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Top Tips For NFP Employee Retention

20 June 2013 at 12:02 pm
Staff Reporter
A new Australian workplace study offers its top tips for employee retention in the Not for Profit sector.

Staff Reporter | 20 June 2013 at 12:02 pm


Top Tips For NFP Employee Retention
20 June 2013 at 12:02 pm

A new Australian workplace study offers its top tips for employee retention in the Not for Profit sector.

A workplace study of more than 1800 Not for Profit employees and employers found workers were generally happier and more satisfied with where they worked and what they did than workers from other sectors.

However, the report revealed NFPs appeared to be at greater risk of losing management staff and NFP managers were more likely to consider leaving their jobs than their counterparts in the broader total workforce.

The study: Maxxia Workplace Insights Not for Profit Sentiment Study also reinforced that attracting and retaining employees remained one of the most significant challenges facing the NFP sector.

The Maxxia report has provided some top tips on employee retention in the sector.

Attracting employees

  • Continue to invest in people leadership skill development for managers.
  • Recognise the importance of skills, qualifications and career development (‘hygiene factors’) to candidates to assist in attracting and developing employees.
  • Clearly articulate professional and career development opportunities provided, and incorporate access to external training and development options as evidence of commitment to professional and career development.
  • Monitor indicators of human resource performance – including employee engagement, morale, supervisor performance and employee intentions to leave, and communicate with employees the organisation’s actions in response to issues identified.

Retaining employees

  • Instigate a talent management strategy to identify, nurture, develop and retain key leaders.
  • Further align leadership reward and recognition strategies with organisational performance metrics and provide an opportunity to communicate the strategy to all employees, linking KPIs/outputs to this strategy.
  • Identify and leverage applicable government funding opportunities to underwrite skills development and career progression.
  • Identify the most relevant drivers of Intention to Stay within your organisation to maximise attraction and retention.

Retaining employees as an organisation grows

  • Take steps where feasible to replicate the personal attention and engagement with staff that is appealing among smaller NFPs.
  • Enhance manager engagement skills to effectively articulate employee contribution to organisational goals and achievements, to invite input on key decisions and actively canvass employees about how they can further contribute.
  • Leverage new communications media such as social workplace networking, video and blogging to facilitate direct two-way communications between NFP CEO’s and frontline employees and volunteers.

The key to happiness

  • Implement organisation specific measures that track employee and manager engagement and its drivers among your workforce.
  • Determine key drivers and management behaviours that drive employee engagement and satisfaction in your organisation.
  • Develop tailored “professional and career development” plans for younger employees and those as relevant earning under $60,000 p.a, whilst helping managers to conduct “professional development” conversations.
  • Leverage government funding programs like the National Workforce Development Fund to assist employees to build skills and gain certifications in competency areas that build their skills.

Playing to recruitment strengths

  • Establish an organisation fact base linking clear attraction and retention indicators with relevant employee demographics, identifying which demographic groups work best in your organisation.
  • Develop strategies for pursuing and retaining employees from the most attractive demographic segments.
  • Benchmark and monitor performance on these indicators over time.

Board of Directors

  • Review each six months a set of organisation HR metrics that track and benchmark lead indicators including employee engagement, productivity, management performance and organisation productivity
  • Ensure professional development and succession plans are in place for leaders within your organisation
  • Align senior manager reward and recognition plans with relevant nonfinancial performance metrics, including employee engagement

Chief Executives and Executive Committees

  • Establish an organisation HR fact base from which to formulate and measure effectiveness of your people strategies
  • Develop a talent management strategy to develop and retain key executives and leaders HR Leaders
  • Establish an organisation HR fact base and educate leaders and the Board on how investment in HR strategy can increase organisation sustainability and performance
  • Monitor lead indicators of HR and organisation effectiveness which include employee engagement, supervisor and manager performance, and employee intentions to leave
  • Identify the most relevant drivers to increase people performance and retention in your organisation
  • Identify and target the most attractive employee demographics to match your attraction and retention goals
  • Leverage government funding opportunities to underwrite leadership and operational skills development (see

Front-line managers and supervisors

  • Build skills in communication and team leadership to facilitate greater engagement and contribution (see
  • Facilitate team meetings and problem solving sessions where team members feel valued and involved in decision making
  • Aim to better understand team members’ work and career aspirations and provide professional development and personal mentoring, especially for younger team members

View the Maxxia Workplace Insights report.

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