Entries with Topic: HR Knowledge

Nonprofit professionals are the backbone of countless community initiatives and philanthropic efforts, often going above and beyond to make a difference. However, this dedication can lead to a hidden threat: burnout. While passion drives many in the nonprofit sector, it can also lead to mental and physical exhaustion. We aim to shed light on nonprofit burnout and offer actionable strategies for mental wellness.

Understanding Nonprofit Burnout

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. For nonprofit professionals, burnout can manifest as fatigue, irritability, reduced performance, and feelings of helplessness.

Why Nonprofit Professionals are Prone to Burnout

  • High Emotional Investment: Working closely with causes that matter deeply can be emotionally taxing.
  • Resource Constraints: Limited funding and staffing can lead to being overworked.
  • Constant Fundraising and Reporting: The pressure to secure funding and meet reporting requirements adds another layer of stress.
  • Work-Life Imbalance: The passion for the cause often blurs the line between work and personal life.

Mental Wellness Strategies for Nonprofit Professionals

To combat burnout, it’s crucial to adopt strategies that promote mental wellness. Feeling overwhelmed and on the verge of burnout? You’re not alone. The demands of the nonprofit sector can be immense. Here are six actionable strategies to combat burnout and prioritize your mental well-being, allowing you to continue making a positive impact with renewed energy and focus.

1. Prioritize Self-Care: Self-care isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. Regular exercise, a balanced diet and sufficient sleep can significantly improve your mental and physical health.

2. Set Boundaries: Create clear boundaries between work and personal life. Set specific work hours and stick to them. Turn off work notifications after hours to ensure you have time to recharge.

3. Delegate Tasks: You don’t have to do everything yourself. Trust your team and delegate tasks where possible. This not only reduces your workload but also empowers your team members.

4. Seek Professional Help: If you’re struggling with burnout, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Therapists and counselors can provide coping strategies and a safe space to express your feelings.

5. Foster a Supportive Work Environment: Cultivate a culture within your team that fosters open communication. Encourage your coworkers to comfortably share their struggles and seek support.

6. Continuous Learning: Engage in employee training courses to enhance your skills and stay updated. This can help you feel more competent and confident in your role.

While burnout in the nonprofit sector is a serious issue, it is not insurmountable. By prioritizing mental wellness and adopting the strategies outlined above, nonprofit professionals can continue to make a positive impact without sacrificing their well-being.

Are you ready to take the next step in supporting your mental wellness and organizational efficiency? Sign up for UST’s free 60-day HR trial today! Gain access to live certified HR experts, work-from-home resources, over 300 employee training courses, downloadable forms and checklists, an online employee handbook builder, and job description tools.

Get started with your free trial now!

Remember, taking care of yourself is the first step in taking care of others.

Question: We’ve been both super busy and understaffed recently. Is there anything we can do during this time to help our employees avoid extra stress or burnout before we can hire more employees?

Answer:  Yes. Here are a few things you can do to make this time run as smoothly and stress-free as possible:

Remove nonessential work duties: For the positions that seem most stretched, make a list of tasks that could be put on hold (or perhaps reassigned). You can invite input from employees, too, but I’d recommend acknowledging that they’re overwhelmed and saying that you’ll do your best to alleviate some of the pressure. Then hold off on nonessential tasks until business slows down or you’ve increased your headcount.

Allow for flexible scheduling: If employees need to work longer hours on some days during the week, consider allowing them to work fewer hours on other days of the week. Note that some states have daily overtime, spread-of-hours, or split-shift laws.

Budget for overtime: Employees may need to work extra hours to keep up with the current demands of their job, so allow them to work overtime if you (and they) can swing it. If you’re pretty sure overtime will be necessary, inform employees of that ahead of time, so they can plan accordingly.

Ensure all equipment is fast and reliable: It’s important to identify, troubleshoot, and correct any slow or nonworking equipment issues (such as laptops, internet hardware, cash registers, or vehicles). If not resolved, these issues can slow down work and add to everyone’s stress.

