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The greatest resource a NFP has is its people, and its people typically includes a wide and talented pool of volunteers.
PwC’s 23rd Annual Global CEO Survey has shown that although 19% of corporate CEOs in Australia struggle to retain employees who have been upskilled, only 3% of NFP CEOs feel the same. The ability to retain employees is often linked to the passion employees have for the NFP, when organisations commit to supporting their employees upskilling there is the potential to retain this great talent.
In a sector that often attracts a diverse talent pool and is deeply committed to inclusivity, there are opportunities around harnessing talent. Nearly half of all NFPs are starting to make, or are making, moderate progress around implementing a diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy to attract a wide range of talent and build inclusive workplaces (46% NFP vs 42% corporate).
While 40% of corporate CEOs say significant progress has been made when implementing D&I inclusion strategies, only 22% of NFP CEOs feel the same. It’s likely that a number of factors contribute to this.
Firstly as values-based organisations, many NFPs have inclusion as their core business, so their starting point and view of what D&I ‘progress’ looks like may be different to many corporate CEOs. Additionally, lack of resourcing and greater scrutiny of the distribution of administrative funds within NFPs might also impede the development and implementation of specific D&I strategies.
With the link to purpose, the passion of NFP employees is often unbounded and so the way to build workforce productivity is through upskilling.
NFP organisations have always been smart about how they use resources. As these continue to become more scarce, they’ve become smarter with their limited resources.
It’s no surprise that the greatest challenge NFP organisations face in their upskilling efforts is a lack of resources (e.g. budget, people, time, knowledge) to conduct the upskilling programs needed.
Of the NFPs surveyed, 61% cite this as their number-one challenge, in contrast to 13% of corporates in Australia. For smaller NFP organisations, a lack of resources is the greatest challenge, as identified by 80% of CEOs.
Lack of resources means organisations are less likely to implement upskilling initiatives or they need to be more creative about how they achieve desired outcomes, like organisational growth and other benefits that flow from developing employee capabilities.
According to NFP CEOs, the top outcomes from their upskilling programs are:
Building on this, one in three large NFPs that have undertaken an upskilling program are seeing greater organisational growth as a result of the program.
This is quite a different view, compared with corporate CEOs who instead placed higher workforce productivity and improved talent acquisition and retention as their most effective outcomes.
NFP organisations tend to be lean and have to optimise everything they do to save them time, money and delivery. This means they may leverage digital operating models more quickly than some larger organisations. It’s also worth noting that COVID-19 has opened up further growth opportunities for organisations that have been able to adopt digital operating models and new ways of working more quickly.
Effective outcomes from upskilling programs are therefore built in. The NFP sector attracts people with growth mindsets, who can innovate and do more with less. NFP organisations say they are very effective around greater organisational growth and innovation from their upskilling programs.
Partner, Social Impact, PwC Australia
Tel: +61 2 8266 8381
Director, Social Impact, PwC Australia
Tel: +61 (3) 8603 5839
Head of Content and Thought Leadership, PwC Australia
Tel: +61 (2) 8266 0252