A nonprofit has the same obligations (and rights) as other employers in your country. The main principle guiding these is the duty of care a good employer has for its team members. Employees’ views on good employership vary by generation, among many other things. This is of course also true of employers and their understanding of good employeeship and good employership.

Duty of care – law

What it means to be a good employer depends a lot on laws and regulations in your country. What is legally required?

Duty of care – your staff’s needs

But it also depends on the people on your team. What is it that they need?

Duty of care – your staff’s standards

And it also depends on what society considers normal in the context you’re working in. What do people feel they can reasonably expect to get from an employer? Even if it is a nonprofit with less possibilities than richer organisations?

Generations are a thing!

As it happens, these expectations are influenced by how people have been raised. Aside from background, generation matters, too. Each generation grows up in very different circumstances. Leading to different ideas of what is normal. And different expectations for life. These come from the common experience in the cohort. And from the response of their parents to how they were raised before. And all that shows in how they show up in the workplace, too.



Generations in the workplace

In today’s workplaces you can find Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z.
(In the Netherlands we have a generation in between Gen X and Millennials that’s called the Pragmatists or the French Fry generation but somehow I haven’t heard of an equivalent of that from other countries, is there one in yours?).
And each of these generations has a different attitude to work and life. To authority and obligations. And that’s based on how their parents raised them. As well as the socio-economic, technological and political environment in which that happened.

Here’s why

It’s easy to understand this if you look at what the world looked like at the birth of a Gen X’er in 1970. And compare that to someone born in 2001, as Gen Z. The latter has never known a world without the Internet. Gen X remembers saying they’d never buy a mobile phone: why would they want to speak to someone while they were out? These different experiences lead to different outlooks on life. What’s normal and what isn’t.What’s reasonable or isn’t.

Here’s how it impacts you as nonprofit employer

As an employer you need to accommodate the different generations you have on your team. And you’ll need to help create bridges for understanding across generations.

For Exemple:

  • Baby Boomers who expected to stay with one employer all their lives.
  • Millennials seeking a job with real impact and fun – and who easily hop to another job if it has more of these elements.
  • Gen X’ers who grew up with youth unemployment and consider getting a job and keeping it at all costs, key.

Three different outlooks on what a job means in your life. And three different views on what to expect or ask from an employer (or not). Three different recipes for good employership and care.

How I can help

Creating a good workspace is a puzzle, as you can see. If you are looking for a complete step by step system to set up and implement compliant and caring personnel policies and contracting for your nonprofit in line with best practices in the sector – without a law degree – join my Course Practical Labour Law & HR for nonprofits here: https://bit.ly/courseHRfornonprofits

Want to take about dilemmas you face as a manager, join the Nonprofit Management Confidence Club.

You can also check out my YouTube channel here, and find a collection of videos on HR issues, fundraising, annual reporting, donations and other nonprofit operations topics.

Want to know more and ask questions?

If you want to discuss this more – jump into my nonprofit support community and get input from a wide range of peers and from myself!

Here is how you can join my free nonprofit support community

You can join my free nonprofit support community on the Heartbeat platform here. This group is a safe space for open exchange and discussion on potentially sensitive topics like boards, nonprofit management, fundraising, etc. You can visit the community via a browser or via an app. Here is the link to download the Heartbeat chat app in the Google Play store.

Want to support me with a cup of coffee?

The seaside always inspires me and helps me think of articles, videos, workshops and courses I can create for you. If you want to support me without getting a paid workshop, course or review – you can donate me a coffee and speed up my thinking process! You can support me here: https://ko-fi.com/suzannebakker