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Keep Those Employees Featured

Keep Those Employees Clay Banks

Employee retention is the greatest challenge to nonprofits. In a sector where everything revolves around volunteers and donations, there is concern about costs, which raises the problem of high employee turnover. A 2019 report by Bloomerang titled State of the Nonprofit Workplace indicated that nonprofits’ turnover rate is 19% on average. With the challenges stemming from high employee turnover in nonprofits, a flexible working arrangement can help you get more from your staff. Additionally, meeting the challenges caused by high turnover require efforts from many fronts, including investment in leadership capacity, changing reward structure and expanding recruiting horizons to attract more talent. Here are a few ways to help you get the most from your employees.

Understanding the revolving door of nonprofits

The turnover rate in nonprofits is a big loss in terms of dollars, talent and opportunity. With high turnover rates, there is a chance that the greatest talent within the organization is lost and cannot be replaced, therefore denting the nonprofit mission. Although there is turnover in every industry, the nonprofit sector suffers the most, particularly from what the Nonprofit Pro calls the “revolving door of staff members.” This is a situation where employees change between organizations faster than the leadership of the organizations can keep up. Such rapid switch between organizations is due to poor management, overworking and underpaying staff, which is a critical hindrance to the ability of an organization to advance the mission of an organization. Here are a few strategies that leaders can employ to change this situation.

  1. Create internal development opportunities.

The majority of the staff in nonprofits are inspired by well-implemented support systems and opportunities offered by the leadership. The right internal development systems such as cross-training with skills that sits outside the staff’s job description can enhance their development and make the workforce more competent. Furthermore, it keeps the staff engaged in new material and opportunities while keeping retention high due to increased mobility within the organization.

  1. Unlimited paid time off

This is a key trend that is fast gaining ground in nonprofit circles. Under this approach, an employee can take as much time off during the year as they please with the expectation that they will still be available for work when called in when an emergency arises. This structure suits organizations with resources and bandwidth that allow their employees to stay out of the workplace for long periods while being paid.

  1. Variation of working hours

In variation of working hours, the idea is that not everyone is productive. Secondly, the idea is that people have different obligations like school, family and others that they can engage in during certain times or days. To solve these challenges, nonprofits can include early arrival time and leave time, late arrival and leave time, or decompress the workweek. Furthermore, employees can come and go as long as they can meet deadlines in their projects and deliver quality work. Such a structure can work well in offices that still require brick and mortar offices or those that carry out various in-office meetings throughout the week and consist of a diverse workforce.

  1. Telecommuting or remote work

Telecommuting allows employees to perform some tasks at home, coffee shop or wherever they feel comfortable, productive and conducive. Some workplaces offer this as a benefit to the staff to deliver more. Some workplaces can also automatically give some days or hours to their staff to telecommute or work remotely, while others can allow their staff to be completely remote except for some meetings or events that require them to be there physically.

Regardless of the method, you use to get the best from your staff, always ensure that it will work best for both the staff and your nonprofit's mission.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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