With the current economic climate, it’s understandable why non-profit organisations are looking at ways to cut expenditure. I remember leading a fundraising team and looking at my budgeting spreadsheet late into the evening and my cursor hovering over the already minimal team development budget line, wondering if I could risk removing it. If you’re in this position, I don’t envy you one bit. It’s hard when you’re feeling the pressure to cut expenditure for the good of your organisation, but at what cost to your team?
So, if this is you, and you’re grappling with how best to navigate this dilemma, I have some reflections, information, and top tips to help you.
First of all, non-profit sector leaders need to consider the real cost of not investing in their team. Without investment in training, team members may lack the skills necessary to perform their roles efficiently. This can very quickly lead to team members feeling undervalued and unsupported, which in turn means they are likely to become demotivated, leading to a decrease in productivity.
We all know what a challenge recruitment is at the moment. Therefore, staff retention and engagement are increasingly the number one priority facing non-profit sector leaders today.
What is the best way to drive up staff retention and engagement? Offer opportunities to learn, develop and grow together as a team.
Many organisations are finding that resilience and well-being training programmes offer a brilliant opportunity to strengthen individual and team motivation, regardless of the different roles and varying levels of seniority in a team. Here are some common outputs or outcomes you might expect from such training:
1 – Enhanced Emotional Intelligence and Self-Awareness: – Your team develop a deep understanding of their emotions and thoughts, enabling them to manage reactions, make conscious choices, and foster empathy and effective communication skills.
2 – Effective Stress Management and Positive Mindset: Training equips your team with practical stress management techniques, instils a positive mindset, and teaches the art of reframing challenges, leading to improved overall mental well-being.
3 – Improved Problem-Solving Skills and Self-Care Practices: Your team learn to analyse problems, find creative solutions, and prioritise self-care, including better sleep, nutrition, and exercise, enhancing both mental and physical health.
4 – Enhanced Social Support and Work-Life Balance: Resilience training promotes the development of supportive relationships and encourages seeking help when needed. It also aids in setting boundaries and managing time effectively, leading to improved work-life balance.
5 – Sustained Long-Term Resilience and Performance: The ultimate goal is to equip individuals with the skills and mindset to bounce back from adversity. By cultivating long-term resilience, participants experience enhanced productivity, performance, and overall life satisfaction.
Influencing senior stakeholders to invest in your team during challenging economic times requires a strategic approach, focusing on the long-term benefits and demonstrating the value of the investment.
Here are our SEVEN top tips to help you make your case effectively:
1 – Showcase ROI (Return on Investment):
- Data-Driven Approach: Present historical data or case studies demonstrating how similar investments in the past led to increased productivity, reduced turnover, or improved outcomes.
- Cost-Benefit Analysis: Prepare a detailed cost-benefit analysis outlining the potential savings in terms of reduced turnover costs, increased productivity, and improved efficiency. Show that the investment will yield substantial returns over time.
2 – Align with Organisational Goals:
- Strategic Alignment: Clearly demonstrate how investing in your team aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategic goals. Show how a well-trained and motivated team can directly contribute to achieving these objectives, even in a challenging economy.
3 – Focus on Employee Well-being:
- Increased Productivity: Emphasise that employees who feel valued and supported are more productive. Highlight how investing in their well-being can boost morale, leading to increased productivity despite economic challenges.
4 – Propose Cost-Effective Solutions:
- Online Training: Explore cost-effective online training options, workshops, or webinars that provide valuable skills without a hefty price tag. Emphasise the affordability and flexibility of these solutions in comparison to traditional training methods.
5 – Highlight Employee Potential:
- Employee Growth: Demonstrate how investing in your team’s skills can unlock hidden potentials within the current workforce. Show real examples of employees who have excelled after receiving training, indicating the untapped talent within the organisation.
6 – Involve Employees:
- Employee Testimonials: Gather testimonials or feedback from employees who have benefitted from training programmes. Personal stories can be compelling and humanise the need for investment in their development.
7 – Continuous Communication:
- Open Dialogue: Maintain an open line of communication with stakeholders. Regularly update them on the progress of any ongoing training initiatives and their impact on team performance and morale.
By combining these strategies, you can build a compelling case for investing in your team, even in challenging economic times. Emphasise the long-term advantages and the strategic importance of a skilled, motivated workforce to the organization’s overall resilience and success.
I hope these help you to shape your conversations with key stakeholders and effectively influence on behalf of your team to secure the resources needed for investing in them.
If you’d like to have a chat about how you can best make the case for team development investment, just get in touch and we’re happy to help