One of the best ways to combat this is by spending time with your employees. Whether it be during the work day, or at events outside of normal work hours. It is important that your nonprofit's leadership core is involved not only when their management skills are needed, but for when their people skills are needed, too.
How can you expect your employees to work hard to realize your nonprofit’s mission if your CEO is an enigma, and doesn’t appear to care all that much himself.
Bottom line is, if your leadership team isn’t heavily involved with your organization, isn’t transparent, and doesn’t know most of the staff, it will be difficult to make a serious impact.
Attend volunteer events
Show your nonprofit’s leadership team is genuine engaged with the mission. Make sure they are spending time sorting through boxes of donations, or cleaning up the local river, too. The CEO’s absence at events like this can drive your employees to feel like ‘the help’ and that the leadership team is too important, or simply doesn’t care for the mission enough to attend.
Transparency doesn’t have to be relegated to face-to-face contact, though. We all know email is the main communication outlet for contemporary business. Ensure your CEO is sending out a weekly or monthly email encouraging the troops, staying in touch, and generally letting everyone in the company know what is going on at the top, which ultimately, affects everyone else. Your nonprofit’s employees care about what is happening, even while they are working to get their job done every day.
Put your money where your mouth is
Kick off employee giving by having your leadership team give first. Find a way to approve a corporate matching program, so that every dollar an employee donates to the cause, a board member will match it.
Getting your leadership serving on a charitable organization’s board is a great way to network, make an impact, and uncover new ways to lead. It is a great way for any CEO or any executive to open their mind, get creative, and become even more well informed.
If your nonprofit was gearing up for a major fundraising initiative, or planning a huge event, having your CEO and leadership team there on the eve of the big event is a huge plus. And should it be a success, it is perhaps even more important to have them there to celebrate. Nothing reinforces the hard work put in by an employee like the CEO pointing to individuals in an intimate setting and thanking them for their hard work, discussing how that hard work has helped shape the future of your nonprofit!
Image courtesy of Strategic Leadership ResourcesOne of the biggest complaints employees of nonprofit (and for-profits, for that matter) organizations have is the lack of transparency between management and the employees. They often feel out of the loop, closed off from what’s happening “behind closed doors” in the conference room, or the corner office.