What Is Next for Your Staff

Imagine you could predict the next technology disruption.  The next step would be to prepare for the disruption.  This article is about the third step – setting new expectations for your staff.

Whether the anticipated technology has arrived or the clients have assumed responsibility for some of the tasks, your staff’s jobs have changed.  It is important for the staff to realize that the change elevates their role and importance to your nonprofit.  With the elevation comes a new set of expectations.  Some of the new expectations your staff will need to fulfill are:

Be Creative – Look for ways to add depth or breadth to the current outcomes or results from your processes.

Engage Clients – Find better ways to nurture, mentor, coach, and lead clients as well as help clients with emotional needs, social skills, or other mission-centric activities.

Engage InfluentialsDraw those who are close to clients and have an influence on clients (parents, family members, friends, other service providers, etc.) into the process to help clients succeed.

Expert Thinking – Look for ways to add depth, breadth, or outsourcing (technology or client involvement) to your processes.  It may also include looking for ways to streamline the process or import processes from unrelated areas into the process.  It may also include developing new ways to monitor the process which allow problems to be predicted and prevented.

Look Forward – Determine the next evolutionary step for your mission based upon emerging social, demographic, local, economic, or national trends.

Specialization – Look for narrow, mission-centric areas where your nonprofit might specialize and develop unique services.

Visionary – Look at the bigger picture to see how your nonprofit, mission, services, or clients could be connected to other things happening in your community.  This also might include looking for ways to prevent the social problem your mission addresses or expand your treatment process to include curative activities.

All of the preceding expectations have one thing in common.  They are unlikely to be easily or inexpensively replicated by technology.  Put another way, the preceding will ensure that when current tasks are replaced by technology, the staff members will become more necessary rather than threatened by the technology.

Next Step:

Create expectations that demonstrate that outsourcing work increases the staff’s value

Choose the expectations that will offer your nonprofit the best opportunity to fulfill the promises of your mission statement and improve client outcomes

Limit the number of new expectations

Change is difficult for everyone.  However, when change is seen as moving to something better, it is welcomed.  Keeping the number of new expectations small makes the evolutionary process seem more approachable.  Once it becomes comfortable to fulfill the new expectations you can add more and keep the evolutionary process moving forward.

A client-focused and mission-focused evolution will also help make it more comfortable.  Your staff joined your mission because of their passion for the mission and care about the clients.  Knowing that the evolution serves a higher purpose (mission and clients) makes it easier to embrace.

Take It Further:

Ensure that your board, its expectations, and methods for measuring success are evolving at the same speed as your nonprofit, clients, mission, staff, and technology


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