It’s no secret that a non-profit career can be challenging. Although the work is rewarding, it usually involves low salaries and heavy workloads. These factors, when left to fester, can cause non-profit employees to burn out and quit. High turnover is a big problem for non-profits, particularly if the organization’s strapped for cash. Employees leaving increases hiring costs and causes productivity to drop. By finding ways to keep your employees happy and engaged, you can improve staff retention and build a strong, cohesive team.
Most non-profit employees expect lower salaries than their private-sector counterparts, but that’s not an excuse to low-ball their compensation. Show your staff members that you value their contributions by offering scheduled raises and promotions. Pay increases should take into account Canadian cost of living data, salaries at other Canadian non-profits, and employee duties. If necessary, ask your board to seek out additional funding. Your workers are your most important resources, and investing in them financially goes a long way toward building trust and loyalty.
A positive, supportive non-profit culture can also improve employee retention, and you need great leaders, both in the office and on the board, to set the tone. Train your senior staff in effective management and conflict resolution, and ensure that leaders are offering guidance and development opportunities for junior workers. Don’t forget about the board €” a toxic board atmosphere can trickle down throughout the organization, so it’s crucial to remove problematic board members.
Non-profit workers are often attracted to an organization’s mission. Over time, workplace stresses and realities can harm this engagement. To help your employees stay connected to your mission, be sure to offer new challenges on a regular basis. Consider providing opportunities for cross-training and continuing education, and encourage your employees to move into new roles. Change can help workers stay excited about your cause, so they’re more likely to stay onboard.