Re-entry: Transitioning your workplace and work culture

For many, the toughest leadership test is now looming: how to adapt your nonprofit or social enterprise in these uncertain and rapidly changing times. 

Many community-based organizations are in the midst of responding to COVID-19, and we are now preparing for the recovery phase. While we don’t yet know the full extent of the virus’ impact on our communities, uncertainty is the new standard.

Whether you are currently operating at full capacity, or only with critical assets, your organization can benefit by planning for the transition from response to recovery. As part of this transition, how can we ensure we are building decent workplaces that are fair, stable and productive environments for all? 

In the first session of this workshop series we discussed steps for effective recovery planning: 


Creating a safe environment physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually for all staff, board and volunteers is vital. Embrace technology, identify & mitigate risks, understand individual needs.


Take comfort in the fact that some things never change, even during times of difficulty and ambiguity. Your values as an organization are the north star that you should plan to, your roots will help you focus on what should come next.


Ongoing, honest and transparent communication is essential for engaging your team, and helping everyone feel informed and involved. Increasing your focus on collaboration in times of physical isolation can help encourage connections and foster a positive culture despite social distancing.


Gather information from credible sources to have board level discussions about what the risks are, and what precautions your organization can use to mitigate them.

Encourage feedback from your staff and community, recognizing that everyone is comfortable with a different level of risk.


Start with "Who", and ask for feedback early on from everyone affected by the changes. Change management works best as a collaborative effort. Focus on clarifying the scope of what is possible, and revisit all policies and determine how they fit into your organization’s strategy for the future.

The information in this session was presented by Michelle Baldwin (Pillar Nonprofit Network) , Lore Wainwright (Innovation Works, Pillar Nonprofit Network) & Paul Hubert (Pathways Skills Development) as part of a 3 part series called Recovery Post COVID-19: Re-entry, Remodel and Rebuild.

Join us for the next workshop in this series, where we will discuss more steps for effective recovery planning:

Session 2 - July 8

Remodel: Sustainability and Operations of Your Organization

Session 3 - July 29

Rebuild: Systems Leadership and Transformation




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