Resources

Safe and Sound for the Holidays

By Melanie Lockwood Herman and Whitney Claire Thomey This holiday season, nonprofits face conditions unlike any other year. Along with traditional year-end stresses, many face employee relations questions that include nuanced issues related to staff and mission safety. The NRMC team wants to support you as you serve and support your community, whether it’s the … Continued

Reduce the Risk of Ridicule

by Melanie Lockwood Herman The topic of psychological safety at work has been of interest to me since I read The Fearless Organization and Teaming, two terrific books by Harvard Business School professor Amy C. Edmondson. Both books present the many relevant reasons why leaders should create environments that are safe for personal risk-taking. I’ve … Continued

Contentious Conversations: Talking Politics at Work

(download The Political Risk issue of Risk Management Essentials, here.) Is civil discourse creating a toxic environment in your workplace? According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Politics at Work Survey, deepening divisiveness across party lines is a catalyst for workplace conflict. This often results in lower productivity, employee alienation, poor morale, increased … Continued

Contentious Conversations: Talking Politics at Work

(download The Political Risk issue of Risk Management Essentials, here.) Is civil discourse creating a toxic environment in your workplace? According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Politics at Work Survey, deepening divisiveness across party lines is a catalyst for workplace conflict. This often results in lower productivity, employee alienation, poor morale, increased … Continued

Dream Team: Keep Sleep a Priority at Your Nonprofit

by Whitney Claire Thomey “It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” — John Steinbeck The National Sleep Foundation declares the first week of March Sleep Awareness Week. It’s no coincidence that their annual event co-occurs with the … Continued

COVID-19: Five Things to Know and Do

By Katharine Nesslage and Whitney Thomey COVID-19 has caused many nonprofits to shift their focus to emergency planning for an infectious disease. NRMC wants to remind organizations that your organization may already have plans in place to help mitigate the risk of a public health crisis. Now is a good time to re-visit contingency plans … Continued

Redundancy to Reduce Rattle

By Whitney Claire Thomey Being faced with our own personal mortality or the inevitability of losing a valued team member can feel paralyzing. Although uncertainty often inspires worry, there is one ‘risk’ about which you can be absolutely certain; everyone leaves eventually. I remember the day my grandfather walked in and proudly announced that he … Continued

Managing Talent Acquisition Risk

Volunteers and staff are the lifeblood of any nonprofit, but they’re not always easy to find! In this workshop NRMC’s Executive Director, Melanie Herman, explains the art and skill of attracting top talent, strategies for managing a talent pipeline, and practical tips for drawing the right people to your organization at the right time. Learn … Continued

Cannabis Will Happen: Is Your Workplace Ready?

In this article, Glenn Mott speaks with Crystal Stevens McElrath, a senior attorney at Swift Currie McGhee & Hiers, LLP. Ms. McElrath represents and counsels employers and insurers in workers’ compensation and employment law matters. In this role, she has found her vocational calling in providing for-profit and nonprofit employers with the legal counsel they … Continued

Dream a Little Dream: Managing Sleep Deprivation Risks

By Katharine Nesslage Our ambitious 24/7 lifestyles, filled with unbalanced diets, low physical activity, excessive electronic media use, and psychosocial stress, are causing a precipitous decline in our sleep. But the safety implications of sleep deprivation have been known for decades. Precipitating causes of the Three Mile Island nuclear incident (1979), the Exxon Valdez oil … Continued

Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce

Attend this webinar to learn about managing risk in a workplace with workers representing five generations. Find out how to manage a changing workforce that may include workers from the Silent Generation (born before 1945), Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964), Generation Xers (born between 1965-1980), Millennials (born between 1981-1995), and the very youngest employees – … Continued

Not Here: Zero Tolerance for Inappropriate Workplace Conduct

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Last year I attended a leadership conference hosted by Camp Fire, a nonprofit dedicated to helping young people to “find their spark, lift their voices, and discover who they are.” During the opening keynote session, Hal Gregersen, Executive Director of the MIT Leadership Center, reminded his audience that “assumptions act as … Continued

Workplace Wellness: Managing Risks to Employee Health & Productivity

By Jules Finkelstein Although most nonprofits are founded on deeply-rooted principles of service and compassion, nonprofit leaders sometimes forget to care for their own employees. During the day-to-day grind, employees may also forget to take care of themselves. Employee wellness is a potentially powerful risk management resource; this article invites you to consider whether it … Continued

