Employers across the globe are concerned that they are faced with a workforce that is aging and a talent pool that is under-educated, or under-motivated and showing talent shortages in many critical areas. These problems create challenges for all businesses, but they are especially critical for nonprofits, which usually operate with a smaller number of employees than for-profit firms.
While recruitment and retention programs will help address this problem, they alone will not solve it. In their essay, “Managing the Impending Workforce Crisis,” Jeffrey Akin and Brenda Worthen argue that there are five additional practices nonprofit managers should implement to address emerging talent demands in a sustainable way.
Their four suggestions are:
- Redefining knowledge management. Knowledge embedded in IT often can’t adapt or grow to meet changing needs. Knowledge resides in people, not technology.
- Fostering flexibility. This can come in the form of cross-functional or cross-business unit career mobility, job sharing, part-time work, flexible work schedules, etc.
- Supporting transparency. Just as clients want to know what is going on, talented people want their organizations to share information that could affect their careers.
- Decoupling resources from locations. Although globalization can create instability, it can create a more stable supply of talent.
- Breaking down silos. Organizations must abandon structures that rationalize the flow of information up and down the chain of command.