23/12/2014 - 13:49

NFPs fail on staff development

23/12/2014 - 13:49

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Not-for-profit organisations are at risk of failure as they struggle to upskill staff, according to research from the University of Western Australia.

NFPs fail on staff development

Not-for-profit organisations are at risk of failure as they struggle to upskill staff, according to research from the University of Western Australia.

The UWA Business School’s Centre for Social Impact has investigated the level to which NFPs are investing in their employee development.

The results suggest that less than 60 per cent of NFP sector employees undertook professional development in 2014.

Research Assistant Professor Ramon Wenzel said the investigation also revealed 33 per cent of senior NFP executives had no designated budget for their own professional development, while those in small NFP organisations often funded professional development out of their own pocket.

“We found that organisations that prioritise employee development perform better overall, and in turn this contributes to the creation of social change,” Dr Wenzel said.

“However … many staff and volunteers working in the NFP sector simply can’t afford training, or need support which they can’t often access.

“Remarkably little attention has been given to issues professional and continuous development … considering the significance of formal and informal learning for individual and organisational performance, it is also surprising that very little attention has been given to their useful integration.”

“This supports a recent Productivity Commission report on the Australian NFP sector, which identified a lack of key competencies as a major limitation for the long-term viability of the Australian NFP sector.”

He said the sector’s ability to respond to changes such as the introduction of the National Insurance Disability Scheme and increasing competition rested on its ability to build its own capacity.

“In other words, the NFP sector has to engage its people in learning for, at, and from their work,” Dr Wenzel wrote in a paper presented to the Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management held earlier this month.

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