Look for ways to automate: Consider whether any of your employees’ manual and time-consuming tasks could be eliminated or simplified with the use of new or different technology.

Increase safety protocols: Employee absences related to COVID have created a significant strain for many employers during the pandemic. Shoring up your safety protocols may reduce the risk of COVID-related absences because of sickness or exposure. Depending on your circumstances, examples include improving ventilation, encouraging or requiring vaccination, requiring employees to wear masks, and allowing employees to work remotely when possible.

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

This Q&A was provided by Mineral, powering the UST HR Workplace. Have HR questions? Sign your nonprofit up for a FREE 60-day trial here. As a UST member, simply log into your Mineral portal to access live HR certified consultants, 350+ on-demand training courses, an extensive compliance library, and more.

Nonprofit organizations play a vital role in society, addressing various social, environmental, and humanitarian issues. However, running a nonprofit organization comes with many challenges, including limited resources, funding, and staff. Nonprofit leaders must constantly seek innovative ways to streamline their operations, cut costs, and maximize their impact and one way to achieve this is by adopting online software solutions.

Online software solutions can help nonprofits address various challenges, such as financial management, HR support, and compliance. For instance, UST Workforce Solutions is designed to streamline your HR workflows while empowering your team and enhancing your employees’ development as your business expands. This approach ensures that nonprofits have sufficient funds to finance their operations and achieve their mission.

Moreover, online software solutions provide tremendous HR support, which is essential in managing staff resources effectively. Nonprofit HR leaders can use these solutions to automate processes such as online training, employee handbook building, and job description builder. This approach frees up time and allows HR professionals to focus on more strategic tasks that contribute to the organization’s mission.

Another benefit to nonprofits of adopting online software solutions is access to thought leadership related to employment matters. UST offers incredible value to its members through its expertise in employment laws and regulations. This expertise helps nonprofits to stay compliant with various HR laws and regulations while also minimizing legal risks.

One of the primary challenges associated with online software is ensuring the security of your data. Nonprofits handle sensitive information, such as donor details and financial records, making data breaches a significant risk. It’s crucial to choose software providers that prioritize data security and offer robust encryption and access controls to protect your information.

Implementing new software often requires training your staff on how to use the system effectively. This can be a time-consuming process, especially if your team is not tech-savvy. To mitigate this challenge, look for software providers that offer comprehensive training resources, such as tutorials and webinars, as well as customer support.

If you are a nonprofit leader looking to streamline your operations, cut costs, and maximize your impact, UST offers online workforce solutions that can help you achieve your goals. Fill out the UST Free Saving Analysis form today and see which of our online solutions can help your nonprofit. Don’t just take our word for it, see what one of our satisfied partners—the Georgia Center of Nonprofits—has to say. “In practice, how many payables transform into literal assets? UST builds financial assets, provides tremendous HR support, and offers incredible thought leadership related to employment matters. As a CEO, I would find it difficult to replace the value that UST brings tour organization.” 

Adopting online software solutions is a game-changer for nonprofit organizations. With UST’s online solutions, nonprofits can transform payables into literal assets, access live HR support, and enjoy incredible thought leadership related to employment matters. Nonprofit leaders should take advantage of these benefits and embrace online software solutions to maximize their impact. To learn more about how UST can support your organization, click here.

Question: If business is slow, can we send employees home early?

Answer:  Yes, you can send employees home early due to a lack of work. Exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (not entitled to overtime) would need to be paid their entire salary for the day. Nonexempt employees (those eligible for overtime) would generally only need to be paid for actual hours worked.  

However, if you operate in California, Connecticut, D.C., New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Oregon (minors only), or Rhode Island, you should check your state’s reporting time pay requirements. Employees may be entitled to reporting time pay for a certain number of hours even if they just showed up and did no actual work. This is intended to lessen wage loss that is not the fault of the employee, as well as encourage employers to not over-schedule, since it causes employees to waste time and resources getting to work.

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

This Q&A was provided by Mineral, powering the UST HR Workplace. Have HR questions? Sign your nonprofit up for a FREE 60-day trial here. As a UST member, simply log into your Mineral portal to access live HR certified consultants, 300+ on-demand training courses, an extensive compliance library, and more.

