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3 Strategies for Keeping Your Best on Board (Including You!)

AS AN ATTENTIVE MANAGER you want to ensure that your staff is engaged in pursuing organizational goals while also satisfying their own professional career goals. Staff whose interests align with the organization mission, have opportunities to apply their skills to a variety of work, and enjoy collegial relations with co-workers are more satisfied in their jobs† and less likely to leave.

Consider employing these three strategies to empower staff and keep the best on board:

1. Recognize a problem before it’s an emergency and empower your team to solve it
Take a proactive stance by actively listening to staff and honing your emotional intelligence. When you are able to perceive a problem in its earliest stages, you provide opportunity for staff to come together to address a common goal. Facilitate leadership without an authoritarian stance by strengthening and empowering staff through tapping their expertise and fostering collaborations.
2. Seek out new directions into unfamiliar territory
Seize the opportunity to build trust when your staff envisions an alternative process for achieving organizational goals. Declare your support for creativity and input by valuing their ideas, affirming your commitment to achieve the goals, and offering staff a degree of autonomy and independence. Be ready to motivate, manage and inspire with a balance of humility and assertiveness.
3. Celebrate accomplishments and express strong commitment to staff growth
Recognizing individuals’ contributions, as well as team contributions, inspires staff to share in the vision of the organization. As a manager-coach sincere communication and consistent behavior, as it relates to kudos, builds team unity. Celebrate accomplishments with visibility to colleagues and external constituents. This stewardship of acknowledging a job well done, as with donors, is invaluable in building strong strategic alliances.

Create the environment that motives people to be their best every day and you’ll have an inspired, dedicated and accountable team - a team that works efficiently and successfully together and stays on board.

[†] 2008 AFP Compensation and Benefits Study; 2008; “Average Ratings of Factors Affecting Job Satisfaction”


Amy Etheridge is president of Giving Leadership Opportunity (GLO), a professional resource for personal, customized nonprofit and business consulting services. GLO is committed to creating growth opportunities for organizations as they seek to achieve their missions and fulfill their community promise. Contact Amy.

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