What are the factors that motivate employees to work for nonprofit organizations?

Jan 26,2023

At Kenan Foundation Asia, when we look into our employee profiles, all attended reputable universities and hold either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. Additionally, some employees have earned PhDs, and apply their academic experience to projects in research and other technical areas. With their profiles, they could easily find jobs at multinational companies. So why did these high profile candidates choose to work for a nonprofit like Kenan Foundation Asia? The answer may not be what you think.

Teamwork, nonprofit

Nonprofits are development focused, working for the benefit of others. Most nonprofits are people-oriented organizations whose employees believe in helping society. They love to empower others and support them to have a better life and achieve their dreams. So, it is important to understand what the key drivers of work satisfaction are among employees, in order to maintain their passion and engagement and fuel the organization’s success.

According to Qualtrics and Korn Ferry, the employee engagement survey in 2020 in Thailand indicated that 64 percent of Thai employees believe that the most important factor for their engagement is for their employer to listen to their views. Secondly, they believe it is important to gain recognition within the organization. Additionally, employees would like to see a clear link between his or her work and the organization’s strategic objectives, gain opportunities for learning and development, and to be trusted by the senior management in their organization.

At Kenan Foundation Asia, the engagement survey we have conducted since 2018 has consistently shown that the highest correlation of engaging factors for all employees across different job levels are the brand of Kenan; what we stand for, followed by the ability to work with a talented group of people. This sense of pride seems to be a significant factor compared to engagement surveys at companies.

This is truly an asset for any organization to have. Employees who work for nonprofits value their work that can help society, over the salary and benefits that they earn. Most Kenan employees are aged 25-35 years old. They are considered generation Y and Z. Generally, these two generations have more choices in their career compared to their parents, who were focused on finding a stable job to make ends meet. Our employees can work anywhere. But they choose to work for a nonprofit organization like Kenan.

Their motivation is clear; waking up each day, motivated to work to make a better life for others. They decided to seize the moment, to make a difference. Imagine if everyone would take one moment in their lifetime to make a difference for others, wouldn’t it make the world a better place for all of us? Learn more about Kenan and our Vision and Values, here:

Pornluck Chantajitpreecha
Human Resources and Administration Manager
Kenan Foundation Asia

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