Personnel motivation in the nonprofit sector is vital as organizations can thrive with effective management of its employees that are considered to be the most valuable resource. Organizations in the nonprofits sector have tight budgets that make personnel motivation difficult. Consequently, they hire qualified individuals only to lose them and experience a decline in employee performance. Motivating employees in the sector is difficult but can be attained using appropriate strategies. Leaders should understand that employees should remain motivated to achieve set goals and objectives. Nonprofit organizations succeed because of the drive, intelligence, enthusiasm, and commitment of the people. Therefore, it is important to find individuals that are suited for the job. The human resource department is focused on finding effective leaders and forming groups of individuals with diverse skills for the benefit of organizations (Wilbur 311). Personnel motivation in the nonprofit sphere is a complex concept that requires the use of tailor-made strategies to work effectively.
Individuals working in the non-profit sector are motivated by a wide range of factors asides from money. As a result, personnel motivation should be focused on a wide range of factors including purpose and passion. Most of the employees are interested in having an exciting and rewarding career that will pave the way for them to attain personal goals. However, it can be noted that employees are motivated by different factors and it is essential to find out about individual motivations. Some employees are driven by personal growth, and they should be assigned tasks that at paving the way for them to achieve this while achieving growth and development in the organization (Wilbur 312). Professionals are motivated by career advancement and organizations should give them the chance to develop through training, coaching, and mentorship. It can be concluded that while nonprofits have a limited budget, they should focus on an individual’s motivation to attain outstanding employee performance.
Personnel motivation in the context of nonprofit organizations is based on trust between the employee and the employer. Following the recruitment process, organizations should establish a close relationship with the employees. The management should dictate the terms of employment at the start of the contract, and this sets the pace for building trust with the employees (Wilbur 311). On the other hand, employees should agree to the terms of employment and state if they have any concerns. Trust it built when both parties can openly discussing any concerns that should be addressed to enhance personnel motivation. Consequently, both parties should hold open discussions on terms and conditions of employment and this improves employee motivation.
Employee engagement is a critical aspect of motivation in the nonprofit sphere. It plays a vital role in the inspiration and retention of employees as they feel that they are of great value to the organization and are appreciated. Different approaches should be used in motivation employees including fairness in addressing the challenges being faced in the workplace. In other words, volunteers’ concerns should be treated in the same way as that of the paid staff. The management should show its dedication to the organization and the team that motivates the volunteers to work towards achieving the set objectives. Communication is essential in maintaining personnel motivation in the nonprofit sector. It follows that there should be proper channels for the volunteers to give their views. Additionally, the management should consider the opinions offered in the decision-making process, and this facilitates employee motivation (Wilbur 311). The volunteers should also be informed of the events and developments in the organization, and this makes them feel appreciated thus improving their attitude and motivation towards work.
Organizations in the nonprofit sector should offer extrinsic motivation to keep volunteers engaged and interested. Volunteering is a personal decision which means that most individuals working in the nonprofit sector are intrinsically motivated. It is upon organizations to come up with extrinsic motivation strategies such as ensuring that the working environment and conditions are favorable. Consequently, individuals are motivated to work in an appropriate environment that supports their growth and development. Volunteers are motivated through establishing short-term goals that should be rewarded regularly to improve their performance (Wilbur 314). Further, they should be allowed to lead during meetings and projects, and this makes them feel appreciated and valued in the organization.
Volunteers are managed and motivated using a different approach from paid staff. It is clear that there are apparent differences and similarities in the way that active recruitment, training, involvement, recognition, evaluation, and retention are conducted. To start with, organizations are interested in having a competitive workforce that supports that attainment of its vision and objectives. The recruitment process for paid staff and volunteers is thorough and competitive as organizations target to reach individuals with the highest skills and qualifications for different positions (Wilbur 315). The goal of the recruitment process in both cases is to get a high number of professionals to work in various roles in nonprofit organizations.
