resourceful. Luckily, many of us have also encountered HR managers who helped us through tough situations and made us feel seen. What makes a great HR manager? Here’s a look at five superpowers the very best HR managers have.
3 Reasons Workplace Friendships Are Worth the Risk (and 3 Ways to Support Them)
When you entered the workforce, family members, teachers, or mentors might have warned you about the dangers of workplace friendships. Forming personal relationships, at work or otherwise, always brings risk. You and your buddy might disagree, and that can lead to conflict. But an increasing body of research shows the benefits of workplace friendships outweigh the risks. Here’s a look at why workplace friendships make a difference, and some ways managers can support them.
How To: Empower Your Employees to Make More Decisions
Ever wonder why staff members hesitate when you ask them to make a decision? Some aspects of your workplace culture may create unintentional barriers to independent decision-making by employees. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Here’s how to foster a culture of independent decision-making at your nonprofit.
9 Steps to Foster Psychological Safety and Build a Risk-Aware Culture
If employees don’t feel safe sharing their opinions at work, any risk management effort is doomed to fail. It’s not always easy to foster a climate of psychological safety, a shared belief that it’s safe to take interpersonal risks as a team. But it can be done, and it will strengthen every aspect of your nonprofit, including problem-solving and risk management. Here’s how to begin.
7 Steps to Train a New Manager
The transition from individual contributor to manager can be one of the toughest times in a person’s professional life. Leading others requires skills people might not have developed working independently. But many people can become outstanding managers. New managers’ supervisors play a huge role in their success. Here’s a seven-step plan to help the new managers at your nonprofit make a great transition into managerial roles.
Simple Steps to Infuse Your HR Practices with the Platinum Rule
An often-cited maxim for how to treat people is the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But in our diverse workplaces, our colleagues might want to be treated very differently than we do. Bring a more inclusive approach to your human resources practices by applying the Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would want done to them. Here are some strategies to do that.
How To: Develop an Employee Mentor Program
Mentor programs can benefit employee engagement, skills development, and retention. Maybe you’ve wanted to start a mentor program at your nonprofit, but wondered where to begin. Here’s a checklist that will help you create a great mentor program to fit your nonprofit’s needs.
How To Be Age-Inclusive in Your Hiring
Age diversity can make your nonprofit team more creative and innovative. And if that’s not enough motivation, age discrimination against people over 40 is against the law.* Here are some tips to ensure your hiring is age-inclusive.
Embrace Risk in Hiring and Supervision
Hiring and supervision present important, and necessary, risk-taking opportunities. Hiring and supervision create close relationships, and interpersonal relationship will not grow if the parties involved don’t take some risks. Here are some ways to take meaningful risks in hiring and supervision that can help all parties grow.
5 Steps to Retain More of Your Workforce
No organization will ever have a 100% employee retention rate—many talented individuals will move on to new opportunities in time, as they should. But your organization can take concrete, practical steps to ensure more of your great employees stay with the team longer.
Applying a Risk-Aware Frame to Your Nonprofit’s Most Impactful Decisions
Many nonprofit leaders might not think about risk until a board member or committee asks them to or an unanticipated development or event disrupts operations. A risk-aware approach can help your nonprofit make better decisions in all aspects of its work. Bringing a risk lens to your work doesn’t have to be taxing or complex. Here are some simple approaches to consider risk in your nonprofit’s big decisions.
How To: Become a Menopause-Friendly Workplace
More than 50 million U.S. women are in the age bracket (42-58) when physical changes due to menopause often occur. Many of those women work in nonprofits, where they lead key projects and play crucial roles. People who go through menopause can experience a wide range of impacts to their physical and mental health. That’s a major workplace issue. But many workplaces have never considered menopause in their policies, practices or health benefit offerings. Here are some ways nonprofits can become menopause-friendly workplaces and meet the needs of employees who experience menopause.
How To: Manage Remote Employees
Whether you’re managing a remote team for the first time or the 10th, these steps can help you
build connection and work with team members to reach their potential–wherever they work from.
