Lack Of Opportunity For Career Growth Driving Premature Resignations In Nonprofits

New Nonprofit Talent Retention Survey Data Shows Key Practices for North American-Based Nonprofits

51 percent of Nonprofit Talent Retention Practices survey takers who answered the question “What are the primary reasons for voluntary turnover at your organization” selected the option, “Lack of opportunity for upward mobility/career growth” as the number one reason for departures. The average voluntary turnover percentage for survey takers responding to the question was 21 percent. Voluntary North American-based nonprofit turnover data were made available for the first time during a recent Nonprofit HR webinar. Benefits (48 percent), dissatisfaction with current organizational culture (26 percent), and family issues (25 percent) ranked as other top reasons for voluntary employee departures.

“It’s clear from the data that most nonprofits have some form of retention practices in place. However, with today’s tight job market, and low unemployment rate, social sector employers will need a thoroughly vetted retention strategy for the third and fourth quarters in order to retain talent they want to keep.” said Lisa Brown Alexander, Nonprofit HR President and CEO and Co-Lead for the firm’s Knowledge Practice Area.

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Brown Alexander’s statement highlights key survey data, which show that approximately 81 percent of nonprofit survey respondents have no formal retention strategy at all. The data also show that more than half of survey respondents are not tracking retention metrics either.

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“An effective tool that nonprofits have at their immediate disposal, but are not taking advantage of, is the ‘stay interview’. This qualitative talent retention tactic is a proven way to gain feedback on the employee experience which allows leadership teams to mitigate dissatisfaction, disengagement, and ultimately departure,” said Alicia R. Schoshinski, Nonprofit HR’s Knowledge Practice Area Co-Lead and Senior HR Business Partner.

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