Finding the perfect employee for your charity isn’t always easy. You want employees with the right qualifications, experience and personality to ensure your cause gets recognised and supported by the widest number of people. However, in an increasingly competitive market, the demand for top talent is high, especially when you’re competing with private sector roles. If your charity is lucky enough to find and hire the best people, you’ll need to keep on top of your employee retention strategies to ensure you don’t lose them.
What is employee retention?
Employee retention refers to an organisation’s ability to look after and incentivise its employees to stay loyal, hence keeping the turnover rate and recruitment cost low. In turn, employees choose to pursue further opportunities through their current organisation without actively seeking other job prospects. Retention is usually achieved by maintaining high levels of employee satisfaction.
This article will discuss some of the top retention strategies to ensure your employees see the value in staying with you for the long haul.
Five sure-fire ways of improving employee retention
Do you want to improve your organisation’s employee retention, but you do not know where to start? It’s simple. Make sure your employees are happy. In the charity sector, employee engagement and job satisfaction are inherently higher—people work for you because they want to do good, and that, in turn, makes them feel better about their jobs. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to invest in other ways to keep them happy.
Here are five simple ways to hold onto good employees in the long-term.
1. Hire the right people
One foolproof way to improve retention is to ensure that you hire the employees that are the best fit for your organisation. When hiring, make sure you define the role clearly for candidates. Write a thorough and enticing advert that gives job seekers a taste of what life at your organisation will be like. Then be selective about who to move to the next level of the recruitment process—consider things like integrity, passion, diligence and attitude, amongst other considerations such as skills, sector-specific experience and qualifications.
Ultimately, you want to select the candidate who is the right fit for your company culture and holds similar core values.
2. Pay your employees industry standard
Although money isn’t everything, paying fairly for a job matters a lot when it comes to employee retention. Organisations that are unwilling to pay competitive market wages struggle to attract and retain good people. And though it can be difficult to offer high salaries in a sector like not-for-profit, that doesn’t mean you can’t attempt to match other salaries on offer in your industry. It may sound like a big ask when you’re low on funds and have tight budgets but remember that the cost of replacing employees on a more regular basis can be equally as high.
On that same note—don’t hide your salaries when you’re recruiting. Not only will this put off talented candidates, it reflects poorly on you as an organisation and perpetuates pay gaps.
Ensure you do your market research and stay competitive because staff will always be tempted to leave if they can get a new position in another organisation that offers better pay and/or benefits in kind, such as free childcare, bonuses, flexitime or private healthcare. According to Robert Half, ‘Quite simply, companies that don’t offer competitive pay packets can put themselves out of contention when it comes to sourcing and keeping top talent’.
3. Offer flexibility
One crucial way of retaining good staff is to offer flexible working conditions. Today’s employees have expressed a preference for flexible working schedules and remote working—the working world is changing, and by accommodating a range of responsibilities and life commitments, you’re showing that you’re invested in the person, not just what they can achieve.
On the flip side, if you don’t offer flexibility in terms of location and working hours—which allow employees to balance work with other caring duties—they may leave you for an employer who will.
4. Recognise and reward employees
You want your employees to feel valued. By actively recognising them for all their good work, you’re showing that you’re paying attention—and that you notice how hard they’ve been working. This can do wonders when it comes to retention. But don’t just say ‘good job’, be specific. And if you can, try to support your feedback with tangible rewards.
Of course, reward packages can be expensive, but when you compare this against the cost of high turnover, you’ll see it’s worth your investment. If you can’t afford financial rewards, then consider implementing an employee of the month scheme or sending out a company-wide email showcasing your employee’s good work. Even something as small as footing the bill for a team lunch can go a long way.
5. Listen and implement your employees’ suggestions
Another effective retention strategy is seeking feedback from your team on a regular basis to understand how they feel about their jobs and work environment. You need to talk and listen to them periodically in person. You can also conduct surveys and evaluations to know if they’re comfortable in their physical environment and if they get along with colleagues and supervisors. Once you have this invaluable insight, ensure you analyse it carefully and take steps to implement all the reasonable suggestions so that employees feel valued and heard.
Employee retention is crucial to the growth and success of every organisation. If you use the above tips, you’ll be on the right path to build a strong and supportive culture that keeps your turnover rates and recruitment costs low.
Are you frustrated with the current turnover rate in your company? It might be worth investing in an employee benefits HR Software that allows your staff to engage with their benefits, anytime, anywhere, any place.
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