How to: Hire and Work with Neurodivergent Employees
Neurodiversity is a concept that acknowledges and appreciates the diverse range of ways people’s brains function, including neurological differences. Some neurodiverse people identify as having a disability, while others do not. Research shows that organizations that create welcoming environments for neurodiverse people may see benefits like more team creativity and innovation. Here’s a primer on practices for recruiting and working with people on the neurodiversity spectrum.
Hiring Employees with Criminal Records: An Inclusive Approach
Many nonprofits seek to build staffs whose lived experiences mirror those of populations they serve. As part of that effort, some organizations hire employees with criminal records. Here’s what to consider to ensure you take an inclusive approach to recruiting and hiring employees with criminal records.
How To: Create a Cross-Training Action Plan
Cross-training is an essential risk management function. It ensures someone in your organization can perform key tasks if the person who usually handles them is out of the office or unavailable for any reason. But cross-training has other benefits too: it can offer employees new challenges, help reduce staff turnover, and break down silos in an organization. Use the table and the tips below to create a unique cross-training plan for your nonprofit.
How to Build Your Nonprofit’s Resilience
A resilient organization has a strong foundation to weather adversity and bounce back better. With forethought and planning, all organizations can become more resilient. Here are nine ways to do it.
Sample Resilience Plan Agenda
Use this sample agenda to inspire your team’s next Resilience Planning meeting or workshop.
The Resilience Quiz
This Resilience Quiz was developed by the Nonprofit Risk Management Center (NRMC) team and inspired by the 5 characteristics of resilience described in the book, The Resilience Dividend, by Judith Rodin.
Take this 5-minute quiz to assess the resilience of your organization and identify action items to build resilience muscle!
How Hiring Employees with Disabilities Can Benefit Your Organization
Hiring employees with disabilities brings new perspectives to your nonprofit and helps you meet the needs of the community you serve. Many resources exist to help your organization become an outstanding employer of people with disabilities. Here are some of the ways that work can benefit your nonprofit.
How to Do a Compensation Review For Your Nonprofit
Compensation reviews can reveal pay equity issues at a nonprofit, or individual cases in which staff members aren’t being paid appropriately for their duties. Here’s how to do an accurate, informative, and valuable compensation review for your organization.
Building Meaningful Connections at Work
We spend much of our waking lives at work, but many of us have only superficial relationships there. That contributes to a broader loneliness epidemic that weighs us down and can even shorten lifespans. Connecting with colleagues doesn’t always happen easily, but the effort can benefit individuals and the organization, and make work more productive and fun.
5 Steps to Transform Performance Reviews from Dreaded Drudgery to Welcomed Opportunity
Most of us have experienced bad performance reviews: harangues about things that already happened—things we can’t change. Great performance reviews deepen an ongoing, regular conversation about performance. They are two-way conversations between a manager and an employee. And they focus on the future and how employees can reach their goals. Here are five steps to transform your performance reviews from an obligation to an opportunity.
HR and Risk Resources Site Tour
Curious how NRMC’s new HR and Risk Resources Center can help your organization? Join us for a tour of the site and tips to help you improve human resources and risk management at your nonprofit.
HOW TO: Terminate an Employee (And Be Decent About It)
When you hire someone, you want them to find success with the organization. But sometimes, they don’t. Terminating someone’s employment is the riskiest action a nonprofit can take, but sometimes it’s also a risk-aware decision and possibly a necessary step in the employee’s journey to find a fulfilling role for which they are well suited. Here’s how to meet your obligations when you terminate an employee—including the obligation to treat them with decency.
Inclusive Hiring Strategies and Practices
Job openings at your nonprofit present a tremendous opportunity to bring in new, diverse perspectives that will strengthen your team—or to hire people who look, sound, and think just like you, and will bring your nonprofit more of the same. Explore this “Quick Tip” for some ways to make your hiring process more inclusive.
Risk Bow Tie
Teams can use the Risk Bow Tie, a classic unpacking exercise, to learn more about the intricacies of identified risks. By understanding underlying conditions, positive and negative consequences, and proposing proactive and reactive controls, teams are better positioned to create an actionable plan to bolster resilience, seize opportunities, and reduce the downside effects of adverse risks.
