Create a people-centric approach for nonprofits | Unit4
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Create a people-centric approach for nonprofits

from  August 11, 2022 | 4 min read

Learn how to overcome the challenges and create a people-centric approach to nonprofit and charity sector workforce planning

People don’t want to work just to fulfill their contractual obligations. We’re not robots, so here we take a look at how the charity sector can create a more people-centric workplace. Understanding how your workplace culture and environment impacts your people’s job satisfaction, motivation, and sense of fulfillment is essential to designing the best employee experience. If your people are feeling frustrated, unworthy, or even sleep-deprived, you'll need to focus on people experience - specifically creating an environment that uplifts their morale, productivity, and relationships.

A people-centric workplace is one that revolves around its people and considers their specific needs. By optimizing your people processes, you can indirectly boost service provision, engagement, and organizational growth. Using a people-centered design means we can apply this theory to creating workplaces that boost well-being and talent management. Start with finding out the desires and pain points of your employees so that you can design custom-made solutions that address those specific needs.

Job satisfaction is measured differently across sectors, but in the nonprofit and charity sector, your people know they are making a difference, they get to work with like-minded people, and they can live by their values. Your people are giving their career to a charity, and this, along with a people-centric company culture and effective workforce planning, can make a real difference to their happiness, job satisfaction, and general well-being.   

Remote working

The charity sector, like other workforces has been forced by the pandemic to move to remote and other workstyles. Nonprofit organizations across the world have implemented various workforce planning policies and practices to cope with the disruption, and many have carried this through despite the lessening of working restrictions. This has mostly been due to the boost in well-being and productivity that the changes have brought about among their workforces.

The coronavirus pandemic opened a world of possibilities for all employers when it came to flexibility. To be an attractive and compelling place to work, organizations realized they had to adapt and respond to the expectations of job seekers in the market. The main drivers were to support people to achieve a healthier work-life balance and to boost the well-being and productivity of their people.

Flexible working is a major perk to employees. According to a recent Salesforce survey, 64% of workers say that they like the idea of working from outside the office occasionally, and another 37% want to continue working from home full-time after the pandemic. More schedule flexibility enables workers to balance their work and home life in a way that suits them, ensuring they can enjoy their free time and focus when they are at work.

Giving your team members more ownership over their daily routine and productivity demonstrates trust and helps develop time management skills. Providing technology and tools to help them is a great way to enable your people to manage their time and focus autonomously.

Boosting well-being and improving talent attraction

A family-first, flexible, people-centric working environment sends a strong message of trust, respect, and accountability, especially when coupled with quality feedback and agreed expectations. Your organization’s leaders can encourage and promote healthy lifestyles which enhance mental sharpness, energy, and attitude, giving your people the opportunity to become even more productive.

Many nonprofit organizations have implemented flexible working practices that have had a positive impact on their people’s well-being, such as remote and hybrid working, four-day working weeks, part-time work, job-sharing, or career breaks and sabbaticals. These practices are not only boosting the well-being of current staff, but they are also attracting top talent to the organizations at a time when coveted talent is becoming scarce.

Enterprise resource and human capital planning challenges

Taking a people-centric approach calls for a pretty significant mindset shift amongst HR teams and business leaders, and it often requires a change in processes and procedures, typically when it comes to decision-making. To be people-centric takes commitment, which is often why it sometimes falls flat. But with the right technology, tools, and leadership holding the organization accountable and helping to prioritize people consistently and relentlessly, it’s achievable, and the results it yields are extraordinary.

Putting your people at the heart of everything you do goes beyond empowering and valuing their voices; it’s about creating a working environment that helps your people to thrive. To create this environment, diversity and inclusion need to be front and center. Your people will only thrive if they feel included, represented, valued, and supported. An environment that lacks diversity and inclusion is an environment that lacks diverse skillsets, perspectives, ideas, and creativity.

A people-centric organization explicitly values the happiness and well-being of its people. It does this in part through developing programs that support employee success. It can be a significant source of pride to see people begin in entry-level positions, gain new skills and expertise, and grow their careers. But success in a people-centric organization is not just about attaining a new title or making more money. To further show its commitment to the well-being of your people, you must be prepared for significant investment in career development and work-life support programs.

Digital Transformation

If you want to build a future-ready workforce, it’s time to consider digital transformation. Instead of siloed learning, talent, and workforce functions, a future-ready people-centric organization has a collaborative and transparent culture that focuses on the employee experience.

It’s undisputed that digital technologies are transforming the future of work. While it’s a common fear that human workers will be displaced by machines, the future of work will likely see people and machines co-existing, with digital technologies elevating, rather than replacing, human actions.

The use of technology such as a cloud ERP, HCM, or financial planning systems enables the monitoring of people, projects, budgets, forecasts, and service provision quickly. Human Capital Management (HCM) can help you to deliver a better people experience. It can help you optimize your people processes, simplify and increase the accuracy of your payroll, and boost the productivity, engagement, and growth of your top talent. You will be better able to plan and adapt to the needs of your workforce with agility, and you will be embracing flexibility within your charity by implementing best practice workforce models.

An industry-specific ERP will assist nonprofit and charity organizations in managing dozens or even hundreds of projects, each generating transactions to be processed, recorded, and reported, so you can track and control your budgets in real time. Often this will mean 100% of pay for your people for 80% of hours but giving 100% productivity and output. A win-win for you and your people. 

How Unit4 can help your organization

With Unit4’s ERP software systems, you can adapt and optimize the way your people work to help you manage complexity and focus on the things that matter. Unit4’s next-generation smart ERP software solutions are built for people in the business of helping people. With us, you can ‘Experience Real Purpose’ with an adaptable solution that’s right for you, now and in the future.

To discover more, click here to book a demo and see what our ERP solution can do for your nonprofit organization yourself.

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