Building Great Team Dynamics in Nonprofits
Creating an environment that has a cohesive and positive culture contributes to the long-term sustainability and overall success of a nonprofit association’s mission and the impact that you want to make in your community. One significant aspect of building a productive workspace is team dynamics –– the relationships amongst members of an organization that work together towards mutual goals. Nonprofits are able to achieve incredible things despite often having a shoestring budget and this can be largely attributed to the teamwork of dedicated people who are greater than the sum of their parts; regularly tending to and nurturing these relationships will certainly encourage everyone to continue doing their important work.
Improving team dynamics will lead to less conflict, more team engagement and commitment, better communication and collaboration, and a revived spirit of community and purpose. You may expect these positive effects to streamline onto the operations of your organization, resulting in an overall improved bottom line. In order to reap these benefits, it’s vital that good team dynamics are practiced consistently and ideally integrated into the organizational structure of your nonprofit. Here are a few suggestions to help get your association started.
Share Progress Regularly
Perhaps the biggest obstacle that many establishments face is a lack of direct communication among all members. Encouraging participation in meetings, asking questions, and sharing progress as it happens will help everyone feel supported in their roles. It will also make your team aware of how they individually contribute value to the bigger picture- whether that be a project, event, etc. By reaffirming consistent communication across the organization, you will instil a sense of transparency and this will aid in constructing an environment that promotes the flow of accurate and reliable information in a timely manner.
Breaking Down Barriers
Your association likely consists of a board, volunteers and paid staff, all of whomst interact in different ways. Naturally people hold different statuses but occasionally pulling members out of their usual setting will break the ice, build mutual respect and bonds outside of work. When possible, retreats, events and outings, even game nights are great ways to provide fresh perspectives, relieve some stress and perhaps even alleviate tension.
Introducing a culture of frequent positive reinforcement will effectively remind everyone of the important work they do for your nonprofit. This could be as simple as creating a slideshow at the end of every project or even on a monthly basis highlighting the successes and efforts of your members, then taking the time to review it together (or uploading it to the cloud if schedules are difficult to align). It will make people feel appreciated, motivated and ready for the next task. An environment that breaks down barriers and celebrates often could help with member retention as well.
Reach out to us today if you feel your organization could benefit from consulting, board development assistance, and/or mediation!