Employees are taken through a training process that teaches them about the goals and objectives of the organization and what they are expected to do in their new role. Paid staff and volunteers should undergo the training process that improves their skills and qualifications. The personal improvement motivates the workers to work hard as they feel appreciated by the organization. Employee involvement is critical to the success of nonprofits (Wilbur 316). Paid staff and volunteers should be equally involved in the operations of a company as they feel appreciated which motivates them to work harder. Employee involvement should be determined by the role that they are assigned to. Organizations use different strategies to facilitate employee involvement such as coming up with proper communication channels to ensure that both paid staff and volunteers can share their views.
Employee evaluation is a routine process that is conducted to determine an individual’s performance and contribution to the organization. Paid staff and volunteers are evaluated based on their performance and in line with the set tasks. The evaluation approach used depends on the terms and length of engagement (Wilbur 317). While paid staff are expected to be evaluated more often and using stringent measures, volunteers are assessed more frequently based on the terms of their employment. The evaluation process leads to the identification of poor performers within organizations. Following this, the management can take disciplinary action against poor performers in spite of the basis of their employment.
Nonprofits are required to have a clear retention policy for paid staff and volunteers (Brudney 46). The strategy is used because employees are considered to be the most valuable asset within companies that invest time and resources in the training process. The retention policy used should entail employee motivation strategies that improve performance and attainment of the set goals and objectives as volunteers and paid staff are equally important to the organizations.
The recruitment process for paid staff and volunteers varies in terms of publicizing as well as reaching the target audience. While paid staff attends to specific tasks in organizations, volunteers are believed to be the backbone of nonprofit organizations as they participate in basic functions such as paperwork to complex duties (Brudney 54). While hiring paid staff, organizations advertise on different channels as they expect to reach a diverse audience. On the other hand, when targeting volunteers, organizations reach out to individuals in civic groups, community organizations as they have members that are inclined to give a helping hand.
There are apparent differences in the training approaches used for volunteers and paid staff. Organizations spend more time and resources training paid staff as more is expected of them while compared to volunteers. Paid employees are supposed to be retained by organizations longer and are required to get a comprehensive understanding of the mission, vision, goals, and objectives. Conversely, the terms of volunteering vary in terms of scope and period, and this determines the level of training that the employees will receive (Brudney 67). The level of employee involvement varies depending on the terms of employment. The variation in staff participation underscores the apparent differences between paid employees and volunteers whereas the conditions of employment or volunteerism dictate the level of involvement. For instance, volunteers that have been deployed by the company to work on a specific project should not be involved in decision making as they do not have a comprehensive understanding of how the organization operates.
Retention of volunteer labor is different from that of paid staff. The difference in the two categories arise from the variation in the terms of employment (Brudney 36). It follows that nonprofits could be more focused on retaining paid staff that work on a long-term basis while compared to volunteers whose working terms vary. Paid employees are required to be more committed to the organization’s mission and objectives and are less likely to be fired. On the contrary, volunteers work on different terms with organizations and their engagement can end based on the terms of the contract. In spite of the differences and similarities between similarities between volunteers and paid staff in the nonprofit sector, it is clear that personnel motivation is a primary factor in the performance of an organization. The board of directors should focus on the implementation of effective motivation strategies and support the management on the same. It is critical to invest in voluntary employees as they are seen to be the driving force behind the success of nonprofit organizations. Retaining these employees improves the performance of different tasks and maintains a high level of employee motivation.
The above discussion explains personnel motivation in the nonprofit sector and offers strategies that can be used to retain volunteers and maintain effective performance. Depending on the scope and size of the not-for-profit organization, the strategies discussed can be valuable in preserving personnel performance. Additionally, it is imperative to have a volunteer retention policy in place that can be used as a blueprint in motivating workers. Overall, understanding the individuals’ goals and objectives is essential in establishing the appropriate motivation strategies.
Brudney, Jeffrey L. Fostering Volunteer Programs in the Public Sector: Planning, Initiating, and Managing Voluntary Activities. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1990. Print.
Wilbur, Robert H. The Complete Guide to Nonprofit Management: Smith, Bucklin & Associates, Inc. New York: Wiley, 2000. Print.