Fatigue and burnout: A few tips to guide you through the fog

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Do you feel tired? Stressed? Don’t have the energy you used to? Don’t worry. This isn’t a pharmaceutical ad, but I do have a prescription that can help. If you’re like me, you’ve been dealing with two very real conditions in the last 18 months or so: fatigue and burnout. And—no surprise—it’s all connected to the pandemic. The American Medical Association has acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic and all the changes it has brought along have caused us to feel increasingly isolated—and it’s taking a toll on our mental health. “Even if you’re getting eight hours [of sleep], you just feel like you’re dragging through the day and it’s hard to find the pearls in the mud,” Dr. Carl Lambert told the AMA. As I’ve talked with friends, colleagues and clients in the last few months, I’ve been gathering up some of the best bits of advice for navigating this fog we find ourselves in. And I’m here to share a few of those pearls of wisdom with you. Before we dig in, though, it’s important to remember how we got to this point. The way I see it is we’ve been through two segments of the pandemic now. At first, we were suddenly thrust into a new world of working...
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The Recruitment Risks of Too Many Interviews

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Employers today are struggling to find workers. Those that ask applicants to go through an unnecessarily lengthy and opaque process are likely to lose out on candidates who have plenty of alternatives.  It’s a significant financial and operational commitment for a company to hire a new team member. Onboarding and training require considerable resources, not to mention the salary, benefits, and taxes involved in compensating the new hire. Operationally, new team members are often accountable not just to their boss but also to stakeholders in other departments by virtue of increasingly interconnected and collaborative offices. So it’s understandable that employers might want to use an extensive interview process to thoroughly vet candidates before selecting one for an open position. But employers need to be careful not to drive applicants away with overly onerous interview processes, particularly in a job market in which applicants have considerable leverage. Long Interview Processes Can Be a Big Turnoff In an article for BBC Worklife, Mark Johanson presents the experience of a 49-year-old software engineer from Indiana named Mike Conley, who became so frustrated with a seemingly never-ending interview process that he ultimately pulled his application. In Conley’s case, the employer was unable—or perhaps unwilling—to...
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3 Interview Red Flags That Are Actually Signs of a Good Leader

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Lack of experience doesn’t always mean unqualified. Here’s how to spot the difference.  While some may say integrity and emotional intelligence make a strong leader, others measure leadership skills based on a person’s drive, ability, and influence. The truth is, when it comes to hiring for a leadership role, what makes an ideal leader typically varies and reflects the company’s current goals, which is why promoting your highest performer isn’t necessarily always the best option. In fact, the difference between a good and a great leader can sometimes be obscured by relying on traditional traits and first impressions. I often recommend coming into each interview without any expectations from candidates. Sure, having an impressive résumé and credentials is one thing, but taking a chance on a candidate who shows promise to shake things up a little can impact your team and company in ways you never imagined. So, what’s one way to come into an interview with an open mind? Just like how leadership can easily be redefined, forget what you know about traditional interview red flags and try looking at them in a new light. Whether you’re looking to hire someone who can drive results, bring everyone together, innovate business, or help develop skills, I’ll be...
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5 Ways to Make Sure Your Best Employees Never Want to Leave

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Here’s something that keeps your Executive Director (or you?) up at night. “What happens if Jason leaves? Sure, I’m the E.D – but Jason is really irreplaceable. He has all the relationships that drive the big money. If he ever leaves, this place will fall apart.” Every organization has its rock stars. You, as the leader, want to do everything you can to make them never want to leave. Here are five things you can do to retain your best employees. FIRST OF ALL, SNAP OUT OF IT No one, not even Jason, is irreplaceable. You may rely on him now, but you’d find someone else if you had to. And more importantly, it’s highly unlikely that Jason will stay as long as you’d like no matter what you do. You also need to snap out of the mentality that you are only the E.D. If you really feel that Jason is more important to the success of your work, maybe you should be the one shopping. A big part of your job is to build a team of five-star players. Absolutely take great care of your rock stars but remember… if the band isn’t also first rate, you’re probably...
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If you are planning to hire in the near future, act now

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Summer is here and nonprofit organizations, large and small, are engaged in strategic planning as rebuilding begins. Many are tackling sustainability issues, restructured operations, fundraising challenges, and staffing changes—often in development, management and leadership roles. The current, and growing, challenge to old hiring patterns is evident in the radically changed marketplace for top talent. In February of this year, the number of nonprofit jobs dropped to 12.48 million or approximately 7.4% fewer jobs than 10 months ago1. Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported the drive to get people back into office is clashing with workers who’ve embraced remote work as the new normal. A May survey of 1,000 U.S. adults showed that 39% would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work. The generational difference is clear: Among Millennials and Gen Z, that figure was 49%, according to the poll. So what are organizations facing and what do nonprofits need to do to survive and growth in this new marketplace? If you are planning to hire and are waiting to do so, you may find yourself facing a trio of challenges, including the departure of good talent, the loss of valuable time, and a highly competitive marketplace. 1. The...
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