Question: When are we required to pay for trainings? 

Answer:  In general, time spent in job-related training is counted as time worked and must be paid. However, not every lecture, meeting, training program, or similar activity would qualify. If all four of the following criteria are met, you do not need to pay the employee for the training:

  1. The training occurs outside of the employee’s normal work hours;
  2. The training is completely voluntary (there will be no company-initiated consequences if the employee does not attend);
  3. The training is not specifically job-related (it may be tangentially related to their job, such as most continuing education, without being specific to how they do their job on a day-to-day basis); and
  4. No work for the employer is performed during the training (e.g. reading or replying to email).

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

This Q&A was provided by Mineral, powering the UST HR Workplace. Have HR questions? Sign your nonprofit up for a FREE 60-day trial here. As a UST member, simply log into your Mineral portal to access live HR certified consultants, 300+ on-demand training courses, an extensive compliance library, and more.

Question: What are the penalties and costs for misclassifying employees?

Answer:  The answer will depend on a number of factors, such as how many employees are misclassified, how much extra money they would have been paid if properly classified, and whether or not lawyers or regulatory agencies get involved.

Generally, if an employee goes to the federal Department of Labor (DOL) and claims that they’ve been misclassified, the DOL will investigate. If the DOL determines that an employee—or entire group of employees—should have been paid overtime but wasn’t, the employee will be owed up to two years’ worth of unpaid wages (or up to three if the misclassification was “willful”). The organization may also owe the employee or employees liquidated damages equal to the amount of money owed. So, if an employee should have been paid $2,000 in overtime, the organization may owe them $4,000. The organization would also owe the government taxes on those wages, as well as interest on the taxes.

Most states also have their own minimum wage and overtime laws, and often an organization can be held liable under both federal and state law, meaning the employee would be owed additional damages for violations of state wage law. And if you are in a state with late payment penalties, the organization could owe additional damages for not having paid all wages by the time they were due. There’s also a very good chance that the organization will be held liable for attorney’s fees—both the organization’s and the employee’s.

On top of the costs mentioned above, there are potential federal civil penalties of $2,074 per violation (generally one penalty per misclassified employee), state penalties (which will vary), and in some cases the potential for jail time. Finally, statutory interest may immediately begin to accrue on the amount owed.

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

This Q&A was provided by Mineral, powering the UST HR Workplace. Have HR questions? Sign your nonprofit up for a FREE 60-day trial here. As a UST member, simply log into your Mineral portal to access live HR certified consultants, 300+ on-demand training courses, an extensive compliance library, and more.

One area where costs can quickly add up is recruitment. Finding the right talent for your organization is vital, but it can also be a significant expense. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce recruitment costs without sacrificing the quality of your hires.

Refine Your Hiring Strategy

Developing a more strategic approach to recruitment can help you save money. Start by examining your current process and identifying areas where you can streamline. Consider using new technology to automate tasks such as resume screening and scheduling interviews. This can free up your HR team’s time and reduce the need for additional staff.

Utilize Social Media

Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be an effective way to reach potential candidates. By using targeted ads, you can reach a larger audience of job seekers without breaking the bank.

Leverage Your Network

Networking can be a powerful tool when it comes to recruitment. Reach out to current employees, board members, and volunteers for referrals. This can help you find qualified candidates who are already familiar with your organization and its mission.

Internship Programs

Internship programs can be a great way to evaluate potential employees before making a full-time offer. Interns can be sourced from local colleges and universities, and while they may require some training and supervision, they can help you find a great fit for your team. Additionally, internships can provide valuable experience and networking opportunities to students who may become future employees.

Attend Job Fairs

Attending job fairs can be a great way to connect with candidates who are actively seeking employment. Many job fairs are free to attend, and they provide a platform to showcase your organization and open positions.

By implementing these strategies, you can reduce your recruitment costs and still find the right candidate for your organization.

