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Human resources and staff management

The animals in your community depend on you, so it’s critical for your organization to have a high performing team. Discover how you can attract and retain awesome staff and volunteers who work as a cohesive team, and make you more effective at helping animals.

  • The pursuit of employee happiness

    Large tech companies have nap pods and big-name concerts for their employees. Other workplaces have generous bonuses and unlimited time off. Shelters have … what? Thankfully, lavish perks aren’t the only way to keep your staff smiling, which should be a priority, since they are one of your most important resources. Learn how you can make your employees feel valued and motivated within the confines of a small budget, and everyone at your shelter—four- and two-legged—will be better off for it.

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Most recent Tools and Resources > Human resources and staff management

  • Magazine Article

    Can you hear me meow?

    Trade the silent treatment for rapid response

    So you started a small rescue, and people love your work! Your phone is ringing nonstop, you might have accidentally deleted a few voicemails, and your unread email count seems to multiply by the minute. Are you handling those calls and emails appropriately, or are you focusing on the animals ... and alienating the people who want to help save those animals? Here's how phone and email management techniques can take your rescue's customer service from zero to hero.

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  • Blog Post

    Investing in animal advocates of the future

    At the local level, humane education is thriving, despite challenges that include limited resources, the requirements of core curriculum mandates, the demands of program evaluation, the need for teacher training and the politicization of the classroom.

    Anyone can become a humane educator or public speaker with a bit of training and guidance

    One of the greatest authenticated anecdotes about the greatest of American presidents concerns his speech advocating kindness to animals, given in a classroom along the frontier in the early 1820s. There is no exact record of his remarks, but one witness recalled that “Abe preached against cruelty to animals, contending that an ant’s life was to it, as sweet as ours to us.”

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  • Magazine Article

    Big shoes to fill?

    If you can never seem to find the right employee to promote into an important position, you may want to start building a work culture that prepares your staff to lead.

    Workplace culture and hiring strategies can help animal welfare organizations develop effective leaders

    Just because someone is good at handling animals doesn’t mean they’d make a good manager. That may sound obvious, but when it’s time to hire people for managerial roles, employers sometimes wish they’d done more to prepare their internal candidates. Leadership can be learned—organizations just have to make an effort to teach these skills. Cultivate a rewarding work environment and ensure you’re preparing employees to be the shelter leaders of tomorrow.

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  • Blog Post

    Delivering results through collaboration

    In moments of chaos, we MUST focus on working together and aligning section experts with one another for collective success.

    Sára Varsa, senior director of The HSUS animal rescue team, talks bringing together organizational experts to have a stronger impact for animals.

    As professionals, whether in Fortune 500 companies or nonprofit organizations, we are rarely in a position where a goal is accomplished without the investment of a team. And yet, too often, the principles that guided us in primary and secondary school—principles like “there is no I in team,” and “it is attitude, not aptitude”—can become lost in philosophical debates or buried in a competition for resources.
     

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  • Magazine Article

    Wages of success

    Volunteers with Lucky Dog Animal Rescue introduce puppies at an adoption event. Adding a few paid staff positions has “really reduced the stress level” at these events, says executive director Mirah Horowitz.

    Shucking your “all-volunteer” identity can be a smart investment in your organization’s long-term survival and impact

    Many rescue groups pride themselves on their all-volunteer identity and low overhead. But sometimes rescues get to a point where adding a paid position or two to their rosters is more beneficial than having overwhelmed volunteers put in 40 hours a week (and still not get all the work done). As some formerly all-volunteer organizations have discovered, a paid staffer can be an investment that pays off in a more effective, higher impact organization that will be around for the long haul.

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  • Magazine Article

    The pursuit of employee happiness

    When shelters make employee morale a priority, everyone benefits

    Large tech companies have nap pods and big-name concerts for their employees. Other workplaces have generous bonuses and unlimited time off. Shelters have … what? Thankfully, lavish perks aren’t the only way to keep your staff smiling, which should be a priority, since they are one of your most important resources. Learn how you can make your employees feel valued and motivated within the confines of a small budget, and everyone at your shelter—four- and two-legged—will be better off for it.

    Read More