5 Things All Nonprofit Employees Should Be Uptrained On

5 Things All Nonprofit Employees Should Be Uptrained On

Employee uptraining is crucial for nonprofits that want to stay competitive and retain top talent. However, uptraining and upskilling are about more than just giving your employees the hard skills they need to perform their job. It’s also about training them on things that can help them be a more well-rounded employee that contributes to creating a more positive office culture. 

Investing this time and effort into your employees shows them that you value them and you value creating a workplace they can feel proud to be a part of. This results in a range of benefits that can help your nonprofit succeed, from increased productivity to higher retention rates. 

Why Employee Development and Uptraining Matters

Uptraining is essentially a fancier way of saying employee development, which is the effort a nonprofit puts into helping its staff develop new knowledge, strengths, and skills. This can be done by providing professional training in-office or by giving employees access to other learning opportunities, such as courses or programs they can enroll in on their own time. 

Providing these opportunities for your employees is vital to growing a successful nonprofit organization. When your employees feel that you are genuinely invested in them and their success, they are more likely to return the favor by showing up and working hard to help the company succeed. 

Employees are also more likely to stick around and grow some roots at your nonprofit, which means higher retention rates. If you show you are invested in their career development, they will be more inclined to grow their career with your organization, as opposed to quitting and finding somewhere else to work. 

Nonprofits that care about their employees also have greater success attracting top talent. If prospective applicants know that your organization cultivates great industry leaders, they will be more interested in applying and will want to be a part of that legacy. 

Five Areas of Focus for Employee Uptraining

You can choose to provide uptraining for a wide range of things when seeking to help your employees develop their knowledge and skills. The usual go-to's are things like leadership and communication skills or training that helps improve hard skills that will specifically help with their role or tasks.

You can also think outside the box, however, and provide uptraining for things that will not only boost employee development but also help you create a more positive office culture. Below are some areas of focus that are becoming increasingly important to many people as they help create more mindful, ethical, and inclusive work environments. 

1. Sexual Harassment Prevention Training 

Sexual harassment prevention training is something that most organizations should already have, but since the #metoo movement in 2017, this has become even more crucial to have. Uptraining employees on sexual harassment prevention shows that you care about their well-being, but it will also help mitigate issues of sexual harassment within your own organization. There are many ways you can teach this kind of information, but it ultimately comes down to teaching people how to behave and treat each other better and with more respect. 

2. Disability Awareness Training

Disability awareness, like sexual harassment prevention, has been around for some time, but it has only recently started to become more common as people have pushed for more inclusive workplaces. 

Millions of people in the US are disabled, and yet many admit to not knowing how to behave around people with disabilities or how to treat them. Thus, disability awareness training is important to have. And this is not just so your employees will know how to behave better around their disabled colleagues, but it will also help your nonprofit provide better service to disabled members and donors. 

3. Diversity Training

Regarding creating more inclusive workplaces, diversity training is another one that should be a top priority when uptraining your employees. Again, this is something that nonprofits should already have been doing, but with recent outrage and upset increasing over the violent discrimination against BIPOC communities, it’s even more vital. 

Simply put, there are no more excuses for organizations not being more inclusive of all people. And when job hunting, people now more often seek out diverse places to work. So if you want to create a more inclusive environment and continue to attract talent, you must implement diversity training. 

4. Sensitivity Training

Sensitivity training is a great way to complement all the other training types listed above. When you uptrain your employees to be more sensitive, you are essentially teaching them how to place themselves in another person’s shoes, which means teaching them how to be more empathetic. And empathy is an important skill to have no matter what industry you work in. 

Specifically, sensitivity training helps boost psychological strength, which helps people learn how to better read emotional responses and how to manage their impulses and behaviors accordingly. 

This can help employees have a better mutual understanding of one another. It can benefit their interactions with supervisors. It helps reduce instances of discrimination. And it can also help employees be more understanding when dealing with members and donors. 

5. Cybersecurity Training

In a different, yet equally important vein, cybersecurity training should be on every organization’s list for uptraining. As nonprofits increasingly adopt digital practices and advanced technologies, the need for better cybersecurity training becomes more crucial. This is one of those skills everyone can benefit from today, no matter what industry they work in. 

Human behavior, or human error, is the greatest risk to cybersecurity. So training your employees on better cybersecurity practices will help them keep themselves and your organization as a whole safer and reduce risks. 

In Summary

Uptraining in the above mentioned areas will help you create a stronger, more inclusive, ethical workforce. Your employees will feel that you care about their development, they will feel more comfortable interacting and engaging with one another, and they will likely be more productive and successful in their roles. And these things, in turn, will help your nonprofit be more successful and productive. 

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Amanda Winstead

Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.