5 Ways to Make Sure Your Best Employees Never Want to Leave

Gayle Brandel
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

Gayle Brandel
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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Use these 3 solid answers next time someone asks: ‘Tell me about yourself’

Gayle Brandel
Rather than dread the question, think of it as a self-promotional invitation you mustn’t let pass you by. People are not asking for your chronological history, but they do want more than your name, rank, and serial number. Whether you are in a job interview, meeting a new contact while you build your network, or talking with your big boss on a video conference for the first time, this is your moment to shine. It is an opportunity to give your two-minute advertisement about your background, your accomplishments, and the importance of what you do Your goal is to turn the question into the beginning of a deeper conversation and a deeper relationship. So keep these three key pieces of your response ready: Engage the audience, establish credibility, and tell people why they should care. Then tailor your reply to the person who is asking. Find ways to connect your experience and expertise to their interests. Engage the audience Resist the urge to lead with your title and organization unless you know that will stand out. Instead, give a short, illustrative explanation of what you actually do. Make it an interesting conversation starter. If it points to anything going on...
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How to Measure Inclusion in the Workplace

Gayle Brandel
There’s no doubt that in 2021 and beyond, companies will continue to devote more attention and resources to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Unfortunately, many organizations still struggle to measure the impact of their strategies and communicate that impact to a growing number of stakeholders. More than 1,600 CEOs have signed onto the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge, and 40% of companies discussed diversity and inclusion in their Q2 2020 earnings calls versus only 4% the same quarter a year prior. According to Gartner research, the number of HR leaders identifying DEI efforts as a top priority was 1.8 times higher in 2020 than in 2019. Gartner analysis reveals an almost 800% increase in job postings for dedicated diversity recruiters. While a recent Gartner survey reveals DEI leaders indicated that “setting goals and tracking DEI progress through metrics” was one of their two top priorities for 2021, measuring workforce representation is a challenge unto itself, particularly for global organizations that need to manage self-identification and define their underrepresented talent segments across geographies. Even once you have that demographic information, it’s hard to know what mark you’re trying to hit: What does “good” look like, in terms of...
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A Data-Driven Approach to Hiring More Diverse Talent

Gayle Brandel
Within 25 years, people of color are projected to be a majority in the United States. As this key demographic rapidly expands, businesses of all sizes across America are realizing the need to hire diverse talent in order to develop products, services, and experiences for a changing population. Further, research shows that companies that have more diverse workforces outperform and out-innovate those that don’t. According to a 2018 McKinsey report, companies in the top-quartile for workforce diversity are 33% more likely to financially outperform their less diverse counterparts. But while companies understand why they need to have a more diverse workforce, many aren’t sure how to make it happen. The PGA of America was one, and it faced challenging public perceptions. Golf is often viewed as a primarily white sport, which makes it difficult to recruit from underrepresented communities. Historically, there have been many barriers to entry for people of color interested in golf, including financial hurdles to enter training and acquiring equipment. While the PGA of America has historically instituted programs geared toward attracting diverse talent (like the PGA WORKS program, which actively recruits people from diverse backgrounds to apply for fellowships and other pathways of entry), there’s still more work...
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