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Nonprofit Leaders Expand Their Management Skills

What internal emotions do the words “performance evaluation” stir up in you? Perhaps a feeling of being overwhelmed because you can’t remember what you accomplished yesterday, let alone your accomplishments over the past year? Layer on a pandemic and the performance goals you set a year ago probably aren’t very relevant anymore.

Tricia Perkins

Trainers Tricia Perkins and Jane Clark of Lake Effect HR and Law provided guidance to nonprofit leaders during Nonprofit Leadership Initiative’s Leadership Forum “How to Manage Performance During A Crisis.” Over 80 nonprofit leaders registered for the event.

Managing employees during a crisis requires managers to bring different skills to the forefront. Some of Jane and Tricia’s tips included:

  1. Language matters – changing the words “performance evaluation” to “coaching and development” shifts the tone of the conversation from a review of what an employee has accomplished to an aspirational approach of partners working toward a joint purpose.
  2. Shifting to a coaching development model begins an informal process of connecting with employees on a regular basis. During crisis, meeting with individuals 1:1 for regular check-in conversations helps manager and employee build shared expectations of realistic performance goals.
  3. Scheduled and individualized communication is perhaps the most important skill for managing performance during a crisis. Managers without this skill need immediate training and tools to prepare them to connect with their employees. Frequent communication tailored to the individual helps relieve anxiety, build trust and a feeling of connectedness.

Jane Clark

Here is what a couple  participants shared about the session:

“I love Tricia and Jane and all the shoes that accompany them! I appreciate how they deliver content in a manner that all of us can understand. Something as simple as stop being a boss and become a coach and mentor instead. Thank you to NPLIFV for investing in us and in turn, allowing us to become better leaders for our staff.” ~ Sonia Barham, CEO The Family Radio Network

“I appreciated the sharing after the breakout session. One observation that was refreshing and positive is that having to manage during the pandemic caused many to focus themselves and their staff on what is most important – for their organization, clients, staff and volunteers. Practices were initiated that will continue because, despite many working virtually, those practices have resulted in more of a focus on individuals and connections with others.” ~ Pat Exarhos, volunteer and board member

Jane and Tricia return for another Leadership Forum to discuss employment law updates. There is still time to register for the Feb. 2, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. session. REGISTER.

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