A nonprofit organization’s success is measured in its productivity. Nonprofits that drag feet and fail to produce tangible results towards fulfilling their mission may struggle to fund their operations. There ways to improve productivity within a nonprofit, however, including the following.
Multitasking may sound like an efficient way to complete tasks, but it usually backfires by lowering workers’ productivity levels. According to The New York Times, the brain is biologically wired to focus on a single task. When a nonprofit worker attempts to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, his or her concentration, memory retention and other cognitive skill markers plunge. To promote a productive working environment, nonprofit workers should avoid multitasking and, instead, focus on a single task at once.
Even if state laws don’t require it, nonprofit workers should be given regular breaks. Fatigue is one of the leading causes of low productivity in the workplace. According to Safety+Health Magazine, fatigued workers cost the business for whom they work nearly $2,000 in lost productivity. If a nonprofit has five fatigued workers, that’s $10,000 in lost productivity. While this report focuses on for-profit businesses, worker fatigue affects nonprofits in the same way.
It’s not uncommon for nonprofit owners and executives to juggle a half-dozen or more tasks each day. An executive director, for instance, may recruit workers, manage fundraising campaigns, reach out to local communities and ensure regulatory compliance. Rather than selecting a random task, though, nonprofit owners and executive should start with the most important first, after which they work on the second-most important task. Prioritizing tasks improves productivity by making the most of workers’ time.
Focus on Mission Statement
Nonprofits should invest the majority of their time and resources towards achieving their mission statement. After all, this is the fundamental purpose for which nonprofits are created. Organizations that divert valuable resources away from their mission statement will experience lower productivity levels and less success than their counterparts.
There’s no guarantee of success when running a nonprofit. Like for-profit businesses, some nonprofits will close their doors. However, owners and executives can increase their organization’s chances of success by fostering a productive working environment. From prioritizing tasks and not multitasking to allowing breaks and focusing on the mission statement, there are several ways for nonprofits to improve their productivity levels.