It’s a high pressure job, and nobody said it was going to be easy. Take your standard 9-to-5 and add in the responsibility of fundraising X amount of dollars per week, per month, per year, and you’ve got “the professional fundraiser.” Fundraisers are typically employed within the non-profit sector, but the process of soliciting and gathering voluntary contributions and resources can also be found in other industries, such as the finance industry, where some professionals are employed to seek investors.

As an employer or HR manager of a fundraiser, you have to know your employee. Unhappy fundraisers are costing organizations literally hundreds of thousands of dollars due to their high turnover rates – A study by Cygnus Applied Research, “Donor-Centered Leadership…what it takes to build a high performance fundraising team,” recently uncovered that the average cost of finding a replacement for your fundraiser is $127,650. Ouch!

So, are your fundraisers happy? Or are they exhausted? Do they feel appreciated? Or, are they planning on leaving your organization in just 16 months, the average amount of time a fundraiser stays employed.

We’ve got a solution: Balance. Help your organization’s fundraisers feel appreciated and ease their demanding schedules by following these 5 tips!

  • Be a Flexible Hiring Manager: When it comes to the size of your fundraising staff, don’t be afraid to expand your team at times, depending on your goals and deadlines. Temporary help can be extremely beneficial to both your organization and your current employees.
  • Flexible Hours & Vacation Time: Did your fundraiser work 3 months straight raising funds for an upcoming event or milestone? Did they work every weekend too? It’s break time. Make sure your fundraiser is taking advantage of their vacation time, and if possible, let them work from home every now and then! According to the study by Cygnus Applied Research, more than half of the fundraisers surveyed said they want the option to work from home.
  • Internal Opportunity: New position opening up? Your best option for a potential candidate probably already works for you. Has your top fundraiser been working relentlessly for years? Perhaps it’s time for a change of pace. If a spot in another department is available within your company, consider the fundraiser who may truly appreciate the opportunity, and already knows your company inside and out.
  • Family Time: Many non-profit employees find themselves dedicated to working numerous nights and weekends, especially surrounding major events and/or goals that the organization may have. But, a job this demanding cuts into family time. If your fundraiser appears to be having trouble finding time for family, make that time for them. Whether it’s inviting families in for a social and/or event or simply celebrating “bring your kids to work day,” a better balance between work and home will result in a more productive and focused employee.
  • Set Your Fundraisers Up for Success: Guide and support your fundraising staff. Never just sit back and wait for goals to be achieved. The best managers will not be afraid to tweak their fundraising design and try new things. And, if goals are not being reached, step in and help! What can you do to better ensure success within your organization?

Want to know more? HR Shield is the best policy when it comes to employee management services of all kinds. Profitable employee performance and satisfaction starts with defining and enforcing clear HR policies and procedures, and our team can help.  For full time support and tips for professional HR Consultants, sign up now online, or contact us for more information.

Sometimes we live in our own little worlds- with HR on one side, and IT on the other. IT employees are extremely skilled and knowledgeable within the area of information technology, and in most instances the two departments create one powerful team!  For example, recruiting initiatives:  As a people-focused team, HR recruits new relationships and talents, and IT, as a technologically adept team, can provide valuable resources and tools to truly streamline the process.

But, when a team is as technologically adept as an IT team, and their specific work tasks surround something outside of your specialty as an HR professional, it can be rather difficult to spot an HR violation. And, if you suspect an HR violation, how do you go about approaching the situation when you may not fully comprehend the scenario?

