Close Search
News  |  CareersPeople and culture

Daily frustrations are hurting productivity in the NFP sector

23 April 2020 at 8:00 am
Luke Michael
A new report shows that employees are losing the equivalent of one day a week to frustrations and inefficiencies 

Luke Michael | 23 April 2020 at 8:00 am


Daily frustrations are hurting productivity in the NFP sector
23 April 2020 at 8:00 am

A new report shows that employees are losing the equivalent of one day a week to frustrations and inefficiencies 

Not-for-profit sector employees are experiencing daily frustrations and obstacles at work which is causing productivity to drop by more than 20 per cent, according to the 2020 Pro Bono Australia Salary Survey.

Now in its eighth year, the annual NFP salary survey aims to provide reliable salary benchmarking data for key roles in the sector, and was completed in partnership with chartered accounting group HLB Mann Judd and Leadership Today.

More than 1,200 not for profit leaders and employees were surveyed for this year’s report, which revealed that 48 per cent of respondents experienced daily frustrations and obstacles that held them back at work.

With the survey conducted in a pre-COVID-19 world, Andrew Beveridge from Leadership Today believes it is likely that disruptions to working life have increased significantly.

He told Pro Bono News that he found the more often people experienced frustrations, the greater the negative impact on their productivity. 

While those who rarely experienced frustrations rated their productivity at 86 per cent, workers who experienced frustrations multiple times per day rated their productivity at 64 per cent.

“These findings suggest that removing frustrations can unlock additional productivity in the order of 20 per cent or even more,” Beveridge said.

“In addition, we also found that frustrations were linked with lower job satisfaction, reduced intention to stay with the organisation, and a diminished likelihood of recommending the organisation to others.

“Tolerating frustrations costs in terms of productivity, employee turnover and financially.” 

Overall, the report found that employees on average were losing the equivalent of one day per week to frustrations and inefficiencies.

Beveridge said leaders needed to play a central role in dealing with employee frustrations. 

“Even having leaders acknowledge that frustrations exist can help our people to feel more engaged and connected with the organisation,” he said.

“But the real measure of a leader is the extent to which they listen, care and act. Otherwise that leader is just another frustration to be managed.” 

This year’s salary survey included responses from across 26 positions common to most not-for-profit organisations. 

There were a number of key findings to emerge from the survey.

For example, the highest-paid sector for a CEO was found to be health care, while the lowest was human rights/overseas aid.

Remuneration for general managers was found to be highest in New South Wales, and lowest in Western Australia – with a difference of over $60,000.

Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of respondents were female, while 70 per cent worked five days a week or more.

You can test your knowledge on the survey in our quiz below. 

The full 2020 report is available here.

powered by Typeform

Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at or download our contributor guidelines.


2022 Salary Survey

Get more stories like this


Your email address will not be published.


How do you decide if your employees should return to the office?

Wendy Williams

Thursday, 2nd June 2022 at 4:29 pm

So tell us about yourself…

Jonathan Alley

Friday, 27th May 2022 at 10:00 am

What’s your work personality?

Jonathan Alley

Thursday, 12th May 2022 at 1:36 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook