The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley awarded 20 $500 Self Care –Employee Retention mini grants to each of its member agencies.
Many nonprofit jobs work directly with people who have been through trauma. This can take a large toll on employees mentally and emotionally, resulting in compassion fatigue. A free seminar and this mini grant were the result of a concerning monthly United Way Agency meeting.
“The tone was much different than normal meeting,” said United Way executive director, Jessica Rine. “It was a consistent theme of emotional struggles for themselves and their staff. We knew we had to do something to help these passionate people take time to care for themselves and their coworkers.”
Agencies dealing with elder care, child abuse, childhood trauma and sexual assault discussed topics to help their employees deal with the heaviness of their careers. The group decided to host a free seminar addressing how to take care of your soul, cultivate a positive workplace and encourage employee mental wellness.
Such organizations do not generally have funding available to take care of their employees’ mental well-being from stress caused by the workplace.
Rine proposed a mini grant to the United Way board of directors executive committee of $500 to each of the 20-member agencies to focus on self care of employees.
“Oftentimes those who give so much to help others forget to also take care of themselves,” said Susan Harrison, executive director of CASA. “This thoughtful grant helps highlight that self care is important and necessary, especially in our industry.”
Some of the agencies used the funding for Christmas gifts, care packages or meals for staff and others scheduled yoga sessions, spa days and motivational speakers.
As with many companies, it has been difficult for nonprofit organizations to hire and maintain employees. According to AlightHR, preventing burnout can lead to employee retention and self care is a big tool in burnout prevention.