Leadership

Lunchtime Links: NFL Case Shines a Spotlight on Workplace Bullying

By / Nov 5, 2013 (Photodisc/Thinkstock)

The sad reality of workplace bullying. Plus: ideas for social media fundraising.

You assume your employees feel safe when they come to work. But is the reality different? A cautionary tale about workplace bullying courtesy of the NFL, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links.

Bad behavior: The NFL recently received major props for the strides it has made to inject diversity into top-level leadership positions within its organization. But another controversy has raised questions about a potentially serious problem within its locker rooms and clubhouses: bullying. Though it’s hard to imagine someone the size of an NFL lineman—more than 300 pounds in many cases—complaining about being bullied, that’s the reality facing the Miami Dolphins, as NYU’s Arthur L. Caplan and Lee H. Igel explain in a recent column for Forbes. The situation got so bad that starting lineman Jonathan Martin, who stands six-foot-five and weighs in at 312 pounds, reportedly left the team, alleging through his lawyer that he was a victim of workplace bullying. Martin claims the chief instigator was fellow Dolphins lineman and nine-year NFL veteran Richie Incognito. Incognito, who has denied the allegations, has been suspended indefinitely by the team pending its investigation into Martin’s claims. No matter the team’s findings, Caplan and Igel say the controversy sheds light on a very real, yet little talked about, problem in the workplace. They cite a report that says victims of workplace bullying often report poor “job satisfaction, supervisor satisfaction, work commitment, and psychological well-being, but higher levels of work-related stress and intent to find another job.” Does your organization have safeguards in place to protect its employees?

Get results: Using social media to generate fundraising at your organization seems like a no-brainer. The technology allows you to cast a wide net and reach members and prospective members online, wherever they are. But, as nonprofit social media consultant John Haydon writes for SocialFish, getting results online is tougher than many organizations realize. Haydon lists 11 reasons why online fundraising is such a slog and suggests a few ways to get better results. One idea: Go mobile. As more people use mobile devices, Haydon says organizations need to build fundraising mechanisms specifically for tablet and smartphone devices. He also suggests using social media to make personal connections and saving the financial ask for email, where people are more comfortable “pulling out their credit cards.” A few other suggestions: “Make it personal”, “pitch projects, not funds,” and don’t be afraid to “pick up the phone.” Want more ideas? Read his full list.

Board games: Many organizations struggle with how to include volunteer board members while maintaining the right level of executive balance and authority across their association. Writing for Wild Apricot, marketer Lori Halley cites a recent article by Mitch Dorger that first appeared in Nonprofit Quarterly. In it, Dorger talks about the importance of keeping board members focused on governance and away from day-to-day management. But what happens, asks Halley, if your organization is so small that the board is all there is? How do you strike the right balance between governance and operations in a 100 percent volunteer-led organization? Dorger suggests that small organizations attempt to keep governance issues and operational issues separate by creating distinct meeting agendas for the different functions. While operating without a large support staff is challenging, Dorger writes, “the board needs to discipline itself to understand and deal with both types of responsibilities, devoting the appropriate amount of time and attention to both.”

How does your board approach operations and governance issues? Tell us in the comments.

Corey Murray

Corey Murray is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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