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|Archives - October 2009|
|Thursday, October 01, 2009|
BY ADAM DAVIS AND SU MIDGHALL
Two important themes emerged in a comparison of the inaugural 100 Best Nonprofits survey and those from the 100 Best Company survey: The two groups of employees are very similar in the importance they place on what makes a great workplace, but their satisfaction levels with several key issues are very different.
The 6,700 employees who participated in the 100 Best Nonprofits survey and the workers who participated in this year’s 100 Best Companies survey all ranked satisfaction and importance of 50 workplace qualities in six categories: benefits and compensation; work environment; decision-making and trust; performance management; and career development and learning. (Ten questions on sustainable practices were surveyed but not used to rank Nonprofits or Companies. The responses to those questions are used to rank the 100 Best Green Companies.) Because many of the same questions were asked in the two surveys, responses were easily compared among employees of these two business sectors.
Employees in the Nonprofits and Companies surveys reported virtually no differences in what workplace qualities were important to them, with the exception of two questions. Nonprofit employees’ rated slightly higher the importance of “fairness for differing racial, gender, sexual-orientation, or disability groups” and of the “organization’s broader support for the community.”
These were not major differences, but were the most noticeable among all of the workplace qualities. As one employee noted about his nonprofit employer: “The management team is great and is made up of both men and women. Women are held in equal esteem as men. The board is equally balanced between men and women.”
As a whole, employees in the nonprofit survey assigned their highest importance ratings to two workplace variables: “treatment of employees by supervisors,” and “pride and belief in the organization.” The latter item clearly reflects the mission-driven quality of nonprofit organizations and their employees, while the former speaks for itself. Nonprofit employees assessed all workplace characteristics to be of relatively high importance.
While importance ratings were highly consistent in this survey and differences between both groups of employees on areas of importance were quite small, there was a much bigger difference between the groups with the satisfaction ratings of the 50 workplace qualities.
Nonprofit employees were most satisfied with having “clear understanding of the organization’s mission and purpose,” “fairness for differing racial, gender, sexual-orientation, or disability groups,” and “pride and belief in the organization.” As noted earlier, the latter was also one of the most important aspects for employees. One employee commented, “There is a sense of family and pride in the work that we do, we work hard and have a fun time doing it.”
By contrast, nonprofit employees rated their least satisfaction with “opportunities for increases in pay and benefits,” “rewards for top performance,” and “timely discipline and termination of poor performers.” The lowest satisfaction ratings were around compensation structures, but it’s important to note that nonprofit employees were making a distinction between opportunities for financial growth and learning versus their actual compensation.
Many of the largest differences between employees in the 100 Best Nonprofits survey and those in the 100 Best Companies survey were in career development and learning, not benefits and compensation. While many nonprofit employees saw career development and learning (including opportunities for increases in pay based on performance) as an area in which their employers can improve, employees in this sector demonstrate strong mission-driven dedication to the organizations in which they are employed.
These employees value, and feel they experience the benefits of, a flexible work environment that allows for the balancing of work and family life, which promotes fairness toward workers from all groups, advances a commitment to the betterment of the community, and promotes sustainable practices.
Through the results of this survey employees are telling a story to their nonprofit employers that they want more dialogue about how best to retain their highly qualified staff. This includes opportunities for pay increases, performance-based promotions and rewards, acknowledgment by management for performance, and the organization’s commitment to general career and salary advancements.
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY CHRIS HIGGINS
As digital security breaches skyrocket, a cybersleuth everyman takes center stage.
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Oregon already ranks as the nation’s second largest generator of hydroelectric power. (Washington is No. 1). Now an elegant new installation in Portland is putting an unconventional, sharing economy twist on this age-old water-energy pairing. The new system, launched this winter, uses the flow of water inside city water pipes to spin four turbines that produce electricity for Portland General Electric customers.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
BY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER
Uncertainty is a part of doing business, whether in through the lens of investment opportunities and risks or the business of running an enterprise.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
inDinero, a business that manages back-office accounting for startups and smaller companies, recently announced it would relocate its headquarters from San Francisco to Portland. We talked to CEO Jessica Mah about what drew her to Portland and how she plans to disrupt the traditional CPA model.
Friday, May 15, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR
The Portland Bureau of Transportation is seeking input from businesses on a $5.5 million initiative to create a network of biking, transit and pedestrian trails within Portland’s central city.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
The recent tragedy in Philadelphia has called attention to Amtrak and the nation's woefully underfunded rail service. Here are six facts about the Amtrak Cascades corridor between Eugene and Vancouver B.C.
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Tonkon Torp helps seed sustainability at Gunderson.
Oregon-based Environments helps companies create inspired workspaces. “Simply put, we help companies future-proof their workspaces,” says Chris Corrado, president. Since 1988,Environments has witnessed firsthand the changing landscape of business. Native Portlander and Environments founder Corrado says, “We help our clients navigate the complex realities of the workplace today and plan for their future in a very mindful, strategic way. We think of ourselves as their partners in the process.”
One hundred years ago, the Willamette River might easily have been mistaken for a sewer. Unchecked industrial activity and decades of pollution made it unrecognizable compared to the clean river that now flows north for 187 miles from Eugene through the center of Portland.
The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) will be presenting its third annual Entrepreneurial Summit on Friday, June 5 at Castaway in Portland, Oregon.
On June 13th Mayor Charlie Hales will attend nonprofit organization Dream Change’s inaugural Love Summit and will introduce one of its keynote speakers, Dan Wieden of Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency.
34 spots for food, 17 places to sip, and 7 sites to choose a brew beckon visitors.