This article is intended to be the first in a series about Onboarding in a nonprofit organization.
In a recent Impact Circle meeting, we asked the participants: “What is the single most troubling issue facing you today?” One participant answered that the process for bringing in new employees is very troubling, especially in a small organization.
The discussion revealed that this is a problem for all nonprofits, particularly when someone has left who has the organizational history as to what has happened in the past. This is especially true if it is the Executive Director departed. Our discussion then moved to one of my favorite topics, “What happens if you get hit by a bus?” and “How is your organization going to move forward?”
The initial answer is almost obvious. There is a need to have processes in place for others to use to continue the mission of the organization. Since I have a fairly broad experience in HR and in orientations, I said that I would take the lead on putting something together that our members can use. Our organization is based on #nptech projects, we began with the idea that it is no longer practical to keep documents in file folders on someone’s desk. So we began with the idea that our organization would create a Members Only portion of our website which we could populate with forms necessary to hire someone, and a simple calendar-based system for OnBoarding, e.g.
What Needs to be Done
- The Week Before the New Person Starts
- The First Day
- The First Week
- The First Month
I then went to my friend Google to see what best practices are published in order to incorporate the best thinking I could find. There is a lot published about onboarding employees, but for a nonprofit organization, that can be a very small piece of the pie. I have found articles about bringing on new board members, and new executive directors, but again, that touches only the surface.
Many nonprofits are dependent on volunteers, staff who only work special events and independent contractors. Not much thought leadership articles out there, and thus why this article is just part one.
We are now reaching out to experts who would like to contribute to this topic, not to be hidden away in the Members Only section of our site, but to share best practices across the nonprofit community.
Stay tuned, more coming.
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- Interested in Impact Circles? Check ’em out here.
Meanwhile, here is an article with a short outline, published by the Robert Half Staffing organization: