Why Having A “Nice” Work Environment Matters To Your Donor by Elisa S. Heath

kids on the playgroundRecently, while doing some research, I learned that 95% of senior business leaders consider customer experience as the next “competitive battleground.”  This means that whether you are a nonprofit agency or a for-profit business, attracting and retaining “customers” is essential to your success and continuity.   I have come to believe that by focusing on the workplace dynamic,  you can positively impact your message, process and product.

Does this mean that the effectiveness, productivity and success of a nonprofit organization or business are affected by how supportive the work environment is?  Absolutely! If your staff feels adequately trained and supported as individuals as well as a group, and can “play nice” with each other they will perform like a team, produce more work of a higher quality, and represent your organization more effectively.

Start at home, and at the top.
The impact of a leader on the workplace cannot be understated.  The leader must act as a role model, mentor and teacher by providing a supportive environment, encouraging released inhibitions, and inspiring productivity and creativity.  In this kind of ambiance, even imaginative ‘mistakes’ become learning opportunities.

A strong Executive Director will lead the way by behaving in a way that values, encourages and nurtures the team approach. There is no room in a successful business for lack of support or worse, harassment, both of which produce high rates of absenteeism and staff turnover, increased health issues and negative interaction with customers or donors.  Yes, it is one more skill set an executive director must possess, but if he/she is not watching the way in which the team interacts, the little problems that occur can easily become an excuse for a donor not to give.

The truth always seeps out.
Unlike a vacation in Vegas, very few misdeeds remain solely within the walls of an organization.  By the same token, the positive changes that occur in your workplace will shine for the entire organization and donor base to see. Whether responding to an angry school parent, an inquisitive donor, or a curious vendor, you and your team should be receptive, timely, informed, effective and self-confident.  All internal and external communications can now reflect the story of your transformation and new perspective as a kinder, gentler and more successful organization.

Take this as a guide to investing in the emotional intelligence of the workplace community.  Organizations and businesses can be people-oriented, powerful and productive.  Mersky Jaffe & Associates can provide a thorough assessment of your organization, gauge the “people-power quotient” and recommend concrete best practice moves for improving your business today.