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Which Charity Workers Are Happiest?


6 October 2008 at 4:07 pm
Staff Reporter
A survey of staff from a wide range of UK charities reveals that those working in medium sized organisations are the happiest with their working conditions.

Staff Reporter | 6 October 2008 at 4:07 pm


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Which Charity Workers Are Happiest?
6 October 2008 at 4:07 pm

A survey of staff from a wide range of UK charities reveals that those working in medium sized organisations are the happiest with their working conditions.

Third Sector magazine (www.thirdsector.co.uk) and Birdsong Charity Consulting carried out the survey earlier this year and have published a report called Size Matters 2008.

The aim of the research was to build up a picture of working life in charities and help to raise the standard of people management in the sector.

The survey asked charity workers questions about:
– their work/life balance
– the quality of internal communications in their organisation
– the effectiveness of their management
– their views on development, reward and loyalty

After questioning more than 1000 charity staff the survey says that people from medium sized organisations of between 51 and 200 staff are by far the most satisfied at work.

The survey says while this might be good news for those in the middle, the picture is worrying for the charity ‘super-brands’ and the multitude of small charities that engage the vast majority of volunteers.

It found that only 55% of staff from large charities and 41% from small charities plan to be with the same employer next year.

On a more positive side the survey found that charities are paying more attention to staff training and development. Some 54% from all charity sizes said they had good personal development opportunities (compared with 43% in the previous year).

But small charities still scored the lowest on training.

The survey report also offers recommendations for on what organisations of all sizes should do to make staff more contented:

Small charities have the most pressure on resources, but also have the opportunity to capitalise on close and effective working relationships.

Priorities for action:
– Ensure that work objectives are not achieved at the expense of manager-staff relationships
– Explore cost-effective ways to support staff training and development
– Review the effectiveness of the senior management team (or equivalent)
– Uncover any management or organisational issues are that are hastening staff departures

Medium sized charities have the best of both worlds – the challenge is to maintain effective working practices as their organisations grow.

Priorities for action:
– Ensure that managers are rewarded for good people management
– Establish – or reinforce – good internal communication systems
– Monitor staff satisfaction to pick up any early signs of discontent Large charities

Large charities have the most complex organisational issues, but also have more options for how they use their resources.

Priorities for action:
– Be open to new ideas on flexible working
– Explore new ways of helping senior managers keep in touch with staff views and work
– Review the effectiveness of the senior management team
– Uncover any management or organisational issues are that are hastening staff departures

The full report can be downloaded at http://www.bird-song.co.uk/charitypulse.html



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