Another way that nonprofits can save money is by using UST HR Workplace. This platform offers live certified HR experts, over 350 employee training courses, an online employee handbook builder, job description tools and various other resources.

And the best part? Nonprofits can try UST HR Workplace for free with a 60-day trial. So why not see for yourself how UST can help you save money and streamline your HR processes? Sign up today and start reducing your recruitment costs!

Explore additional blogs here for money-saving tips and tricks.

Question: Can I limit the number of times an employee makes changes to their W-4?

Answer: No. IRS guidance states that an employee has the right to make changes to their Form W-4 as often as they would like, and you, as the employer, need to make those changes, even if they’re frequent. The only exceptions are if the Form W-4 is invalid or if you have been previously notified by the IRS that the employee is subject to an IRS “lock-in letter.”

If an employee gives you a revised Form W-4, the IRS states that you need to begin the new withholding no later than the start of the first pay period ending on or after the 30th day of receiving the new form. We recommend having a standard process for implementing any new Forms W-4 and ensuring your employees are aware of that process.

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

This Q&A was provided by Mineral, powering the UST HR Workplace. Have HR questions? Sign your nonprofit up for a FREE 60-day trial here. As a UST member, simply log into your Mineral portal to access live HR certified consultants, 300+ on-demand training courses, an extensive compliance library, and more.

Creating an employee handbook provides a cornerstone reference guide for an organization. It serves as a central source of information about policies, procedures, and the organization’s culture.

For nonprofits, especially, where resources can be limited and roles diverse, the importance of an employee handbook is immense. A well-crafted HR employee handbook is a tool that shows commitment to consistency, fairness, and transparency in a nonprofit organization.

Further, a comprehensive handbook can also serve as a critical tool in risk management when it clearly outlines policies related to discrimination, harassment, and disciplinary actions.

If your nonprofit needs some tips regarding how to create an employee manual, we can help.

Planning Your Nonprofit Employee Handbook

Working for a nonprofit, you understand the critical importance of creating a plan for any project. An employee handbook is a valuable piece of organizational content, making the planning stage instrumental in its composition and eventual success.

Here is some preliminary work you can do.

1. Identify Goals for the Handbook

Determine why your nonprofit needs a handbook and what you want it to achieve. Dig deeper than outlining policies and procedures. Consider how it can support your nonprofit’s mission, reflect your organizational culture, and serve as a resource for employee engagement, safety, and overall satisfaction.

2. Gather Input and Insights from Key Individuals

Consult with various stakeholders involved with your nonprofit, including:

  • Leadership
  • Department Managers
  • HR Staff
  • Selected Employees

Once you have gathered everyone’s insights, it can help identify the most relevant content areas and address specific concerns or needs.

3. Review and Understand Legal Requirements

Do your research or reach out to a legal professional to understand the legal framework associated with employment in your area, including federal, state, and local laws. This step is essential to ensure your handbook complies with all legal requirements and best practices for employment.

4. Decide on the Right Structure and Format

Understanding the handbook’s format will help you keep things organized. One important consideration is the delivery and consumption method, so decide whether you want to distribute it digitally, as a hard copy, or both.

7 Steps to Create an Effective Employee Manual

By understanding the importance of employee handbooks and with some preparation out of the way, you can officially start creating an employee handbook ready for use with these seven steps.

1. Outline Your Nonprofit’s Mission and Values: Begin with a clear statement of your organization’s mission and values to your respective community, as well as to your stakeholders and employees. This first, crucial step sets the tone for the handbook and aligns employees with your nonprofit’s goals.

2. Define Employment Policies: Clearly lay out policies regarding employment terms, work hours, telecommuting, leaves of absence, PTO, and other employment-related matters. Ensure these policies comply with local, state, and federal laws.

3. Detail Compensation and Benefits: Include information about salaries, benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, vacation policies, training and professional development opportunities, and eligibility criteria. Customize these sections to reflect the unique offerings available to all employees and managers when working for your nonprofit.

4. Establish Conduct Guidelines: Outline expected behaviors and standards of conduct to create and foster a positive work atmosphere. This section should cover everything from the dress code to ethics and confidentiality policies.

