Welcome To Hell; My Name Is Mephistopheles And I’ll Be Your Server

Using data gathered by CareerBliss.com, the 2/9/2012 edition of Forbes published an article by Jacquelyn Smith that reports the nonprofit sector is the second unhappiest field to work. But it isn’t all fire and brimstone; even though dissatisfaction levels with growth opportunities and compensation were high enough to drive Gingrich to vote Democrat, the data indicates employees found satisfaction with coworkers and day-to-day work tasks.

serverGranted, Top 10 style reports are typically geared more as readership hooks than anything else but it should come as no surprise that the nonprofit sector would appear in any sort of workplace satisfaction list.

And for all the gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands over how the field is dying and in turmoil, we tend to overlook that one of the first, most important, steps toward a better future is focusing efforts on internal issues. And at the center of that endeavor is addressing the problems of workplace satisfaction for all employees by systematically tracking and reporting on workplace satisfaction.

Sure, some people find it sexy to focus on financial and associated labor issues but regardless of the specific debate, finances are cyclical and the field will deal with the subsequent ups and downs. But workplace satisfaction is consistent and serves as the cornerstone of a solid foundation all organizations need to withstand recurring crises.

We’ve examined workplace satisfaction a good bit as of late and it’s an important enough topic that we’ll revisit it on a regular basis, but in case you missed those articles or want a refresher, here’s a handy index:

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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