Charities and HR Policies – the difference from a Corporate

Depending on personal preference, working for a charity can sometimes be a lot more rewarding than working for a corporate centre or a bank because as a non profit company its main goal isn’t revenue.

Instead, with their values being based on helping others and making the world a better place, very often working for a big name company doesn’t give you the same satisfaction and inner happiness that working for a charity can bring.

But what about employee well being? Is it different between charity and corporate offices? Generally speaking, certain departments within charities have smaller numbers than a corporate which means your co-workers can end up being a second family. You have each other’s backs and you know everyone’s name even the volunteers and interns. Since within a charity everyone has the same goals and passion, it’s also easier for everyone to get along. Community reigns over revenue so everyone tends to work well together – it seems to be less ‘dog eat dog’ and more ‘TEAM – together everyone achieves more’.

Although not always, it is thought that in the non profit sector, HR tends to be more of a friend than an adversary. Many times in large corporations, HR departments are very much separate to the rest of the office but in smaller companies, there is not always resource to have a whole dedicated HR team so it may cross over with office manager or finance. Although legally having to stick to HR laws and legislation in both sectors, the two different types of employer can still come across very differently. You can read about some general policies and lots more other information here: http://www.cipd.co.uk/cipd-hr-profession/about-us/default.aspx . With a smaller workforce, HR may also have way less emails to answer and phone calls to screen than a larger institution, however the policies are still policies and must be stuck to. I think it is about colleagues when it comes to employee work life balance. Just due to the sheer nature of a charitable organisation, people seem to be more relaxed and take part in many inter work/social events.

If you want to make a difference, many jobs outside the charity world will be able to give you that opportunity. You could create an ad campaign that wins an award or build the next generation of airplanes, but there’s still something missing when the applause dies down. Many of us want to be remembered as a person who was a positive influence in someone’s life charity work can give us that. Ultimately, we don’t want to just work anywhere, we want to work in a place where we can utilize our skills and fuel our passions to make an impact. There are plenty of charity job boards out there, including TPP Not for Profit (tpp.co.uk), Charity Job (www.charityjob.co.uk) and Charity People (charitypeople.co.uk).