Fellow members of the Forbes Nonprofit Council have noted that staff at nonprofit organizations often stretch themselves too thin by performing more than one role. Without proper guidance and support from leaders, employees taking on too many tasks may either fail to prioritize the important work or settle for doing whatever it takes to just get the job done. Inattentive leaders may settle for mediocrity, which subsequently becomes the expected standard of performance.

In my experience, the negative impact of disregarding talent management can be enormous. Failing to attend to a workplace culture that brings out the best of what employees know and can do becomes especially acute following periods of work or workplace disruption. Poorly managed people can often bring down employee morale, tarnish an organization’s reputation, and waste time and valuable organizational resources. Employees who feel neglected rather than valued and appreciated may either choose to leave the organization prematurely, contributing to the high cost of employee turnover, or remain in the organization as unhappy and relatively unproductive employees.

Alternatively, a staff loyal to the mission and doing the right work in the most efficient way can contribute to more relevant, resilient and high-performing organizations. More enlightened nonprofit leaders identify performance improvement opportunities and create positive work environments that support and reward workers for high performance. If cultivating a high-performance work culture where employees develop expertise is in the interest of nonprofit leaders seeking double bottom-line results, then how does a leader go about doing so?

Exemplary performers are the experts among us who choose to do their best in the workplace. Consequently, the greater the gap between typical performance and exemplary performance, the greater the potential to improve workforce performance.

Read the full article about cultivating a productive environment by Christopher Washington at Forbes.