Attracting and retaining the most qualified employees is an ongoing challenge for many nonprofit. While the market is saturated with eager do-gooders and qualified candidates, there are several factors job-seekers consider when selecting an organization and a variety of reasons existing staff may be dissatisfied.
These factors are not always related to compensation. It’s often a combination of having soft benefits and the ability to positively contribute to the community with minimal frustration. Even for those lucky organizations with top level talent, there may be barriers to productivity and effectiveness that hinder your team.
Considering the pervasiveness of technology in the workplace today, it plays a pivotal role in your organization’s ability to attract, retain and leverage your staff’s talents to the fullest. Here’s what we recommend:
Several organizations purchased PCs several years ago which means Windows XP and Office 2003 are still up and running. No harm, no foul of course. (Except Windows XP and Office 2003 are both end of life, so there are some serious security risks if you continue to run this operating system/software combination, especially if you have compliance mandates). But for employees coming in from the for-profit sector, these machines are ancient relics that lack many of the innovations they’ve grown accustomed to in the last decade. The frustrations of using outdated software, operating on slow computers and continually having version compatibility issues can wear down even the most enthusiastic staff members. When these issues are removed, the team is more comfortable using the technology, they can accomplish more and enjoy a much more positive experience contributing to your organization.
Many nonprofits don’t have the budget to offer top salaries to their staff and often need to think creatively about providing benefits to make their organization more attractive. Studies show that employees with work-at-home options are more productive and happier.
Shifting even a few software applications like Microsoft Office and Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge or Financial Edge to a cloud environment can elevate your organization and free up your staff to work from anywhere. Staff can easily collaborate and still securely access the current information they need to do their job with cloud-based solutions. It also empowers mobile staff members to accomplish more in the field without having to backtrack to the office. By providing employees enterprise-grade business tools that allow them to be their productive best self, you create a positive environment that translates to better service for your constituents, without compromising security or any relevant compliance requirement.
Nonprofits attract a passionate work and volunteer force who care deeply about their constituents. These mission-focused individuals often work long hours and regularly take tasks home. And nobody wants to expose confidential information through data breaches and other technology fails which are inevitable with aging, unsupported, productivity tools..
Though they have good intentions, if employees and volunteers are transferring files onto their own devices to work remotely, they risk exposing sensitive client information and are likely flirting with compliance violations.
Free cloud software like Google apps and Dropbox are not always secure and will not meet most of your organization’s compliance mandates. Integris can educate and recommend affordable and secure applications like Office 365, QuickBooks, Raiser’s Edge, and other tools that can keep your files secure and give your organization the soft benefits that your employees expect.
Your staff is likely already using cloud apps on their smart phones and are more accustomed to cloud-based environments from any recent positions they’ve held in the for-profit world. Your team already recognizes the benefits of even the simplest cloud conversion, i.e. Office 365, and will embrace the cloud’s ease of use and flexibility.
Cloud provides another benefit your staff will appreciate: you’re never out of date. Working with cloud applications means you always have the most current features and tools, which almost always means increased productivity, effectiveness and collaboration capabilities.
Integris is a trusted IT service provider and advisor for many of Atlanta’s nonprofits. They recommend us because we base our recommendations on each organization’s unique needs and budget.
Contact us to see what you can do to attract and retain more talent, regardless of your budget.