5 Ways to retain your staff

Ashby Jenkins

It’s sad to see fundraisers move charities as frequently as they do. However, people rarely leave their jobs on a whim and there is a lot more charities can do to avoid the stress (and cost) of losing their best talent and ensure their donors have a consistent point of contact. I’ve put together the most commonly occurring reasons people mention when they come to me to find a new role.

Motivation: Lack of working from home, strict core hours, no part-time working

This is now old news but still worth reiterating for organisations that have not embraced it yet. The workforce and their expectations have changed, systems are cloud based and it no longer majorly impacts businesses if people don’t work set hours or come into the office every day. However, it does impact business to lose your best fundraisers, tie these benefits to goals or performance if it makes you feel more comfortable but make sure you are meeting the expectations of a modern workforce.

Solution: Offer more flexible working and modernise any IT systems to allow remote working

Motivation: A bad manager

This is a particularly common one and it often leaves employees with a really bad opinion of the individual and the organisation. Many people leave because they have a manager who hasn’t been given any training and as such, make mistakes which are completely avoidable.

Solution: If you have a new manager in your team make sure you support them with training, some people are naturals, but others need some guidance to become the best versions of managers. If cost is an issue look to find them an informal mentor, we often facilitate introductions if you are stuck for ideas.

Motivation: No progression without management

This is something recruitment is great at, often your most successful recruitment consultants are not good managers and so we career plan for them to have seniority in the business without landing them with a team to manage. There are some amazing fundraisers out there in high-profile charities who just don’t make good managers, they churn through their teams and create bad cultures. We need to start recognising these people with the equivalent seniority and financial reward as team managers but let them focus on what they love rather than shoehorning them into line managing.

Solution: Build career paths for people outside of managing people

Motivation: Not feeling empowered

Fundraisers often tell me they feel frustrated with their lack of autonomy; micro management has never had a good reputation and yet we really struggle to give people control in their roles. Of course, budgets are tight but people need responsibility to sign things off without checking with 10 people, if they have to check every design or presentation with the SMT they don’t feel trusted or capable.

Solution:  Trust who you’ve hired and if you don’t think they are capable find out why and train them.

Motivation: Lack of recognition or appreciation

People need to feel like they are part of something bigger and that they are doing a good job – it sounds basic but is so often overlooked. Recognition takes a lot of different forms to different people but something as little as saying thank you, buying them a chocolate bar or announcing great performance at team meetings can make an impact and keep people on your side. If you are a leader you have massive influence on how people feel about themselves and it’s important for their mental wellbeing that you take that seriously.

Solution: Give credit to your team members, make time to praise people

Employee retention is so important. Your people are your strongest, most valuable asset and they are savvy to what your competitors are offering in regard to working environments and cultures. Now is not the time to become complacent with staff. Value them as much as you do your donors, and you will get the best results.

If you would like any more advice on retaining your staff please do get in touch with us – [email protected]