At the end of the year, or maybe even quarter, many organizations take a step back to set strategic goals, define annual budgets, and inspire their teams with a vision for the coming year. But it’s that time of year again. The holiday season’s craziness has finally subsided. As the reality of the day-to-day settles in, the joy and hope that accompanied early January and February begin to dissipate. Winter is starting to fall, and Spring is coming and by the time you read this, it may already be here!
While it’s a little more difficult to dampen the enthusiasm of vision-seeking non-profits volunteers and staff, there are a few frequent pitfalls that organizations fall into that sabotage their path to achieve their most paramount objectives. March is the ideal month to reaffirm, reestablish, and recommit to those lofty goals you envisioned when the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve.
Here are a few of the ways an organization can do to make your team collectively strive towards its goal, despite how messy it can all get.
Even while everyone on a non-profit is familiar with the organization’s mission, teammates’ experiences and goals can vary greatly depending on seniority (entry-level to executive level), department (fundraising, programmatic, finance, and administration), geography, or any wide variety of factors. When a team member sees the overall mission of an organization and doesn’t understand just how their role plays a part in fulfilling it. They become less eager to engage with or support leadership in moving it forward.
This disconnect is paramount to avoid, these issues can cause not only setbacks in productivity but also morale in the organization. This is why It’s critical for leaders to connect strategic goals to their employees’ diverse incentives and outcomes.
While the projects and efforts that organizations undertake are varied, having a basic, powerful purpose that connects them all to one another and to your mission and can serve as a guide is essential. Given the frequently volatile or unpredictable environment in which non-profit organizations operate, it’s critical to be focused on the ultimate objective rather than the different processes or methods to get there.
Allow unstructured time for your crew to interact with one another, share work stories, and make connections between strategy, fundraising, programming, growth plans, and infrastructure development. While formal, organized time is vital for moving goals forward, giving allotted “free time” to discuss subjects that may not be obvious can blossom into a healthy discourse that would result in bringing your team closer to their goal.
Nonprofits are known for cultivating collaborative workplaces where employees wear several hats and are eager to help with projects that aren’t part of their job profile. This might create a pleasant, team-oriented environment, but it can also lead to a lack of accountability and role clarity.
One of the ways organizations can avoid such an issue is through a RACI chart or method. RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed. Each letter in RACI represents a level of task responsibility on a project. Though each of the letters can be best described as from Team Ganatt as they break it down:
One easy way to maintain a RACI environment is through a case management software system, by being able to designate roles and specific people to tasks and keeping those who need to stay in the know informed whenever a change is made to the case/task/activity, you can maintain a healthy RACI workspace.