South Florida Muslim leadership completed training on human resource strategy, fifth installment in a series of six capacity building workshops conducted by Tayyab Yunus, President of Center on Muslim Philanthropy in partnership with SFL Muslim Federation. During the 90-minute session, Tayyab Yunus was joined by Ana Maria de Los Rios, a Professional in Communications and Human Resource Management from Georgia State University. The workshop focused on defining human resource, clarifying the misconceptions surrounding it and outlining seven key HR strategies for NPOs to capitalize on their workforce.

Guest Speaker: Ana Maria de Los Rios

When talking about non-profit organizations, Tayyab Yunus emphasized on the need to foster an environment of ‘team work’ that is inclusive of the talents, skills, and contributions of both paid employees and volunteers. Calling it the ‘total human capital’ Ana further elaborated that it encompasses paid/unpaid people in your organization and their individual and collective competencies, knowledge, skill-set and passions which if effectively employed can render positive results for the organizations.

Ana also laid out seven key strategies can help transform the Human Resource Management of an organization. These include – Talent Sourcing and Recruitment, Culture and Mission Building, Talent Management and Administration, Compensation (is not always money), Retention, Continuous talent Discovery and Volunteer Engagement. She was of the view that having a human resource strategy is not always about what positions need to be filled in or what skill sets are required but it should also be based on clearly defined ‘core values, mission and vision’ of the organization. It must ensure that employees and/or volunteers not only understand what is expected of them, but what they can expect from the organization in terms of compensation and incentives, communications and environment, and the culture an organization is built around or aspires to build.

For continuous productivity and growth of the organization, constant assessment of HR strategies is a must as well as compliance of ‘applicable regulations’. According to Ana, the best way this may be achieved is to have an HR partner or consultant to develop and advise for HR strategy as opposed to having an in-house HR department or external service for the purpose.

During the session, several questions were raised about volunteer management as volunteers tend to be an important resource pool for small NPOs. Tayyab emphasized that for retention and success of volunteer programs it is important that ‘they are not kept in the dark’ i.e., they should know they will not be paid and what exactly is required of them. Having a volunteer manager, incentives such as service hours and providing some sort of training can greatly help in this regard. 

Sana Saif
Author: Sana Saif

Program Manager