Is Your Nonprofit A Dysfunctional Workplace? Part I


Is Your Nonprofit A Dysfunctional Workplace? Part I


You’ve likely experienced a dysfunctional workplace at your nonprofit, but haven’t known what to do about it. This workplace culture is chaotic, stressful, and employees aren’t excited to come to work, which leads to high nonprofit turnover.  The way employees talk and act doesn’t reflect your own mission and values, and employee relations and board staff relations are at opposing ends. Meanwhile, the grander purpose of the organization takes the biggest hit.

Productivity suffers significantly, diluting your organization’s efficiency and causing an imbalanced workload. Confusion results between employees who embrace the mission and values and those who don’t. And negative conflict arises between employees who try to model the organization’s beliefs and values and employees who may not even know what they are.

Sound Like Your Nonprofit?

Don’t be too surprised. When speaking to nonprofit leaders, I often hear, “That sounds like my organization.”
A dysfunctional workplace shows up as:

  • High turnover & low morale that puts added stress on employees who stay
  • Bullying & fear of retaliation that kills creativity and forward thinking
  • Poor performance & absenteeism — two things that will drag your org down fast
  • Constant complaints & silos which make it difficult to retain top talent
  • Department wars & sabotage that brings progress to a screeching halt


What Workplace Culture Has To Do With It

Culture is simply the beliefs, values, and behaviors that are encouraged, supported, or tolerated.  Every organization has a culture, whether that culture is planned or unplanned. Culture is not what we say, but what we do, how we act, and how we work or don’t work together.

Employees are the heart of a healthy culture, and can literally make or break an organization. A 2015 Unemployment Services Trust survey of nonprofit employees found that 62% said that culture is the second greatest contributor to job satisfaction, second only to the organization’s mission.

What to do if your culture is ineffective, unproductive, or just plain negative?

How do you best remedy this situation? Do you have a human resources intervention or schedule a staff retreat? When a non profit has slipped into an unhealthy culture, a “Culture Reset” is the life raft your organization needs.

If you want to make your organization one of the most desirable places to work, keep your best employees, and further the movement, read on to find out how a Culture Reset can transform your workplace.

Ready to get your organization into shape? COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION

Contact Info

Phone: 510-243-5254