4 Reasons Nonprofit Employee Productivity Is Important
Nonprofits everywhere are facing an unprecedented season of difficulty in the wake of COVID-19 and its rippling effects. Organizations are increasingly concerned with the stability of future revenue, as well as the overall sustainability of day-to-day operations.
That’s why ensuring boosted nonprofit employee productivity is the key to success. A big part of enabling a productive workplace is equipping employees with the tools they need to streamline operations.
With the sudden move to an almost entirely remote workforce, hitting peak productivity is more important than ever. Here are four reasons why you should place a higher emphasis on productivity in your nonprofit’s workplace. A highly productive organization can:
- Make the most out of limited resources.
- Demonstrate maximum impact of donor funding.
- Set, pursue and reach goals.
- Increase employee satisfaction levels.
We believe that the best way to boost employee productivity is through nonprofit time-tracking strategies. Effective time tracking practices allow employees to manage their time wisely and get more done for your organization. Ready to get started? Let’s jump in!
1. Make the Most out of Limited Resources
One of the most important components involved in sustaining any nonprofit is ensuring effective financial management. After all, many organizations have limited resources to begin with, not to mention the approaching challenges of operating in an unstable economy post-coronavirus.
These are three of the biggest resources required to sustain any business or organization. Here’s how you can maximize the usage of each component while boosting productivity:
- Funding: Nonprofits often rely heavily on donor funding, which can be inconsistent at times. That’s why it’s important to budget carefully and always know exactly where your money is going. In addition to program-based costs, one of your biggest financial investments as a nonprofit will include your overhead funding, such as purchasing software and paying employee salaries.
- Staff: Hiring, training and managing effective team members is so crucial for running a thriving organization. Your employees are one of your greatest assets so it’s important that you treat them as such, while providing them with the tools they need to get their jobs done efficiently.
- Time: You’ve heard the saying “time is money.” Likewise, effective time management should be a significant focus in any nonprofit. Just as it’s important to know where your money is going, it’s crucial that you know where your time is going — both your own and that of your staff.
Successful nonprofits learn to be savvy with the resources they already have in order to produce the greatest results. When you carefully utilize every tool in your toolbox, you can lay a solid foundation for growth going forward.
2. Demonstrate Maximum Impact of Donor Funding
Because of nonprofits’ dependence on charitable contributions as a major source of funding, it’s important to note that there are a few unique stipulations that come along with it. Having boosted levels of productivity can help!
The individuals and organizations that bankroll your nonprofit operations want to know that you’re using their money wisely and in the most impactful way possible. In other words, donors want to ensure the most bang for their buck.
Theses are two common types of funders your organization may deal with:
- Grant-giving institutions: Grants are a great way to boost nonprofit funding, especially when launching a new program or special project. Because grant funding is often attributed to a particular area of your operations, it’s important that you have the resources to demonstrate the specific impact of the gift. You can learn more about applying for and securing nonprofit grants here.
- Individual donors: Individual donations tend to be in smaller amounts that can be more freely utilized how you see fit. However, it’s still a good idea to have the tools in place to specify the usage of donor funding as well.
That’s why it’s so important to use every resource effectively, so that when you report back to the generous donors supporting your mission, you can quickly and easily share where their money is going.
3. Set, Pursue and Reach Goals
In many ways, nonprofits function similarly to small businesses. In both cases, setting ambitious, yet realistic goals is one of the key facets in ensuring growth and success.
Goals are known for motivating employees while also keeping track of progress, so it’s an important way to make sure your nonprofit is staying on the right path. Without effective goals, it can be too easy for your team to become apathetic and lose all aspirations.
By ensuring employee productivity, you can make sure your nonprofit goals are as SMART as can be. That means you should set and strive for goals that are:
- Specific: You want your goals to be as specific as possible so that every team member is on the same page and pursuing the same key objectives.
- Measurable: Using quantifiable numbers and metrics to report on your goals is essential for measuring your success. Specific numbers remove any discrepancies surrounding whether or not a goal was met.
- Attainable: While you want your goal to be ambitious in order to drive up motivation and encourage team members to make improvements, it’s just as important to ensure your goals are realistic. Otherwise, you’re only setting yourself and your team up for disappointment when you don’t reach a certain benchmark.
- Relevant: Be sure to set goals for your team that reflect your specific organization and the mission you’re striving for. Popular examples for nonprofit goals include increased fundraising revenue and boosted donor retention levels.
- Time-bound: Make sure you define a timeframe in which to complete your goal, so you can easily tell whether you’re on track or if you need to adjust your strategy to reach said goal by the deadline.
4. Increase Employee Satisfaction Levels
Making sure your employees are satisfied with their jobs is so important for maintaining a successful organization. After all, if you have a constant turnover of employees, it can be extremely difficult to utilize resources efficiently and reach your goals!
According to Astron Solutions, nonprofit employee compensation strategies lay the foundation for successful employee relations. While this is certainly true, it’s also important that you don’t neglect other aspects of employee retention and satisfaction, including:
- Pride and accomplishment: One’s own sense of pride and accomplishment is often tied very closely with levels of productivity. When employees can easily look back and see all that they’ve accomplished in a limited time period, they can see the impact they’re making by pushing your mission forward.
- Employer praise: Additionally, employees enjoy hearing nice things said about them by their bosses and other members of leadership. This external affirmation is a great way to encourage employees to continue doing their best in their positions.
When employees are happy in their work, feel valued and see a personal impact, they’re more likely to stay with the organization and continue working for good.
Reaching peak nonprofit performance and employee productivity levels is a strategic process that takes time and effort to maintain. But with the right tools in place, you can simplify operations for all involved.
Ernest Cheng is a San Francisco-based marketing professional who focuses on technologies that drive performance. He is currently the head of marketing at ClickTime, an award-winning time tracking platform for nonprofits, billable professionals, and growing businesses in over 65 countries.