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State of the Jewish Workplace 2023
Organizational CultureReport

State of The Jewish Workplace 2023

by Leading Edge
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Based on data from 18,212 employees and 304 CEOs at 327 organizations, this report shares findings about how things were going at work for employees and leaders in Jewish nonprofit organizations in May 2023.

This report shares data from the Jewish nonprofit sector that we collected in May 2023, before anyone knew how our field’s work and context would change this autumn. It’s important to remember that certain parts of the experience of leaders and employees, and certain parts of CEOs’ relationships with their boards, have changed since our 2023 surveys were in the field. And yet, we firmly believe this report is still valuable for understanding today’s world, and for helping to improve the effectiveness of Jewish nonprofits. Jewish organizations do amazing work, Jewish organizations are under strain, and these findings are a snapshot of the field's workforce and leadership as we entered into this crisis. This report shows the starting point, just before this nightmare began.

This “State of the Jewish Workplace” report is a new format for us. In previous years, Leading Edge published two reports sharing separate insights from the Employee Experience Survey and the CEO Survey. This year, we present one unified report, based on both of those surveys and also informed by all the other ways Leading Edge learns about the field. We hope that this new format will make our findings clearer, more accessible, and more relevant.

Key Findings at a Glance. 1. Jewish nonprofit employees and leaders are highly engaged, but challenges remain. Three out of four employees we surveyed in the 2023 Employee Experience Survey have favorable employee engagement scores. (This score is an average of employees’ answers to the individual questions that measure employee engagement in our survey.)   2. Many Jewish nonprofit employees are new to the sector—and most of them want to stay (both at their organization and in the sector). Whether new to the sector or experienced, most Jewish nonprofit employees want to stay in the sector for at least two years.  3. Managers are struggling with systems, resources, and workloads. The general pattern: Employees at higher job levels tend to have better work experiences. The exception to the pattern: employee enablement.  4. CEOs and employees have divergent perceptions of the board’s impact. CEOs were much more likely to agree than employees.  5. CEOs and employees are aligned around feeling understaffed. A majority of both CEOs and employees do not agree that they have enough people to accomplish the organization’s work.  6. Jewish nonprofit boards are strongest in fiscal oversight, supporting CEOs, and responding to a crisis. In basic fiscal oversight responsibilities, maintaining generally supportive relationships, and responding to a crisis, Jewish nonprofit CEOs largely know they can count on their boards.   7. Boards have growth areas around strategic governance, holding themselves accountable, fundraising, and CEO oversight (including succession planning). The biggest growth areas for Jewish nonprofit boards are around high-level and long-term forms of governance.  8. Board chairs are vital. Almost half of Jewish nonprofit board chairs are new to the role — fewer than in the general nonprofit sector. Board chairs are vital to organizational success, and Jewish nonprofit CEOs generally report very strong relationships with their board chairs. Almost half of board chairs (45%) are new to being board chairs.  9. Five generations are at work at once, creating challenges and opportunities. Millennials are the most numerous generation in the sample, followed by Generation X. The youngest two generations, Generation Z and Millennials, account for half the sample, while Baby Boomers and Generation X represent almost all of the other half — less than 1% belong to the Silent Generation.  10. Inequities persist related to identity. Disparities by race, gender, orientation, disability, and more affect leadership representation and employees’ experience. CEOs and board chairs are much more likely than employees to identify as white and men are 20% of employees in the Jewish nonprofits we surveyed but 49% of CEOs and 53% of board chairs.

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