Each month, our Social Impact Advisory Group (SIAG) meets to share knowledge with like-minded professionals, educate board members and nonprofit leaders and partner to strengthen the sector.
Click here for a copy of the presentation and here for a copy of the Return to Work Tips for Employers. Read on for a synopsis of what was discussed.
On April 8th, we heard from two Human Resources Industry veterans on the important HR Considerations for Nonprofit Leaders. Both Michaele Hart of Insperity and Steve Wilner of HR Your Way reviewed the HR challenges and pitfalls that Nonprofit Leaders encounter in their work.
Many of us in the audience chuckled knowingly when Michaele and Steve commented that “Google is not your friend” when it comes to knowing how to stay compliant on state laws, HR compliance and employee rules. Who hasn’t done a quick google search to understand the nuances of California’s AB 5? Or, as a Board Member, have you wondered about the legal ramifications of incorrect or improper employee classifications? It is unlikely you did — unless you were faced with a legal matter relating to this HR issue. And by then, it was too late.
But as a Board Member, you do have a vague sense of worry. You just do not know what you do not know.
Steve and Michaele made the point that organizations will often outsource the basic compliance issues but will delay impactful projects such as employee satisfaction surveys, building or improving organizational culture and training and development. If an organization is outsourcing HR for the first time, then doing it piecemeal or in smaller stages is fine and often more palatable, but Leaders should not ignore the important, longer-term projects.
We discussed the merits and the objections to outsourcing. Michaele urged Nonprofit Leaders to review the total costs of HR to the organization and to help the board understand that it’s a longer term investment. Steve raised the issue that outsourcing is often a double “four letter word” when discussing with Board Members as it’s viewed as “overhead” and harder to justify to donors.
Michaele also shared challenges with turnover in Leadership at nonprofits. Institutional knowledge is lost, employee manuals are not updated or forgotten in the black hole of Google or Microsoft file folders. In fact, one Nonprofit realized during the COVID lockdowns that they needed to outsource when they had all their employee files in paper copies at the office. They had no way of handling personnel issues remotely via a secure digital platform. Do you really want employee personnel files sitting on the Operations Manager or the Executive Director’s kitchen table?
One story shared was an organization who decided to outsource after a leadership change. Unfortunately, the HR Outsourcing partner discovered incorrect and missing records dating back several years. While this was corrected during the onboarding process, it could have resulted in significant, future challenges if left unchecked by the Nonprofit.
We also discussed the “Return To Work” post-COVID. Steve and Michaele both shared information and advice on how their respective firms were advising clients. Michaele made note that if your organization leases space, then checking with the property managers or landlord on their specific restrictions or guidelines is key. For a more complete list, please access this document from Insperity.
We wrapped up our session with Social Impact Advisory Group members and guests sharing their excitement and concerns about returning to work after the lockdowns of the pandemic. Many shared that their organizations were considering a permanent work-from-home or hybrid policies for their employees who could work remotely.
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