Nonprofit Resistance to Change Has Crumbled! That’s my sentiment and it captures one of the most striking ways in which life has changed for Nonprofits since the outset of COVID, and even now as we complete the election cycle.
If there is one silver lining for Nonprofits in this crisis, it’s that organizations suddenly possess not just the permission, but the mandate, to innovate. Never known for being exactly on the cutting edge, the Nonprofit Sector is now being forced to think about its work in new and different ways.
We’re hearing stories of organizations now suddenly able to quickly roll out virtual courses and events, after years of taking it slowly due to member or staff reluctance to embrace new ways of working. Some Nonprofits that in the past only reluctantly experimented with telework now suddenly find themselves working entirely remotely and handling it better than expected.
The first tenet of change management is creating a sense of urgency there’s nothing like a crisis to do just that.
I’ve been working with Nonprofits Boards & Executives for a long time. They’re coping with enormous human, social and economic costs because of the Pandemic that they’ve never experienced before. Here are some of the things I’ve learned.
Having a remote workforce is obviously the biggest change Nonprofit leaders are facing.
Organizations that had already implemented successful telework options for employees before the crisis have found it easier to adjust to having a remote workforce, especially during the lockdown.
Relieving workers of their daily commute also is paying unexpected dividends. It’s giving people a couple hours back in their day and, in the process, those people are coming up with new ideas and innovation. Most Nonprofits are seeing upswings in people asking to work remotely two or three days per week. Working from home, it turns out, suits many employees just fine. Even so, for some employees, the challenges of home isolation is wearing thin. As the isolation wears on, it will be increasingly important for Nonprofit leaders to keep the mental health of their people in mind.
Telework will increase long after the Pandemic fades, which will have big repercussions on the office environment.
Assuming offices reopen before the pandemic dies away completely, employers will realize they need to make accommodations. Some will have to consider one-way corridors, so people won’t have to risk passing within six feet of each other. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration will most certainly (if they haven’t already) create and publish new guidelines for how offices should protect workers because of the Pandemic.
Employers will need to rethink their entire approach to Human Resource Management. Resistance to video job interviews, by employers and employees alike, will quickly become a thing of the past. HR staff will need to come up with new protocols to virtually on-board new employees. It may no longer be possible to walk newbies around the office, introduce them to coworkers, then take them to lunch. Employers will need to learn new, respectful ways to lay off or terminate workers from afar.
Departments within organizations that once considered it impossible to carry out certain tasks except in a physical location are finding they must find virtual ways to do them. Finance personnel, who once made a ritual of having senior executives sign a stack of checks, for example, are now learning they can handle the transactions remotely.
Longer term, organizations are saving on rent by downsizing the amount of office space. As staff work fewer days on-site every week, they may be more willing to let go of their private offices and use touch-down cubicles when in the building.
The future of in-person conferences and events has changed for good!
Even before the Pandemic, conferences had been getting pressure from attendees to limit the carbon footprint of their communities. National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives has been leading the way with virtual Major Gift Ramp-Up events that began in earnest 6 months after the outset of the Pandemic.
On the positive side, travel expenses will go down. With more events and education programs moving online, employers won’t have to put employees up in hotel rooms and on airplanes. Even interactions long considered best done face to face are no longer improbable if handled virtually.
NANOE is proving that everything can be held intact, even revenue streams, if the new way of conducting the business of Nonprofits is embraced wholeheartedly, with little resistance to change.
To learn more about author Maxie Carpenter (and NANOE Member) please VISIT HERE
Nonprofit Resistance to Change Has Crumbled was first posted at INSIDE CHARITY
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