Keeping Quality Staff Happy: 3 Elements to Employee Retention

Keeping Quality Staff Happy

When managers at non-profit organizations and churches think about how to retain quality employees, their main complaint is they don’t have the funding to increase pay. But they might be surprised to learn that when people are asked why they do what they do – pay is NOT at the top of the list!

“Of the hundreds of surveys and research findings on employee retention, satisfaction and engagement I’ve studied, the results typically fall into three buckets – Culture, Compensation and Career,” said Annie Perdue-Olson, presenter of our Boost Employee Retention training, executive coach, consultant, and trainer.

That said, according to Perdue-Olson, research shows that money does matter: “Compensation plays a role, but not as much as you may think. All the experience we have shows too little money will definitely create high churn, but over compensating people won’t make up for a poor work environment,” said Perdue-Olson. (Source: Employee Retention Now a Big Issue: Why the Tide has Turned)


Three Elements to Boosting Employee Retention:

  1. Culture: the Workplace Environment

A satisfactory workplace environment must offer consistent and fair organizational practices, healthy relationships and trusted leaders.

“I am leaving this training with some very practical ideas on how to address the culture at my organization. I liked what the presenter said about giving people opportunities to share problems, but also share solutions; and how that is very different than allowing people to vent. I need to engage with staff more on how to work toward a culture where they are really shining in their role,” said Jody Fryer, a participant, and Hiring Supervisor at New Life Family Services in Rochester.

  1. Compensation: Worth Expressed Beyond Wages

The compensation that retains quality employees goes above and beyond the paycheck: tangible and intangible benefits, perks, and flexibility will often increase employees’ satisfaction with a non-profits overall compensation.

  1. Career: Development and Advancement

An organization that is intentional about developing new skills in their staff, and offers pathways for career advancement often fosters an engaged and loyal workforce.

“This training really helped me see the value in developing people who might not have a formed career path, and helping them see the value in what they’re doing. I walked away from this training with great ideas about setting a stretch project as a way to motivate team members. Some people are motivated by new challenges, others are motivated by getting extra recognition or extra time-off. I learned that offering additional compensation is not the sole motivating factor,” said Sue, a participant, and employee at Thrivent Financial.

October 5, 2018
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