According to a survey done by the Delaware-based business advisory firm BDO, the number one challenge of nonprofits in the country as of 2017 was recruitment and retention of employees. A whopping 72% of respondents, comprising CFO’s and executive directors from over 100 nonprofits, cited this as their number one headache.
As of 2020, funding concerns have, quite expectedly, leaped to the front. But staff retention still follows closely after.
Faced with this data, how can nonprofits up their staff retention game? We offer some tips.
# 1. Have a Formal Recruitment Strategy
Retention starts with recruitment.
If you do this well and get a worker whose skills, passion, and drive align with the organization’s mission, you’re halfway through the retention journey. Remember that the best worker may not be the best qualified but one who is a good fit for your organization. Nonprofits have unique missions that usually call for passion and drive beyond skills and experience. A worker may be excellent when it comes to experience with community outreach, but if he is not excited by the specific mission of the nonprofit, his fervor may eventually peter out.
Usually, the best place to start is to have a formal and documented recruitment strategy. The same applies to a recruitment budget.
Yet data shows that up to 73% of small nonprofits and 41% of large nonprofits do not have a formal recruitment strategy.
So, this is an area where your organization can help bridge the practice gap and get the best recruitment outcomes.
# 2. Have a Formal Retention Strategy
84% of nonprofits do not have a formal retention strategy. Yet without a formal retention strategy, your organization may not have clear, defined, and actionable plans to retain their best talent. Studies show that organizations that have formal retention strategies usually have lower rates of staff turnover.
# 3. Pay Attention To Drivers of Employee Retention
The following are some drivers of employee retention which an organization which wants to retain its staff should attend to.
- Organization’s culture: Culture fit may perhaps be the main driver of employee retention. If culture needs to be fixed, it should be done.
- Career quality: Lack of opportunities for advancement has been cited as the top impediment to career satisfaction and quality. Others include lack of benefits, poor management-employee relations, and lack of training and development.
- Organizational leadership: It is said that people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. It’s therefore incumbent upon leaders to deepen the practices of empathy, free and open communication, mutual respect and trust.
Ultimately, you are who you hire.
Finding and keeping the best staff is a full-time job, but it doesn’t have to be yours. MNS can assist with recruiting and retention, designing your benefit plan, and keeping you in compliance with state and federal law. MNS can also consult on volunteer and intern management.
Contact us today for a consultative chat.