How to Use Automation to Keep Nonprofit Employees from Burning Out
Tedious, unimpactful, busywork is enough to burn anyone out in any industry. Sadly, it comes with the territory for any career, job or project. Sometimes, before you can do the work you love, you have to take care of certain responsibilities, whether we like it or not.
In the nonprofit world, that problem is exacerbated. Why?
There are some folks who get involved with a nonprofit company like any other career, but their goals are still to make a living. Yet, when working for nonprofit, there’s always a new need, and it’s hard not to go the extra mile for a cause you believe in.
If it were a boss at a corporate business, it would be easy for employees to say no when they were pushed to their limit, but when working for a nonprofit, employees may feel like they are letting down the whole mission. It’s a quick way to get burned out employees.
No matter where you work or what you do, there are bound to be hundreds—if not thousands—of menial tasks that you must complete throughout your days and weeks. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could save your employees from these menial tasks and avoid having them burn out too quickly?
There is a better way, and it may save you from losing your hard-working employees, who likely spend extra time at work because they believe in the goals of the nonprofit they work for. This better way involves the use of modern automation tools and sometimes even artificial intelligence. Sound crazy? Bear with us.
How to Automate Your Menial Work Tasks
You’d be forgiven for thinking you need expensive software and hardware to take advantage of automation. But that’s not true at all. In fact, you can make use of simple tools you probably already have and use regularly. By automating trivial tasks, you can save time, money and sanity—and every little bit helps, especially when it comes to making life easier for your hardworking employees.
Automate Your Supply Chain
Some things you cannot automate, and that’s the honest truth. But other times there are supplies and ordering tasks that can be done without any human input. For example, when you run out of printer paper or when you need more stationary, you can set up automatic refills.
Tools like Alme can be used to automate this entire process. As soon as you get low or run out, the system will order more of what you need. You could even go through a retailer like Amazon, a company that offers recurring delivery of specific items and supplies. That way, you never run out of something.
And even if you can’t fully automate an order, there’s almost always a simple and easy way to get what you need quickly and easily online. For example, SpeedPro Imaging lets nonprofits customize and order signs, banners and anything else a nonprofit might need for events right from their website.
Automate Simple or Daily Tasks
Do you often find yourself turning off the Bluetooth on your phone when you get to work and connecting to a local Wi-Fi? Do you wish you could convert a Gmail message into an event or scheduled telemeeting on your calendar?
Tools like If This Then That (IFTTT) can be used to automate a variety of simple and daily tasks. It works on desktop and mobile. You can also rely on mobile-only apps like Tasker for Android or Workflow for iOS.
Many of these tools, like IFTTT, will work and connect with third-party apps and services, so you’re not confined to just simple tasks. If you really get good at defining recipes and triggers, you can do some amazing things.
Automate Customer Service
Again, there are just some tasks and experiences you cannot automate when it comes to customer service specifically. But there are other things you absolutely can automate, like checking account balances and statuses or filing returns.
Ensure you choose the right tools and platforms for this, as you don’t want your customers to suffer, because you’re trying to make your own life easier. It’s easy to get carried away and automate everything. One way to combat this is to always provide an option to connect directly to a human customer service rep, like “press two to speak to someone now.”
Automate Long-Form Typing and Content
Even if you’re crazy fast at typing, coming up with long-form articles, content and web copy can take a long time.
Writing can take a lot of headspace. (If your employees are doing the writing, be sure to spread the work around.) Too much time creating content is a recipe for burn out.
The same is true of smartphones with Siri and Google Voice Assistant and even in your home with Alexa and Google Home. Take your pick—you can use your voice to do just about anything these days.
Make Work More Automated for Happier Employees
Ultimately, the thing you want to remember is that a lot of the trivial tasks you worry about and have to get done throughout your day can be automated in some way or another.
Don’t waste the mental energy of your employees by relying on them to do processes that are easily automated.