Talent Management in Not For Profit Organisations

Should Not for Profit organisations spend time on Talent Management initiatives or should they put all of their effort towards the people they are trying to help? After all, time spent on the people in an organisation is effort that could go towards the people the organisation is trying to help.

Last week I attended a Community Housing conference in Sydney supporting Cognology partner Natalie Carrington from Blooming HR. Natalie provides HR services to the Community Housing industry. It was a great opportunity to get an understanding for the sector and the people within it.

Natalie Carrington

Natalie Carrington speaking at the Community Housing Conference in Sydney

Organisations in Community Housing are typically small, but their task is large. Community Housing provides rental housing to disadvantaged people in society. They typically look after hundreds of rental houses and some more than 2,000. And they do this at a typical size of less than 50 employees.

The people I met within Community Housing are socially minded and typically working in the sector because they believe in what they are doing. The conference was an opportunity to learn from each other and ultimately improve the services they are providing to the disadvantaged in society.

So is Talent Management a waste of time for these people. Should they just get on with the job and help the people they are serving? The real problem I believe is how to make sure that people are being helped in the best possible way. So the question is, how to do that?

The answer is that just like any organisation, for a group of people to achieve something, they need to be as effective and productive as they can. Productivity is an issue for Australian organisations at present and Not for Profits are no exception. Ernst & Young estimated the annual wastage in Australian wages at $109 billion due to productivity. That means the potential for wasted money in NFPs is high.

At the end of the day, the goal of the Community Housing organisations is to provide housing to disadvantaged people. If they are ineffective and unproductive organisations, they won’t do this well. They need systems and processes in place to run an effective organisation. They need effective people who are well trained and developed. The people within Community Housing need to be working towards a strategic plan to deliver outcomes. This is what Talent Management is all about.

Utopia doesn’t run itself. The passions and good intentions of the people working in Not for Profits need to be put to use in an effective organisation structure, otherwise their energies are wasted.

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