Here are 3 common HR violations, as they relate to IT, as well as some quick tips for approaching the situation as an HR professional:

  1. HR Violation: Internal Hacking - Quick Tip: Accessing, manipulating or even simply monitoring individual’s private information through company systems or proprietary hardware is an HR violation (if it is NOT part of the IT employee’s job description).  Whether malicious activity or for “fun”, appropriate measures need to be taken to ensure protection of privacy for other employees. This includes proper documentation of the incident. In some cases, this may be a first time violation or warning, but in other cases depending on the seriousness of the situation, it may require employee termination. It is recommended that you consult an HR advisor for a second opinion before taking any action if the situation requires termination.
  2. HR Violation: Employee Misconduct at the Company Help Desk - Quick Tip: As previously mentioned, everyone specializes in a different area. Not everyone is an expert in HR, nor is everyone an expert in IT. As an IT professional, the company help desk can be a very frustrating responsibility if the individual is attempting to resolve issues for employees that are not as technologically adept.  However, this is not an excuse to communicate poorly, or express frustrations towards other employees. If you currently suspect an IT employee (or any employee for that matter) of communicating poorly or creating tension amongst other employees, schedule an employee performance review. If your company has predetermined employee performance review dates, and there is not one in the immediate future, schedule a meeting to review the employee’s behavior and discuss proactive ways to prevent miscommunications and tensions. A little patience and understanding will help to avoid a future HR violation in most cases!
  3. HR Violation: Sweeping Violations Under the RugQuick Tip: In many organizations, IT is responsible for monitoring employee activity on the web, or company email. They scan for inappropriate content and/or misuse of company technology. However, it is not unheard of for employees within the same department to fail when it comes to blowing the whistle on one another. When fellow IT employees are in charge of monitoring employees within the same department, they may bury or overlook certain violations.  Your first step is a review of your company’s most recent employee handbook and job description for the employee in question—is this employee required to monitor and report HR Violations?   This situation also requires proper documentation of the incident. In some cases, this may be a first time violation or warning, but in other cases depending on the seriousness of the situation, it may require employee termination. Again, it is recommended that you consult an HR advisor for a second opinion before taking any action if the situation requires termination.

Follow us each week to improve your HR processes with HR management best practices from HR Shield. For more information on this topic, or to speak with an HR Advisor, call (877) 636-9525.

A few months ago, through the HR Shield blog, we addressed the top reasons Why Good Employees Leave, and just recently, we came across an article in the Post and Courier by Diane Stafford, further supporting the pull factors, but also emphasizing the push factors, which play a much bigger role in employee turnover.

It’s not a hard kept secret that employers need to worry about why their best employees are leaving. After all, how do you prevent future employees from leaving if you don’t know what’s upsetting them? While money remains one of the top determining factors in selecting a new job, it’s the push factors that outnumber the pull factors by 2-1, according to business consultant Leigh Branham.

Two-thirds of the time there’s a turning point, one final straw that pushes people right out the door. As an employer, you may wrongfully assume that direct internal conflict or poor management may be the source of the push, but surveys show that the pushes aren’t always personal- sometimes behaviors alone, even indirect,  serve as the pushes. For example, some workers decide to leave their company because others simply aren’t working as hard as they are, or they believe there is a lack of ethics within the organization.job interview

As a business owner, executive, or manager, you have to be aware of your actions at all times and how they effect your organization. Turnover costs organizations a lot of money, and while best practices include conducting an Exit Interview upon departure, it’s typically too late to save them. The Exit Interview will let you know why the employee has left, if they choose to be honest. This information can prevent others from leaving. But, there’s always an opportunity to start turning things around today—before you encounter an employee’s costly departure.

HR Shield gives you full time access to an employee performance management system that really works, including employee handbook templates, employee reviews and all the HR advice you need. Through HR Shield’s services, we have found that employees tend to be more honest regarding their workplace opinions (positive or negative), simply because we are a neutral party and not the employee's immediate boss.  A handful of HR management best practices can go a long way in bettering your working environment. HR Shield helps recognize and resolve any employee unhappiness before it is too late.

For questions or concerns about current employee situations, contact HR Shield.

As the “Occupy Wall Street” protests occur in cities across the entire country, employers and employees have more to worry about than the unpleasant crowding of their sidewalks.

Employees who participate, may risk losing their jobs, and for employers, political activities in the workplace often prove to be disruptive and counterproductive. As an employer, you never want to silence your employees or discourage opinionated conversation, but if someone fails to do their job because of a focus on political issues, you may have the right to enforce disciplinary action within the workplace.

