Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Employer-Employee Relations At Nonprofit Jobs

Success at any nonprofit job is often predicated by a good relationship between the employees and the employer. Unfortunately, this doesn't always go according to plan; there are many arguments and miscommunications that threatens to get in the way of a successful relationship.

The key, then, is for managers to navigate their way through these difficulties.

In the book “Five Good Ideas,” Dave McKechnie wrote that a good manager communicates with employees in a way that is fair and clear. While there is no checklist to guide you through every issue that arises, there are some rules of thumb that can help improve your ability and manage your relationships with employees.

Some of those rules are:

  • X Doesn’t Actually Mark Anything: There is no map that shows you where the treasure chest of good management resides. In employee relations, ‘X’ is a moving target and you can only get close to it by constantly focusing your goals.
  • Walk the Floor: You cannot manage and you cannot lead from behind closed doors. If you want to have good employee relations, you have to be available.
  • Constant Chatter and Reinforcement: Engage with your employees regularly, and help them troubleshoot as they go about their work.
  • Meaningful Recognition: Take some time to think about your particular organization, and the occasions that you can use to provide meaningful recognition of the work your staff does.
  • Listen, Investigate, Respond: Good managers are separated from bad ones by how they handle issues when they arise. When they do crop up, respond to them immediately -- for the sake of your organization and the well-being of your employees.

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