Pass the Remote! The Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs of Telecommuting Teams

by Delia Jones Remote Work: Benefit or Burden? “You should be able to work from anywhere.” A former boss of mine said that a lot and it sounded great. If an employee asked to work from home, my boss would agree with that announcement and leave the second level managers to implement a telecommute solution. … Continued

Happy Knot: Managing Workplace Culture Risk

By Melanie Lockwood Herman This week I’ve been reading The Economist’s potpourri of prognostications: “The World in 2018.” In his introduction to the publication, editor Daniel Franklin writes that, “It promises to be a nerve-jangling year.” Check! In my recent risk adventures, it seems like many nonprofit leaders are either waiting for the other shoe to … Continued

Employment Practices Risk Resources

Explore this RISK eNewsletter filled with tips and resources for managing employment practices risk. CEO and Staff Succession Planning Avoid transition trauma by reading our practical articles on succession planning: Avoid Transition Trauma with a CEO Succession Plan Staff Succession Planning Employment Policies, Safety, and Screening Read The Employment Issue of our newsletter, Risk Management … Continued

Valiant Volunteerism: Managing Volunteer Risk & Reward

December 12, 2017 Enjoy this RISK eNewsletter filled with volunteer risk management resources! The Frankenstein Effect: Misclassifying Your Volunteers The NRMC team fields lots of questions about worker classification. If you misclassify a worker, you increase the likelihood of various downside risks, including financial penalties and poor morale. Read about The Frankenstein Effect to prevent … Continued

Workplace Harassment: An Unacceptable Risk

Of late, news is teeming with tales of workplace sexual harassment in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and elsewhere. While it’s important to recognize that both men and women are victims of workplace harassment, many American women are now stepping forward to report harassment they have experienced at work. I assume that the nonprofit sector does not … Continued

Why Your Workplace Needs More Sinners, Fewer Saints

Employers and employees might believe that sainthood is the path to success in the workplace, but I disagree. There are seven of the deadly ‘sins’ that our workplaces desperately need.

RISK HELP from NRMC

By Erin Gloeckner The NRMC team enjoyed a lot of help in planning and executing our recent annual conference, the Risk Summit. Check out photos from the event to find yourself in the crowd or–if you couldn’t join us–to see what you missed. Our generous Corporate Partners helped us make the Risk Summit a reality, … Continued

From Doggie Paddler to Freestyler: How to Manage Intern Risks

Presenter: Christine Smith, Intern Can your interns “ride the wave” in your organization? As a supervisor for new recruits, you may be concerned with ensuring that they have ‘fun in the sun’ while also learning and benefiting your organization. Watch this webinar to learn more about managing risk and ramping up reward for your existing … Continued

Fascination with Compensation: The Executive Team, the Board, and the IRS

Presenter: Eric Henkel, NRMC When it comes to matters of executive compensation, it can be hard to create an appropriate compensation package. It can be a challenge to balance the need to attract the most qualified individuals for key positions in your organization with the risks related to compensation. This webinar addresses items to consider … Continued

Motivate Me: Workplace Motivation for Nonprofit Teams

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Have you ever spent an entire day searching for motivation to complete a few simple tasks? Whether your to-do list includes a few loads of laundry, the resorting of your sock drawer, or a report your board has requested repeatedly, feeling demotivated–and guilt-ridden because of it–is a familiar emotion for most. … Continued

Cheers to Your Good Health: Integrating Workplace Health Programs

Watch this webinar to learn about how integrating workplace health programs can benefit your nonprofit. Improving employee health can benefit nonprofits in many ways, from boosting employee productivity and morale, to decreasing health care costs.

Start Me Up: Designing an Effective Employee Onboarding Program

The first days and weeks at a new job are a critical time for employees to soak up knowledge and skills relevant to their new workplace, and for employees to make great first impressions. Effective employee onboarding is an investment in success for both the employee and the organization. This webinar addresses some practical items … Continued

Commandments of Supervisor-Employee Relationships

Dissatisfaction with supervision is a key factor of voluntary turnover. Fostering healthy and productive supervisor-employee relationships is critical to living out your nonprofit’s values, and to moving your mission forward by retaining talented, dedicated staff and volunteers. Unfortunately, some supervisors lack the soft skills required to foster positive relationships with their team members, and yet … Continued

Not Even Remotely: Understanding & Managing Remote Worker Risks

As the popularity of flexible working arrangements grow, more and more employers are allowing employees to work remotely or telecommute. Allowing flexible arrangements is even expected in many workplaces, but many employers do not fully understand the risks that may be associated with the set-up. This webinar addresses topics including: Determining whether telecommuting can work … Continued

Drinking from the Hose: Is Your Executive Onboarding Program Effective (and Sane)?