5 Whys: Root Cause Analysis
Children are naturally inquisitive, unfortunately, as adults, we often lose that curiosity or inclination to ask, “WHY?” Use this fillable worksheet to explore a childlike learning technique by asking “why” five times. This process can peel away distracting layers, revealing the root cause (or causes) of a challenge or risk after the 5th “why” answer.
Onboarding New Staff
A new employee’s first days with your organization can inspire them and confirm they made a great choice—or leave them treading water in a sea of doubt. Use this framework to ensure new employees experience a great start with your organization
How To: Be More Inclusive in Staff Supervision
Managing other employees is one of the most important roles a leader can have. Inclusive supervision should be a top priority for nonprofit leaders who manage others. But most leaders have never been taught to do that. Here are some practices that will help. As you’ll see, your team members’ feedback will paint a picture of where you need to learn, grow, and change to become a more inclusive manager. And an inclusive team will be more innovative, responsive, and thoughtful in how it executes its mission.
Create a Safe and Inclusive Workplace for Transgender Employees
Transgender people may experience discrimination in many ways, including at work. Employers have a legal and moral responsibility to accommodate the needs of transgender workers and not tolerate workplace discrimination against them. Here are best practices and resources to ensure a safe and welcoming workplace for transgender employees.
How To: Choose and Administer Employee Benefits
This checklist reviews important reminders and tips for identifying, securing, and administering affordable, desirable benefits.
How To: Manage Across Generations
For the first time in modern history, five generations are in the workplace at the same time. This presents both opportunities and challenges. Here are some tips for how to tap into the diversity of perspectives that come from managing multiple generations, and navigating cross-generational conflicts that may arise.
How To: Make Performance Reviews Meaningful and Memorable
Most employees dread performance reviews and many managers dread giving them. But it doesn’t have to be this way! With effective preparation, a collaborative approach, and a template to guide you, performance reviews will feel more meaningful and produce better results for your organization and your employees.
Tips: Cybersecurity Defense
Cybersecurity is a common vulnerability for all nonprofits. This infographic offers tips on how to build resilience against a potential breach.
Comparison: HR Systems for Small Nonprofits
This factsheet compares and contrasts the features of 4 leading HR web products that offer pricing and options appropriate for small nonprofits: BambooHR, Eddy, Gusto, and Zenefits.
How To: Conduct Meaningful Stay Interviews
When a great employee leaves your organization, you may ask, “What could we have done to get you to stay?” The concept of the stay interview arose to get that kind of information at a time when your organization could still act on it.
Ask Great Job Interview Questions
Knowing what to ask candidates can sometimes be confusing! How do you quickly learn about this person to make a decision about whether they’re the correct person for your job and your mission? Use this infographic to build your next interview question bank.
Ready to Respond: Building Resilience for a Cybersecurity Incident
Cybersecurity breaches can be scary and overwhelming for any nonprofit. This factsheet has six MUST-DO TASKS for any organization to ensure you’ll be ready if and when a breach happens.
Sample Questions: Annual Self-Evaluation
Self-evaluations are a great way to kick off the performance review cycle! These sample questions are an excellent starting point for building a meaningful review of your employees’ performance over the past year.
How To: Give and Get References
This factsheet offers practical tips and suggestions for minimizing the risks often associated with giving and receiving references for potential team members. Don’t forget to download the companion reference form!
Fillable Reference Form
This sample Reference Form is designed to minimize liability when giving or getting references for your nonprofit’s potential team members. Be sure to download the companion tips and suggestions: How To: Give and Get References
From Worry to Action
Worried about risk? Use this 5-step worksheet to create a basic action plan for risks and worries that your nonprofit is facing.
An exit interview is an opportunity to thank a departing employee for their service and gather insights you can use to improve workplace culture and practices.
Employee or Volunteer? Classifying Teams
The proper classification of team members at your nonprofit is essential to ensure compliance with labor laws and avoid financial penalties or legal claims.
Conflict in the Workplace
85% of employees report having experienced some type of workplace conflict. With statistics this high, use this infographic to understand more about how ignoring conflict can lead to issues at your nonprofit. Learn practical conflict resolution tips and what type of conflict management style you and your employees use!