4 Key Questions to Improving Non-Profit Staff Turnover

The 2012 Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey, a report distributed earlier this year, found that as the economy begins to rebound, non-profit leaders anticipate an increase in employee turnover. Whether these employees decide to leave because of their salary levels, personal reasons or overall dissatisfaction with the organization, one thing is for sure—the focus will be on turnover as a critical way to save money and retain top-quality workers.

  1. Who are my top performers, and what is the risk of losing these employees? You should understand what keeps these individuals at your organization. Do you know what they want in their careers? And more importantly, can you give that to them?
  2. Am I recognizing top performers, or do I treat everyone the same regardless of level of performance?Although high-performance employees like to be recognized financially, they also enjoy non-financial recognition. Do you have an incentive program in place, or a regular newsletter that highlights great work?
  3. Are my employees’ salaries and benefits competitive in the sector? Work with a human resources professional to determine what is considered competitive in terms of non-profit salaries and benefits. Are your salaries in line with the market? Do you offer benefits that help your employees, such as comprehensive medical insurance, flexible work schedules and health and wellness programs? If your organization is behind, it’s probably time to rethink this part of your HR function.
  4. Do I have supervisors/managers who understand how to motivate the staff? More than 1 million working individuals in the United States participated in a Gallup poll that found the number-one reason why people quit their jobs—their boss. Take a deeper look into how your supervisors and managers are leading their direct staff. Start with an employee satisfaction survey and ask employees what would motivate them. When results are in, make sure management knows what is expected of them, and provide ways they can motivate the staff better based on survey answers and what is realistic for the organization.

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