You need passionate leaders to engage your employees to provide for excellent services. The difference between a good organization and a great organization is the quality of the leadership and the team.
High-quality leadership is essential for any successful organization. For nonprofit organizations and Head Start programs, effective leadership can guide the mission and create positive change in the world. Nonprofit leaders have a unique set of skills, including strategic planning, managing finances, fundraising, and engaging employees. Nonprofit leaders are also adept at developing innovative solutions to complex problems and inspiring others to embrace a common cause.
Leadership begins with articulating and building consensus around a purpose, setting goals, establishing strategies, and creating plans to ensure that the organization achieves its purpose. Effective leaders motivate their team and create an engaging work environment where employees can reach their potential.
High-performing leaders collaborate. Collaboration depends on active listening and respect. Collaborative leaders recognize employees and provide opportunities and resources for individual development. Effective leaders are empathetic, passionate, hard-working, and self-reflective, inspiring their staff, families, and communities to realize their potential.
Begin with the Why
Passionate leaders begin with the “why.” Simon Sinek advises us to always begin with the “why.” Ask yourself and your team three questions:
1. What is your purpose as a leader?
2. What is the purpose of the organization?
3. What is it that makes you and your team get out of bed each day to come to work?
It’s not enough for only the program leader to know the “why.” The entire team needs to share a common purpose with similar values. Work with your team and use strategic planning to create a consensus about the “why.” Help your team connect their personal purpose with the organization’s mission.
Strengths-based leadership is a management style focused on recognizing and leveraging individual strengths to achieve organizational goals. This management style focuses on the positive aspects of employees, such as their skills, knowledge, and experience, rather than trying to “fix” their deficits. Using a strengths-based assessment tool such as the CliftonStrengths Assessment, you can coach your leaders to be passionate, empathetic, and high performing. Coaching begins with observing interactions, providing information, offering specific and constructive feedback, and modeling in a continuous cycle. According to Kim Scott, the most important quality of a leader is radical candor—the ability to provide critical feedback with empathy.
Enhance Employee Engagement
Employee satisfaction or job satisfaction is how happy or satisfied employees are with their jobs, taking into account relative workload, pay, benefits, a comfortable environment, perceptions of management, and teamwork. These are clearly important to employees and to the organization and thus are important for retention. It is a good starting point, but it usually stops short of what really matters.
Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work. With passion, commitment, and, most importantly, discretionary effort, engaged employees are motivated to do more than the bare minimum needed to keep their jobs. In contrast, satisfied employees are merely happy or content with their jobs and the status quo. For some, this might involve doing as little work as possible.
Talented and motivated employees expect more from companies. For these employees, job satisfaction includes different criteria. They want to be engaged and empowered. They want to be challenged and pushed. They want their work to have meaning. They want personal and professional development opportunities so they can grow and advance their careers.
What are you waiting for?
If you are interested in working with Sunshine Nonprofit Solutions to develop your leadership team, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a free consultation. We look forward to working with you and helping you make a difference in your community.