This is Part 2 of my post of ways that long-term staff can support new foundation staff members.
• Explain the unwritten rules of your foundation- Each foundation has rules about how the work is done, what types of organizations it will and will not support, and how its staff should dress and behave. Knowing these rules can be the difference between succeeding and failing at an organization, so share this knowledge with new staff. But if you can’t explain the purpose or benefit of some these unwritten rules, maybe its time to reconsider them.
• Help new staff find mentors within and outside of your organization- Mentors are an invaluable source of information about organizational culture and can act as a guide as new staff learn about the politics of an organization.
• Be open to suggestions about how technology can improve staff efficiency- Many young foundation staff have needed to be skilled at using computers since elementary school. Technology becomes second nature for many of these staff members and this can be a great opportunity to use this staff member as a guinea pig to try new technologies.
Having a diverse foundation staff, in terms of age, ethnicity, sex, religion, sexual orientation, and opinion on the local sports team is what creates an effective organization. You are better able to make decisions about impacting your local community if your staff truly reflects the diversity of your community. The true benefit of a multi-generational workforce is the variety of skills and experiences that individuals bring to the job. Don’t lose that benefit by trying to make new staff assimilate to the culture of the organizations’ generational majority.