5. Explain Performance Evaluation Processes: Describe how and when performance evaluations will be conducted. It is also important to let employees know who will conduct the reviews, what they will cover, and what the remediation process looks like if required. This step helps employees understand the expectations and metrics against which they will be monitored, compared, and assessed.

6. Provide Procedures for Reporting Grievances and Complaints: It’s important for employees to know how to report issues or concerns. Clearly outline the steps they should take if they need to file a grievance or report misconduct.

7. Regularly Update the Handbook: Laws and organizational policies evolve, so it’s crucial to review and update your handbook regularly.

Employee Handbook Examples

Providing real, working examples of employee handbooks in the nonprofit space can be incredibly helpful. If you have a network of fellow leaders in the nonprofit sector, you may ask a peer if you can discuss their strategy or review their handbook.

Alternatively, since specific examples tailored to nonprofits may be harder to come by, looking at handbooks from a variety of sectors can offer inspiration and best practices.

Are You Ready to Create Your HR Employee Handbook?

We hope these tips will get you started, but you don’t have to plan, outline, and compose this important organizational asset on your own. Creating an employee handbook is a significant undertaking, so we encourage you to reach out to us for support.

At UST, we offer an extensive menu of nonprofit HR solutions for community-focused organizations that don’t have full-time, designated HR teams. Start with our reliable UST HR Workplace for guidance. Our professionals can help you prepare to craft your handbook, offering updated legal and regulatory information and overall best practices.

Explore the value of our services for yourself by signing up for our FREE 60-day trial, or contact us to discuss your nonprofit’s unique HR needs and Choose UST.

SOURCES

www.abelajlaw.com/non-profits/non-profit-employee-handbook/

No specific citation/allusion, but helpful: blog.airmason.com/employee-handbook-for-non-profit/

www.chooseust.org/solutions-overview

www.chooseust.org/hr-trial

www.chooseust.org/contact-us

Question: We recently made a couple of small updates to our employee handbook. Do we need to have employees sign a new handbook for each update?

Answer: No. For small, minor updates, you don’t need employees to sign off, especially if you simply made an administrative change like updating the name of your employee assistance program provider, correcting a typo, or adding a clarifying statement. A simple communication to all employees to let them know that the change has been made, why, and where to find the change should suffice as notice.

Larger changes, like a brand-new policy or an update with essential changes, would warrant a new employee signature, especially if they could be disciplined for violating the new or updated policy. If you need to discipline an employee related to the new policy or update, their signature will help show that they were made aware of the change.

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

This Q&A was provided by Mineral, powering the UST HR Workplace. Have HR questions? Sign your nonprofit up for a FREE 60-day trial here. As a UST member, simply log into your Mineral portal to access live HR certified consultants, 300+ on-demand training courses, an extensive compliance library, and more.

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Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

UST maintains a secure site. This means that information we obtain from you in the process of enrolling is protected and cannot be viewed by others. Information about your agency is provided to our various service providers once you enroll in UST for the purpose of providing you with the best possible service. Your information will never be sold or rented to other entities that are not affiliated with UST. Agencies that are actively enrolled in UST are listed for review by other agencies, UST’s sponsors and potential participants, but no information specific to your agency can be reviewed by anyone not affiliated with UST and not otherwise engaged in providing services to you except as required by law or valid legal process.

Your use of this site and the provision of basic information constitute your consent for UST to use the information supplied.

UST may collect generic information about overall website traffic, and use other analytical information and tools to help us improve our website and provide the best possible information and service. As you browse UST’s website, cookies may also be placed on your computer so that we can better understand what information our visitors are most interested in, and to help direct you to other relevant information. These cookies do not collect personal information such as your name, email, postal address or phone number. To opt out of some of these cookies, click here. If you are a Twitter user, and prefer not to have Twitter ad content tailored to you, learn more here.

Further, our website may contain links to other sites. Anytime you connect to another website, their respective privacy policy will apply and UST is not responsible for the privacy practices of others.

This Privacy Policy and the Terms of Use for our site is subject to change.