In the high-pressure, low-budget world of non-profits every organization has what feels like a never-ending list of tasks that NEED to get done. It is easy to get caught up in the thank-you letters, planning the next event, and preparing for that committee meeting. So it is understandable that non-profit managers often fall into the trap of managing this list of urgent tasks instead of the employees completing them.
While this may work for the short term, it is not an effective way to build a well-functioning team long-term. When your only check-in with your staff focuses on the “to-do” list, and the “to-do” list just keeps getting longer you can quickly drive your team to burn out. In addition, this approach undervalues your employees as people, which can lead to them feeling resentful… are they just another “cog in the wheel” so to speak?
Try working with your employees around their behaviors and habits instead. Help them develop behaviors that lead to success. Take time to get to know them and learn what high level skills they possess, and where they can improve. When you manage the team member, you are not only telling them you value them as an employee, you are making your life easier as well! This strategy leads to more efficient employees, who can actually complete more tasks, and feel more fulfilled.