Guest blogger : Trina Isakson
Priority #1: Improved conditions for the attraction and retention of paid staff
My hopes for Priority #1 (#P1) were reflected in an interview on CBC radio I listened to while I lay awake in my early morning jet-lagged stupor.
The interviewee was an author who rejected so many of the technological norms of today; he didn’t use email or have a website, let alone use Twitter. However, when asked about his views on e-readers and the decline of the printed word he wasn’t critical—he was open-minded. “The same words exist. Just the container is different.”
A different container. When I think about the future of the nonprofit sector and our recruitment and retention needs, I imagine big things. I consider our need as a sector to fulfill our missions in ways that inspire people to get involved and stay involved with our causes, and not just our organizations. I think about how we can build inspiring workplaces and incubate new forms of organizations that function in ways that support the collaborative and technological strengths of the next and now generation of changemakers.
Same missions. Same drive and purpose. Just different containers. Different organizational structures. Different ways of collaborating. Different forms of leadership.
However, as I told people at the summit that I was in #P1, I heard more than once, “Oh, the HR one.”
HR? No, this is bigger than HR. Another ‘young leader’ I met at one of the receptions had the same reaction. “HR? Salary and benefits? Skills training? I wanted to sneak out and join another priority area!”
An interesting quote from a participant in leadership development research conducted by the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector begins to describe a new ‘container’:
We need to increasingly look at the single leader model…and challenge that assumption of “leader.” We need to move to more shared leadership for organizations.
#P1 area explored the perception of our sector as an employer, challenges with low salaries, difficulties with succession planning, and skills gaps. As a group we addressed the needs of our current ‘container’, but did not challenge the idea our current containers themselves.
These strategies will address current needs of individual organizations of our sector. I look forward to additional forthcoming strategies that address the future of our sector, and the future of individual ‘containers’ that will continue to drive our missions forward.
We want to hear from you!
Young leaders: Does this resonate with you?
Everyone: How do leadership, collaboration, and organizational structure impact your recruitment and retention?