Here are some recommendations for both employees and employers, as disruption in the workplace affects everyone…

Share the Code of Conduct: It is a good management practice to let everyone within the working environment know what types of political activities are permitted (and not permitted) in the workplace by sharing an established code of conduct. If you are an employee who would like to participate in a protest of any kind, it is advised you first review this document. A code of conduct should contain important information relevant to the appropriate use of company facilities, email communication, distribution of materials and even off-site involvement in different protests.

Rely on the Law: Whether you are a business owner, HR Professional, or employee, know your state’s law. Some states protect employees from being fired for lawful or off-duty activities, but then again, many states don’t. If an employer doing business in a state without such laws feels that an employee’s conduct is inappropriate, disruptive, or destroying the company’s culture, the employer may be able to legally fire them. However, the employer may face limitations on their power to restrict employees’ political activities through a state’s public policy exception. Know the law before taking any action whatsoever.

Consult an HR Expert: As an employee, consult your organization’s Human Resources professional. While they may not necessarily support your decision to join political activities or protests, they may be able to help you sort through any gray areas, and help you to better understand your organization’s code of conduct. 

As an employer, even if there is no state law prohibiting you from taking action against an employee for participating in political activity, consult an HR Expert for a second opinion first. Everything needs to be properly executed and documented, for example, tying political actions to a negative effect on the workplace or some specific area of business. While you may be obeying the law, actions of this type may fail to reflect positively amongst your organization. It may further upset other employees, or even cause a public relations nightmare.

Contact HR Shield for a valued second opinion. Our team of HR Professionals are experts at managing employees and maintaining HR compliance.

Halloween festivities in the office are certainly fun for employees and can help promote a more social working environment. But, Halloween at the office brings forth a list of challenges for the employer. Although Halloween is meant to be festive, employers must be prepared in the event that an employee uses poor judgment or something is misinterpreted (or correctly interpreted) as harassment.

Allowing costumes or festivities at work is certainly tricky. Employers can be held liable for something as small as an employee tripping over a costume part. With some employers permitting after hours Halloween parties on work premises, the exposures to liability increases, especially if alcohol is permitted.

All compensable injuries aside though, the most common issues lie with permitting Halloween costumes in the office. There is potential for a harassment claim in the workplace if an employee is offended or comments are made that originate from a costume choice. Many costumes carry political, social, sexual or religious messages that are inappropriate for employee/employer interaction.

Inappropriate costumes can quickly be seen as creating a hostile work environment and lead to litigation. If your workplace is going to plan a Halloween Party, and has considered the potential risks, make sure you’ve covered your bases when it comes to policies. Here are some helpful tips:

Review the Past: If this is not your first workplace Halloween celebration, review the past. Were there any complaints? Did everything go according to plan? How can you make things better for both the employer and the employee this year?

Create a set of Costume Guidelines:  Guidelines issued to employees should alert them that failure to follow the established guidelines will result in discipline. Employees will still be at work, and it’s important to remind them of your professional culture prior to the celebration. Potential clients or customers could also be interacting with them, not just fellow employees. Make sure every employee knows that their costume choice and behavior also represent the company. Provocative costumes and anything that could be misinterpreted as offensive, is not a good choice. If they’re questioning their decision to wear a certain costume, chances are it is not a good choice. Guidelines should also eliminate costumes or props that pose potential safety hazards.

Lead by Example:  Executives and management serve as role models and set examples for employees. Assume the same rules and guidelines you have set for your employees.

Offer Alternative Ways to Celebrate:  Your employees may be just as thrilled with a great luncheon or an early dismissal for the day, to trick or treat with their families or celebrate on their own terms.

React:  If an employee shows up to work in a revealing costume, ask them to go home and change. If you foresee any problems, prevent them. Just because there is a celebration, it does not mean that your company’s policies have changed.

For more HR tips, contact HR Shield.