According to Ragan’s HR Communication News there are five questions that every employee wants—and needs—to have answered to be feel confident and successful in their position within your nonprofit organization.
For you, answering these questions is critical to creating an invested workforce that sparks the creativity and drive that your mission thrives on. Answering the questions also gives employees a sense of who they are and where they fit in your agency, which leads to more productive, and innovative, workdays.
- What is expected of me? This question may seem obvious, but if you don’t have a clearly developed job description that outlines how each position fits into the overall organizational goals, and how the position is critical to reaching your mission goals, employees may feel that they’re just floating in the void. By clearly laying how a position fits into your nonprofit goals, you allow your employees to actively engage in making your nonprofit a successful place to work. If you haven’t yet, read this to learn more about developing strong employee objectives.
- How am I doing? Don’t structure your nonprofit so that employees are only getting feedback on the things they do wrong—it’s disheartening and keeps people from extending themselves. Make sure that managers are regularly scheduling meetings with the employees they oversee to give regular feedback on how the employee is doing. And ensure that when employees do something awesome they hear about it! Employees want to have regular feedback (both good and bad) and if they don’t get it from you, they may find another nonprofit that does offer them the opportunity for growth.
- Where do I stand? Schedule a formal evaluation of each of your employees every year. An expansion of question 2, this allows you to discuss their accomplishments, opportunities for further growth and improvement, and the challenges that they’ve dealt with. This annual assessment meeting also allows you and your employees to review what is expected of each of them and how this has changed in the past year.
- How can I improve? As we’ve said before, you must give employees the opportunities to gain more professional skills and understanding if you want them to stay with your nonprofit for the long haul. It’s vital to keeping employees happy. But, offering opportunities for improvement also allows you to further the mission of your nonprofit. By strengthening every member on your team, you become more able to meet new situations head on.
- How can I grow and challenge myself? A more focused version of question 4, this question allows you to re-recruit employees by reminding each other why the fit works. Find out where they want to go in their career and determine how this fits in with your organizational assessment of their abilities. Whether this means you add to an employee’s daily duties, you move them up in the organization, or whatever else works for you, re-recruiting employees challenges both you and them to create a high-performance, high-quality workplace that is even more focused on your mission.
Answering these questions is only part of a strong employee retention policy though. What other steps do you take to keep employees engaged and excited about your nonprofit?