When It’s Time for Change, Don’t Start with the Staff

I talked recently about the hiring challenges that nonprofits face, and shared a tip for finding new prospects to join your team. Let’s look at staffing from another angle.

When a nonprofit struggles it’s usually not because the staff are weak. It’s more likely the result of inadequate leadership and poor planning. Most employees are just as savvy as any management consultant in seeing what the problems are. Sometimes they are far better at identifying the people problems and steps in a process that are slowing things down or creating friction. In most cases, they just haven’t been in a position to affect change.

Populating an organization with new people who have no sense of an organization’s history and capabilities takes too much time and wastes a lot of knowledge gathered at great cost. While you often have to change the top leadership when it lacks the skills to manage a transition, it’s not helpful to replace a lot of employees lower in the organization. They need direction and leadership, but they have useful knowledge that takes new people a long time to learn.

As always, keep respect & trust of your staff as your guiding principle.

Q: Are you able to identify the causes of your organization’s current challenges?
Q: Which of those challenges are related to staff, and which to leadership?

To delve deeper into nonprofit staffing, check out this section of my website.

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