There are many components CEOs must consider to set their organizations apart in today’s increasingly competitive environment.
But in my experience as a nonprofit leader, I have found employees to be the heart of any organization regardless of type or size.
They're the key to taking any organization from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
Employees who are empowered to achieve in their day-to-day work and career development challenge organizations to evolve and meet rising standards.
Here's how to use professional development to help both companies and employees succeed.
Invest In Your Best Resource — Your Employees
Employees support and grow organizations in many ways beyond their day-to-day operations and assignments.
As experts of your nonprofit, their unique institutional knowledge and experiences are a valuable resource for learning where your organization excels and where there is work to be done.
Employees on the front lines often share experience-based suggestions and insights that might not be on leadership’s radar.
At National Industries for the Blind (NIB), we’ve found surveys are one of the best ways to both communicate with employees and collect data to support change.
Over time, routine surveys can detect trends and prepare organizations to effectively adapt and respond to employee needs.
In addition, surveys can fuel engagement as employees see that your organization values and are responsive to their input.
An excellent way to engage employees and grow your non-profit is through surveys that ask employees about professional development opportunities they're interested in.
Implementing feedback on learning and development opportunities can help nonprofits retain and grow high-performing employees, as well as attract new talent. Build An Environment For Employee Growth
Successful nonprofit organizations invest in employees and create exceptional workforces through a combination of professional training and on-the-job learning experiences.
One of my priorities is weaving innovative professional development programs throughout the fabric of NIB.
Using this approach, we can focus on delivering programs and resources that help our employees achieve their highest employment potential and find professional fulfillment.
Armed with the latest tools, skills and industry best practices, these employees in turn help NIB stay competitive and on top of its game.
One professional program that has proven beneficial to our organization focuses on leadership development.
Our “Leading the Way” program bolsters strategic thinking, leadership, customer service and supervisory skills among our managers.
Our broader "Continuous Process Improvement" program strengthens operational and business processes by encouraging and challenging employees across our different departments to work together improving operations.
Expand Employee Development As Part Of The Overall Culture
NIB also fulfills its mission to enhance opportunities for people who are blind by providing professional development programs at its associated nonprofit agencies across the country.
Its goal is to match skills and passions with jobs and work environments that will be the most beneficial to all employees, whether blind or sighted.
Remember Organizations Succeed When Employees Succeed
Empower employees through responsive communication, and invest in their development with innovative programs.
That'll pay dividends in personal and professional advancements, which will ultimately strengthen your organization.
As our professional development programs cultivate a new generation of leaders at NIB and our associated nonprofit agencies, I know our future is bright. And when employees succeed, the organization succeeds.