Have you been asked by the Board to provide a risk report or briefing? It’s natural to be a little nervous about that. But an open dialogue about risk can build trust, shape strategy, and help your nonprofit better execute on its mission. Here are some steps to help you have a great discussion about risk with your board.
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Ever wonder what kind of risk champion you are? Take our 10-question quiz to find out! This quiz aims to help risk leaders and aspiring risk leaders understand their strengths and areas for growth (and have fun learning about them).
When you seek resources on how to manage employee turnover in your organization, you’re likely to find resources for how to stop turnover. That makes sense—if employees leave your nonprofit frequently after short tenures, it can be a sign that something is wrong in the organization and needs investigation. But not all turnover is bad, even when a number of people choose to move on from your organization at once. That might be the moment in your nonprofit’s life when a lot of employees’ journeys diverge from the organization’s. Still, anytime valued employees leave, it’s hard for everyone. Here are some strategies for managing through periods of high turnover at your organization.
Most of us have been “ghosted” by a prospective employer—even after a promising interview. It’s not cool, and it’s totally avoidable. The time and effort your nonprofit invests to give all job candidates a great experience will produce results. Your top candidates will be more likely to want the job, and those who aren’t selected will have a good impression of your nonprofit. Here’s how to improve your job candidates’ experience.
You probably love to talk about the strength of your organization’s culture with job candidates, donors, and your board. But do employees and clients experience your organization’s culture the way you intend them to? If not, they may question whether they want to work for or with your organization. Culture might seem like a squishy concept, but there are ways to ensure your organization lives up to its professed values more often than not.
Many nonprofits pride themselves on promoting leaders from within their organization. If you’re reading this because you recently got promoted at your nonprofit, congratulations! Here are some tips to help you adjust to your new role.
Offering employee tuition reimbursement can demonstrate your nonprofit’s commitment to professional development and help you recruit and retain talented employees. Creating an employee tuition reimbursement program takes some work, but can pay great dividends. Here’s a four-step checklist to help your nonprofit launch a tuition reimbursement program.
Mentoring can help you grow as a professional and open new doors in your career and even your personal life. Here are some tips to make the most of your mentoring relationship and be a great mentee.
Violence has increased in America, and people’s tempers may flare even in routine interactions. Here are some strategies nonprofit employees can use to assess the level of conflict in a situation, bring down the heat in difficult conversations, and respond if an action does escalate.
Mentoring a colleague or intern can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both parties; the lessons and learning from a mentorship can be beneficial to your nonprofit’s mission as well. If you’re a mentor, here are some ways to build a great relationship with your mentee.
Studies regularly show that one of the most effective ways to recruit and retain great employees is to support their professional development. Many professional development opportunities cost money, but many others cost nothing. Use this checklist to create professional development plans for each member of your team that will show how much your organization values them.
We’ve all faced challenging situations at work. Sometimes we can step away to pause and collect ourselves, but sometimes conflict surfaces in the middle of a tense meeting or a challenging interaction with a client. Here are some things you can do in mere seconds to stay calm during a difficult interaction at your nonprofit.
As business travel continues to rebound post-COVID, make sure your nonprofit is ready. Here’s a checklist to evaluate the risks and benefits of travel and navigate health and security issues wherever your team is headed.
Many employees feel most comfortable in a hybrid work environment, where some work takes place remotely and some happens in person. The best strategy to excel in a hybrid work environment is one your team has likely used to excel in other areas: set and reiterate clear expectations, try new things, and adapt quickly when your plan doesn’t work as expected. Here are some tips to help your nonprofit maximize the benefits of hybrid work.
Do you struggle to meet deadlines and complete tasks? Almost everyone can get better at time management, and even small investments can yield big rewards. Your work will improve, you’ll be less stressed, and you’ll have more time to work on the things that interest you most—or to focus on the rest of your life. These simple steps can help you get better at time management.
Have you ever sensed that your nonprofit team adopts a negative frame when you’re talking about a challenge or downside risk? Reframing a challenge as an opportunity could help your team break out of frustration mode, get curious, and form new ideas. Here are some ways to do so.
The past few years have been especially challenging for nonprofits, their teams, and the people they serve. You’ve likely steered your team through many challenges, from budget strains to community grief about injustice and acts of violence. And there will be many more challenges to navigate. Here are some ways to take the best possible care of your team members when times get tough.
Grief and loss are part of life. Three years of a global pandemic focused new attention on that fact, and brought to light the many ways grief affects people and workplaces. But most leaders never learned how to deal with grief at work—and sometimes, people cause harm when they want to help. Here’s a primer on what to do—and not to do—when someone on your team is grieving.
Collaboration in the workplace can catalyze more creative ideas, help with employee retention, and make it more fun to go to work every day. But it won’t happen without some effort and focus. Here are some ways to foster collaboration in your nonprofit team.
A great presentation could help your nonprofit land that transformative grant, find a new partner, or kick off a strategy that will energize your team. Most nonprofit professionals will give presentations during their career, but few receive training on how to present well. Presentations can be a huge source of anxiety, but they also provide a powerful way to connect with people and spark ideas and opportunities. Here are some tips to improve your next presentation.
We’ve all attended unproductive or pointless meetings. Why am I here? When will this end? Why am I feeling frustrated and confused? But done well, meetings can bring emerging issues to the forefront, catalyze exciting ideas, build consensus, and form a sense of connection and partnership. Here are some ways to make your next nonprofit meeting a productive one.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Use this sample agenda to inspire your team’s next Resilience Planning meeting or workshop.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
This checklist reviews important reminders and tips for identifying, securing, and administering affordable, desirable benefits.
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.
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.
Cybersecurity is a common vulnerability for all nonprofits. This infographic offers tips on how to build resilience against a potential breach.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
The proper classification of team members at your nonprofit is essential to ensure compliance with labor laws and avoid financial penalties or legal claims.
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!