For many nonprofits, 2022 is shaping up to be a turning point in how they conduct internal operations. Many teams that previously worked remotely are now returning to the office. Others are content to continue operating remotely. In addition, some are experimenting with hybrid approaches.
Each method has unique pros and cons, and teams must adapt. Specifically, many nonprofits will need to consider how their choice to return to the office or work remotely will impact their staff’s ability to stay connected.
Highly-connected teams with strong communication practices tend to be more dynamic, responsive, and effective than those with significant delays in their responsiveness. This allows them to quickly respond to challenges, seize opportunities, and clear up confusion.
This article will explore these four communication best practices how to improve remote work, and how nonprofits to stay connect at home or in the office, such as:
These tips rely on a combination of effective nonprofit software and communication strategies. Assess your nonprofit’s current communication tools to consider how they can help build a reliable framework to support your communication practices. Let’s get started.
Whether employees work remotely or in the office, any organization can suffer from communication slowdowns and miscommunication. While it might seem like a small change to how your team interacts with one another, structured communication can improve your employees’ productivity, and engagement as teams will know who to reach out to and when.
Additionally, if your nonprofit has ongoing projects that require face-to-face communication, like creating long-term marketing strategies, consider how you can create a streamlined process. Set up these meetings rather than communicating back and forth through email.
2. Invest in tools to streamline workflows.
Modern nonprofit software has significantly advanced in the past few years. Therefore, nonprofit teams now have access to various tools to help them stay in touch while speeding up their work processes. Assess your current software solutions to determine whether they meet your communication needs. Identify whether any new tools would improve your communication practices.
For example, to streamline your workflow and communication, your team might benefit from investing in:
When investing in any new software solution, take security precautions to protect your donors, constituents, and organization’s sensitive information. When onboarding your staff members to your new project management software, consider who you will give different permission levels. Think about how you can encourage members to make smart security decisions to avoid potential leaks.
Being in close proximity to other team members allows you to check on projects’ progress quickly. You get questions answered as they arise, and stay on top of all ongoing activities. Physical distance can slow down communication, even with modern technology.
However, this doesn’t mean your nonprofit should abandon the idea of allowing team members to work from home. Instead, organizations with a remote operations structure must establish protocols for improving productivity and communication.
Re:Charity’s guide to nonprofit work-from-home tools walks through a few popular strategies for staying connected and focused while working remotely:
If your nonprofit implements a hybrid workplace, consider how you can use your in-office days to make the most of your staff’s time together. For example, you might schedule meeting times based on when the whole or a majority of your team is in the office. You can also save work that can be completed individually for work-from-home days. This will help improve remote work and streamline the workflow process.
Every nonprofit is different and will have its own set of unique communication needs. While external advice and research can provide an outside perspective, seeking internal feedback and staying attuned to your staff’s specific communication challenges can help solve regular miscommunication. It can address productivity slowdowns and other issues that disrupt a team’s communication ability.
Of course, the same obstacles interfering with your communication practices can also make it difficult to gather feedback. Try creating a structured system for collecting feedback to keep communication between you and your staff as open as possible, even during ongoing external and internal disruptions.
Here are a few ways you can request feedback from your staff to improve remote work and stay connected:
While you should focus first on your permanent staff, your volunteers and temporary team members can also provide unique insights into your communication processes. At the end of a volunteer’s time with your nonprofit, send out a survey using your volunteer management system. You can also have your volunteer manager meet with them to learn how you could improve the volunteer experience and operations at your nonprofit as a whole.
Keeping your team connected even while physically distant is fundamental to your nonprofit’s ability to continue forwarding your mission. Leverage your software’s communication tools to improve productivity. Stay in touch with your team while implementing communication best practices for remote and in-office team members. Hope this blog helped give you ideas to improve remote work (or hybrid setting) to connect your team.