By Erin Gloeckner Transitioning into any new job is often compared to drinking from a fire hose. How quickly can you learn everything about your new role and organization? How long will it take for you to fit in and live out the culture, policies, and expectations of your new workplace? And how can you … Continued

Effective Communication & Annual Reviews

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Communication let me down And I’m left here Communication let me down And I’m left here, I’m left here again! “Communication,” Spandau Ballet Last week’s Risk eNews, “Super Size It: Don’t Skimp on Supporting Your New Hire,” seemed to strike a chord with readers, based on the chorus of ‘Amens’ in my … Continued

Super Size It: Don’t Skimp on Supporting Your New Hire

By Melanie Lockwood Herman On her third full day in a new city, my daughter began her hunt for a part-time job. After surviving a stressful group interview, she was thrilled when she was offered a position at her favorite retail outlet. But after two weeks on the job, her enthusiasm–for the job and the … Continued

Top 10 HR Risks Facing Nonprofit Organizations

Watch this webinar to learn what’s hot, what’s problematic, what’s on the horizon, and what to look out for in Human Resources in 2011. Tune up your HR practices with sound policies, careful reflection on past mistakes and mishaps, and a positive attitude.

How to Hire the Staff Your Mission Deserves

By Melanie Lockwood Herman and Arley Turner As the economy continues to rebound from the recent recession, hiring—not downsizing—is the name of the game in nonprofit HR. For leaders that have been in the difficult position of managing layoffs and coping with increased work demands due to vacancies, the availability of funds for new personnel … Continued

The Goldilocks Principle: Creating a Culture That’s Just Right

By Melanie Lockwood Herman and Alexandra Ricketts One of your best employees just left the organization and you feel a sense of urgency to replace her. But is it simply time to fill the open chair with a warm body? If your expectations for performance are low, then almost any applicant will do. But if … Continued

The Dark Side of Leadership

By Melanie Lockwood Herman and Emily Wilson Few nonprofits can thrive or even survive without strong leadership. Yet what happens when forceful leaders cross the line and become bellicose bullies or just plain bad bosses? Sadly, the nonprofit sector is not immune from the harm that destructive leaders leave in their wakes. Destructive leaders are … Continued

Lend a Helping Handbook: Employment Policies Worthy of Your Mission

By Erin Gloeckner On the first day at a new job, most of us probably arrive wondering things like, “What will it be like to work here?” “What will my role entail?” and “How will I learn everything I need to know in order to do my job?” Whether you are a new hire or … Continued

There’s No Mystery to Your History: Using Background Checks in the Screening Process

By Melanie Lockwood Herman “ Many organizations fall prey to the misconception that criminal history background checks are the only effective way to prevent the hiring of an unsuitable employee. ” Most nonprofits use some type of background check to vet potential employees and volunteers. However, the term “background check” is used to mean very … Continued

Think Again: What You Don’t Know but Should About Interviewing & Reference Checking

By Erin Gloeckner “Death will be a great relief. No more interviews.” — Katharine Hepburn Walking into an interview is like walking into a pressure-cooker. As an applicant, you sense that the interview is your best chance at winning a job. Most nonprofit hiring teams would agree that an interview would make or break a … Continued

Poor Communication = Declining Morale

By Melanie Lockwood Herman According to a survey of more than 300 HR managers, a lack of “honest and open communication” tops the list of factors causing low morale in the workplace. The survey, conducted by Accountemps, revealed that the #1 source of low morale in any workforce is poor communication. Although ineffective communication bears … Continued

Screening Prospective Staff is Sound Risk Management

Know whom you are hiring up front to save yourself wasted resources down the line. Lawsuits, grievances, loss of productivity, and low staff morale are all some of the possible side effects of a bad hire. And a significant number of crises affecting nonprofit organizations involve employees who should never have been hired in the … Continued