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I worked at Commission on Economic Opportunity full-time (More than a year)
Organization's mission to help low-income people is good and staff and management do genuinely seek every way to give back to the community. Staff has a sense of job security. Lay-offs and firings are at a minimum. People tend to work here forever so staff turnover is low.
The office culture is stuffy. Staff is ageing and the organization needs younger more driven (and probably better college educated) individuals to add life to the office. The current culture is the old hierarchical one where low-level staff do not mingle with upper management and staff feel like they have to walk on eggshells so as not to upset higher-ups. Staff are not allowed to take ownership over their work/projects. Everything little thing has to be approved by management, who has to get approval from the chairman. There's too much red tape and therefore innovation remains stagnant either because it's not encouraged or people know not to bother because of all the hoops one has to jump through to make any changes.
Advice to Management
Office morale is low because staff feels disconnected from upper management. Being a non-profit, it is understood that wages will be on the low side but job quality can be increase by offering perks like subsidized gym memberships, interoffice competitions, and other fun activities that foster team work among staff. If salaries/bonuses and whatever other issues cannot be improved then be open about the reasons via bi-monthly in person meetings so as to foster trust and transparency...an impersonal memo does not suffice. Bi-monthly in person meetings should probably happen even when the organization is doing well so that staff does not feel alienated from upper management.