Non-Profit Management: Building a Great Teamwork Environment
So often leaders of non-profit organizations feel stiffled in their desire to grow a great organization because they lack the financial resources to pay market-rate wages. But creating an innovative, encouraging and challenging organization is less about salaries than about the kind of environment that the team works within.
Here's a few keys to building a great work environment, one that encourages excellence and teamwork:
1. Hire Great People. Teamwork and work environment is largely about getting great people together to do great work. When you have people who are working in silos, only concerned about protecting their own turf, and people who lack the emotional abundance to love and encourage others, you get all the negative outgrowth of those misalignments. If however, you hire people with a positive perspective, willing to work with others, and with strong skills, you get an environment that is even bigger than the sum of its parts.
2. Set Clear Expectation. Great environments can grow when there is clarity about what is expected from the group and each of it's individual participant. Where their is a lack of clarity, people begin to assume, often mistakenly, what is expected and tensions begin to rise. This introduces unnecessary risk into every team interaction, which drives away cooperation. Instead, be clear about what success looks like, what each team member is expected to do and is responsible for, and let people be free to get their work done.
3. Recognize and Reward Excellence. People love to be recognized and rewarded for their work, even if the way we like to be rewarded differs from person to person. When you fail to reward excellence, but instead choose to reward things like attendance and lack of initiative, you will get a group that tends to keep their head down and work within the box. If however you reward teamwork and excellence, you will get other seeking to become better through cooperation and colaborative work. It's all about what you choose to reward.
4. Show Care for Your Team. In my experience, if you are trying to build a team environment, you must truly care about those you are working with, and example that care to the team. Metrics are critically important, but in the long run there is little that ranks above the importance of the practical care of those you work with. Put this as a priority and much begins to fall into place.
Discussion: What do you reward, either intentionally or unintentionally? How is environment and teamwork in your organization?
Read all of David Curry's blogs at http://blog.rescue-mission.org
or visit the Rescue Mission at http://www.rescue-mission.org