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Here’s how to inspire your NFP workforce

4 November 2020 at 10:41 am
Maggie Coggan
We take a look at some ways to boost your staff morale

Maggie Coggan | 4 November 2020 at 10:41 am


Here’s how to inspire your NFP workforce
4 November 2020 at 10:41 am

We take a look at some ways to boost your staff morale

More often than not, people find work in the charity sector because they are passionate about wanting to make a difference in the world. 

While passion is definitely a driving force for an employee to perform their best, it’s still important for employers to create an environment that inspires great work. 

And new research from Insync backs this up. Researchers found that inspired employees were five times more likely to recommend their organisation, and 12 times more positive about innovation than employees who were uninspired. 

Their research also revealed that out of 36,000 NFP employees, just 46 per cent were inspired by their organisation’s vision or mission. 

We sat down with Murray Chapman, an Insync researcher, for some advice on how NFPs can do more to inspire their workforce. 

Make your vision clear and compelling  

Passion is important, but according to Chapman, it’s not always enough. Successful organisations have a vision that is backed by genuine capability and financial sustainability, and has been effectively communicated to employees. 

“Often people make the mistake of having a small group of people who put together some nice ideas and nice words without actually consulting with their employees,” he says. 

“The times I’ve been involved in really successful projects is when the executive team has given employees the chance to develop and modify ideas so that it has the fingerprints of the employees all over it.” 

Create a positive climate 

One of the most important things an organisation can do to inspire their employees is to create an environment where that can actually happen. This means that senior leadership teams are open to feedback, encouraging of new ideas, and are up for motivating team members to achieve the organisation’s goals. 

“If you have people that walk the talk of the vision, then the rest of the team can feel like they can be themselves and really thrive,” he says. 

Ongoing dialogue 

Once the vision is realised, it’s critical that it stays front of mind for employees. Asking stimulating and thought-provoking questions, and telling and listening to stories about the people touched by the work of the organisation are some of the best ways to go about this. 

“You need to ask your employees questions so that they understand the vision for themselves,” he says.  

“Telling stories is also part of this because the more team members that tell stories about how the vision is becoming real with clients and the outcomes that are being achieved, the better they understand their purpose in the organisation.” 

Measure and celebrate understanding and delivery of the vision 

Coming up with a vision is one thing, but seeing it through and measuring its success and impact on employees is another. This can be done by not aiming too high into the clouds, and taking the time to check in on whether or not it’s actually working. 

“If you want people to be inspired, you’ve got to measure it,” Chapman says. 

“There are many feedback mechanisms for that, including focus groups, interviews, discussions, meetings.” 

Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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