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Organizational CultureReport

Are Jewish Organizations Great Places to Work? Results from the Fifth Annual Employee Experience Survey (2021)

by Leading Edge
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Jewish organizations demonstrated relative resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some aspects of team culture, like collaboration within departments, remained surprisingly stable. Others, such as support and open communication within organizations, even improved. Employees are prioritizing well-being and belonging more than ever before.

About the Employee Experience Survey

To support organizations in creating even better places to work, Leading Edge conducts an annual Employee Experience Survey, studying how employees in the Jewish nonprofit sector experience their work, what keeps them engaged, and why they choose to leave or stay in their organizations. Read more about the survey >>

How did organizational culture fare during the pandemic?

The 2021 survey was fielded in May 2021—before the delta variant cast its shadow on the pandemic recovery and before subsequent signs of “The Great Resignation” came into focus. Still, as a snapshot of how the pandemic affected Jewish nonprofit workplaces to that point, the survey reveals good news: some aspects of team culture that were most directly affected by the pandemic, such as collaboration, communication, and employee enablement, stayed the same or even improved between 2019 and 2021.

  • Common Strength Areas

    • I know how my work contributes to my organization‘s mission, strategy, and goals. (91% favorable)
    • I feel proud to work for my organization. (90% favorable)
    • My manager treats me with respect. (90% favorable)
    • My organization provides high-quality programs and services to our constituents. (90% favorable)
  • Common Growth Areas

    • I believe my salary is fair relative to similar roles at my organization. (42% favorable)
    • There are enough people to do the work we need to do. (42% favorable)
    • I have opportunities for advancement at my organization. (38% favorable)
    • I understand how salaries and raises are determined at my organization. (37% favorable)

What’s new in the 2021 survey

In addition to collecting data on furloughs and layoffs related to COVID, this year’s survey collects more data around employee well-being than previous years—including whether or not employees have opportunities to disconnect from work. Other new topics include whether or not employees feel they are making daily progress with their work; whether performance reviews help them improve; whether they feel their organization shows a genuine commitment to DEI; and more. For the first time, the survey also asks about whether employees have a disability relevant to their work—and the data reveal a significant growth area for the sector around disability inclusion. Employees with disabilities are less engaged than other employees and report having fewer opportunities for learning and advancement. Across many factors, their experience at work is below average in favorability.

Demographics and representation

The Jewish nonprofit sector as reflected in this survey is still not racially/ethnically representative of the North American Jewish community as a whole. While Jews of Color may represent as much as 12–15% of the Jewish community, only 6% of Jewish employees surveyed identified as any racial/ethnic group other than white. White employees are also overrepresented relative to U.S. demographics among the non-Jewish employees at the organizations surveyed. Beyond representation, the report also includes a detailed breakdown of how employees who identify with different racial/ethnic groups report experiencing work across different factors of work experience.

Making it real with stories

In addition to exploring the state of employee experience in our sector, the report provides some concrete, real-world examples of organizations getting something right. In the report you can learn how the Leichtag Foundation helps employees craft their dream jobs; how Jewish Nevada improved leadership communication; how Agence Ometz has improved salary transparency; how Honeymoon Israel has cultivated amazing board-professional relationships; and how Avodah has leveled up employee well-being and trust in their leadership.

Survey by the Numbers:

  • 35,000+

    professionals have participated in total since 2016

  • 316

    organizations have participated since 2016

  • 11,613

    professionals took the 2021 survey

  • 221

    organizations participated in the 2021 survey

Download the full report (at the top of this page) for many more findings and insights.

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