Nonprofit work is admirable, difficult and rewarding. People who work for or run nonprofits are resilient and passionate about the work they do to make their communities and the world a better place to live. However, because nonprofit work is often stressful and the pay does not always match the level of work, employee turnover is an issue running rampant in the industry.
Here’s the good news: Even if your nonprofit isn’t in a place financially to drastically increase salaries or hire more staff, there are ways to reduce employee turnover. Here are some tips to keep your team around for years to come:
- Ask your employees for their input: First and foremost, ask your employees what they need to feel appreciated, engaged and less stressed at work. They may recommend self-care and mental health initiatives, morale- and team-building retreats and activities, more flexibility in their work schedule, etc. But the best way to learn what your team needs is to ask them directly and deliver!
- Encourage work/life balance: Many nonprofit employees work long hours to accommodate for smaller staff. But eventually working overtime becomes grueling and results in burn-out. Encourage your employees to focus on their work/life balance, whether that means providing Fridays off during the summer, allowing employees to work remotely or allocating tasks to volunteers or interns to lighten the workload on your paid employees.
- Celebrate your employees’ successes: Your team works hard and deserves to be celebrated. Make sure to recognize work anniversaries, promotions, fundraising goals, brilliant campaign and fundraiser ideas and anything else you can think of. Your employees are much more likely to stick around and do the work if they feel appreciated and recognized.
- Be transparent: Sometimes your employees don’t have the opportunity to see the results of their hard work, so take the opportunity to show what your leadership team is doing, where fundraising dollars are going and what the progress for campaigns looks like. Your team is responsible for your nonprofit’s success, so make sure they are kept apprised of the results of their efforts.
- Offer growth opportunities: Whether you are able to offer promotions or opportunities for training, make sure that your employees are able to continue to learn and grow within the organization. This will help them feel that there are chances to learn and develop their skills rather than having to bounce from organization to organization for more experience.
Combatting turnover in the nonprofit industry is a difficult feat, but by celebrating, recognizing and investing in your team, you are more likely to keep your employees engaged, uplifted and in it for the long-haul.