Do you know if there is? Do you know how much it affects your organization’s ability to do your mission-driven work now or in the future?
During our First Wednesday Risk Management Series webinar, presenter Carlye Christianson of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center pointed out several critical outcomes from having ‘unhappy stakeholders’ (staff, volunteer, board members) in your midst. Common to all stakeholder groups: discontent diminishes commitment to mission; and, costs of replacing people are high. She recommends studying retention in departments and stakeholder groups at least annually so problems can be addressed quickly. Below are some key points she made about why people leave organizations and how to proactively address discontent-causing practices:
- Only 12% leave an organization for reasons related to compensation
- 88% leave for other reasons, including: organizational culture; management style or a specific supervisor; lack of opportunities for advancement or professional development; or, the organization’s lack of commitment to quality or mission
- One in three employees is thinking of leaving at any one time; for discontented staff that rises to 50%
- Discontented workers often increase: tardiness, mistakes, detachment, poor attitude
- To proactively address potential discontent: listen to employees; conduct a ‘stay interview’ (what will keep you here/what will send you away); offer opportunities for new assignments, training, and leadership development; provide options for work/life balance, encourage ‘a voice’ in how the organization runs and how the mission is served
- Leave organizations for the same reasons staff do plus lack of: orientation, interpersonal relationships, good skill/assignment match, commitment to mission
- To get and keep volunteers: develop a volunteer management program with a policy and procedure manual; review and update recruiting practices (only recruit people and skills you really need); develop job descriptions; provide orientation, ongoing training, and recognition; assure meaningful integration into the organization; and, conduct stay/exit interviews
- Leave organizations because of: low productivity in the board room (low expectations; poor attendance, preparation, or engagement; lack of meeting management); crisis mentality; factions and impasses; poor ED-CEO / board relationships;
- To get and keep board members: recruit and orient purposefully and appropriately; create an intentional culture of candor, inclusiveness, foresight, and reflection; evaluate and change board structure, operations, and ‘work’ (clearly define board / ED roles; move from hands-on to policy focus, etc); engage in strategic discussions and issues; and, conduct stay/exit interviews
Continually assessing all areas (ED, board, staff, volunteers), individually and collectively, and implementing a culture of continuous engagement and improvement will go a long way to stemming and/or reversing discontent in all stakeholder groups. The costs for your organization and, especially the constituents you serve, are too high to do otherwise.
For more information on this and many other risk management topics, visit the Nonprofit Center for Risk Management. ONEplace presents their First Wednesday Webinar Series and Third Thursday HR Webinar Series. Check our website calendar for more information and registration.
Nonprofit Center for Risk Management (symbol: Chinese for angry, annoyed, unhappy)