Promoting your mission is the prime objective of a nonprofit organization. But because we’re often so preoccupied with business strategies and marketing elements, employers tend to neglect one key internal variable—the importance of employee retention.
Losing an employee results in decreased productivity, lost revenue, and excess time spent rehiring and retraining replacements. Since for-profit organizations often offer higher salaries, nonprofits must work twice as hard to actively and consistently engage their employees.
Rather than solely relying on typical motivational tools, such as office parties or bonuses, one must address the multitude of variables that could impact an employee’s job experience.
Here are 5 simple steps that can help increase retention rates.
- Be clear during the recruitment process. Before job candidates even get the job, specify what the expected responsibilities are and describe what the overall work atmosphere entails. If someone knows exactly what they’re signing up for, the odds of them staying are significantly greater.
- Create a 90 day plan. Have a decisive evaluation plan, broken down into ongoing time frames. Be sure to check in with new employees on a fairly regular basis in order to gage their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.
- Set realistic expectations. While you’re aiming for a smaller turnover rate, don’t shoot for 0%. Retain your strongest employees, but don’t be afraid to say goodbye to the weakest performers. Remember, the goal is toretain the strongest team possible in order to effectively promote your mission.
- Engage and interact with your employees. Develop a good relationship with your employees. Give your workers consistent feedback and don’t forget to commend them on their great job performances. When employees feel engaged, they are likely to be more driven and committed to their organizations.
- Play it safe—prepare for the worst. Since some employee departures are inevitable, recognize potential skill loss. Be sure to train invaluable skills to multiple employees so your organization doesn’t suffer if someone chooses to leave. Make sure your staff is well-rounded and prepared for any unpredictable turnover.
Having good retention requires a multifaceted plan. Retaining employees is a 365-day practice. Through consistency and overall engagement, nonprofit employers can maintain a positive, reliable work environment for everyone.
This snowball effect of employee efficiency and happiness is imperative for a nonprofit’s mission advancement and maintaining high retention rates.
Learn more about retention challenges and solutions here.