Tips and Best Practices for Motivating Employees in Nonprofit Organizations

Motivation is a key factor in the success of your nonprofit organization, which is why we focus on offering tips for how to engage your employees in nonprofit work. It’s easy to have a team of disengaged employees, but it takes more effort to engage with and motivate your workers.

According to a Gallup Poll, only 29% of your employees are engaged with their work. If you can motivate your nonprofit team, they will be more satisfied, more highly engaged, and they will perform their job better. In fact, 77% of your employees will work harder when they feel appreciated.

4 motivational tactics to try with your nonprofit organization

Now that you know how important it is to motivate your employees in nonprofit organizations, what can you do to better engage with your team?

1. Offer flexibility

The lack of motivation you see in your nonprofit team may not be all about the money. It could be that your employees have different work styles and requirements. So, be open and prepared to at least entertain the possibility of variant workflow options.

One of the biggest flexibility factors in the world of your nonprofit organization is the continuing presence of remote work. As you move through this and other flexibility challenges, we offer tips on how to better engage with your remote employees. These include:

  • Recognize the milestones and accomplishments of your employees.

  • Encourage your team to take time off for their physical and mental health.

  • Host a happy hour or virtual coffee break as a way to connect in a fun, casual way.

2. Give feedback and offer training

Communication is important for motivating your employees in nonprofit organizations. If your feedback is positive and productive in focus and intention, you can use these concentrated conversations to improve the workflow and productivity of your entire organization. As a part of your feedback initiatives, focus on delivering training software to help your team fill in any gaps in skills or knowledge acquisition.

Comprehensive training solutions allow you to identify gaps in knowledge and understanding, then track the progress of your employees through their learning process. By working with your team to set goals and then work to fulfill those benchmarks, you can help your employees continue to grow personally and professionally.

3. Encourage your workers

As you engage your employees in nonprofit work, you’ll get to know them on a deeper, more meaningful level. Your encouragement can help your team overcome feelings of discouragement and insecurity.

Here are a few ways to motivate and encourage your nonprofit employees:

  • Learn about their interests. Find ways for them to interact and team build together while enjoying their favorite activities.

  • Recognize them. Celebrate their successes by announcing them to the whole group or company.

  • Give your team incentives. Think about ways to offer prizes, gift cards, or other special rewards to your team.

  • Express your thanks. Saying, “Thank you,” and showing your gratitude makes a difference for your nonprofit employees.

  • Get feedback. Ask your employees for ways they’d like you to engage and encourage them.

Your workers will work harder and with more passion if they feel appreciated and understood.

You can explore employee recognition software to further engage with and gather feedback from your nonprofit team. It’s a great way to gauge performance, while you manage the rewards and performance of those who perform exemplary work.

4. Help workers learn from their mistakes

We’re not perfect, and most of your employees won’t know everything about every situation, program, or task. While mistakes may be inevitable, the way you react to those errors can change the way your team perceives their job, and whether they enjoy working with you.

So, how can you help your nonprofit employees learn from their mistakes? Address the problem right away and discuss what happened, why it happened, why it’s counter to your expectations, and how you can work together to avoid the mistake in the future. The process of working through a mistake is not about blame, but rather about learning and discovering how your team can work better together with your support.

Take the first steps toward motivating your nonprofit team

Use this guide as the starting point for motivating your nonprofit team. Continue to listen and adapt your strategies, so you can better support your team and meet their needs using tools and resources.

Software Advice offers a range of tools in our tech stack that will help you motivate employees. Here are some critical tech investments for you to consider for your nonprofit team: