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Talent Published Date, 2022

Retain Your Top Talent: Meet Their Needs Today To Keep Them Around Tomorrow

Created By: Shaby Rosales
November 22, 2022

While the holiday season and impending new year is mostly full of joy and celebration, it’s also a period when many people reflect on their goals and take stock of their lives and careers. Many are even considering transitioning to new opportunities.

More than 4 million people have left their jobs each month in the U.S. so far this year—and according to new research, this record-breaking trend isn’t going to quit anytime soon. Another 40% of workers plan to quit their jobs in the next three to six months.

Why Now?

Research suggests that employees quit and change jobs at an elevated level during the month of January. Some employees see changing jobs in January and February as an opportunity to begin the new year with a new employer, and a more strategic way to contribute to helping that organization meet the goals it has set for the year. This can be especially true in the nonprofit sector where goals for fundraising, for example, are established early in the year, allowing new hires the ability to meet them in a realistic timeframe.

Staff turnover can be costly to your nonprofit organization, and money spent on replacing and onboarding new workers could be better used for investing in your current team. If your nonprofit wants to retain its top talent, taking the time to anticipate why people might quit and avoiding the pitfalls that could lead to a talent drain should be of paramount importance.

To retain top talent in 2023, your organization must go beyond the age-old adage of “quick win” tools and tips. You must put in the work to develop a concrete plan that meets the needs of your current employees, understanding where they are in their development, ensuring they are valued, appreciated, and meaningfully invested in, and helping ensure they plan to stick around for a long while.

Recognize and Understand Employee Needs

Today’s ever-changing workplace norms and employees’ needs for fulfilling careers and work-life balance present a unique challenge that your nonprofit can meet head-on by showing that leadership will be responsive to those needs. This means, among other things, directly engaging with individual employees and making a genuine effort to not simply hear from staff but to indeed listen to what they have to say.

It’s not just about escaping a toxic work environment, either. Post-pandemic, there has been a growing desire for flexibility throughout the workforce. The freedom to work from anywhere or choose your own hours has become the most sought-after benefit—so much so that people value flexibility as much as a 10% pay raise, according to research from the WFH Research Project.

Make sure your nonprofit’s vision and mission are clear and that employees have access to the information and resources they need to do their best work and to feel that they are contributing to the fulfillment of that mission. If possible, give those employees who express boredom an opportunity to take on a new and different role with refreshed responsibilities.

Culture is Key

Communication with all employees should be organic, transparent, and ongoing—and give individuals a real sense of their value to both the organization and you as a leader. These conversations should also speak to your organization’s culture of inclusiveness and authenticity, which is key to keeping quality employees. If your organization has a rigid top-down culture where managers don’t appear to take into account the opinions of others, people may think, “If my boss isn’t going to value my contributions, why even bother?”

Cultures with perceived issues of ‘unfairness’ can erode a team’s confidence in believing that they can be successful or thrive in that environment. Employees who feel that way may likely be among those looking for new opportunities as the calendar changes from 2022 to 2023.

Building a strong workplace culture that prioritizes inclusion, flexibility, autonomy, fairness and a high level of trust in the abilities and judgment of staff is essential to retaining talent. These kinds of environments will be instrumental in helping your nonprofit retain team members during the initial weeks of 2023 and beyond – a time when many people are likely to be reassessing their current situations and considering other options.

Your organization must meet employee needs today to keep them around tomorrow.

Looking for support to attract and retain top talent at your organization? Get in touch with Orr Group to learn how we can help you drive and maintain a strong work culture.

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