Retention Strategy Primer for Startups and Nonprofits

April 7, 2016

Losing employees is expensive and a blow to morale. For startups and nonprofits, often these losses are amplified because your operation gets a lot of drive from the emotional commitment and sweat equity of all involved. And let’s face it you probably aren’t a big fan of bureaucracy if you’re at a smaller operation, and things like a “retention strategy” or studying your “attrition rate” probably don’t seem all that fun. But they are necessary and hopefully this simple plan will make it easier.

1. Define it.

Simply write down your employee retention goals, strategies, and activities for the year. Putting in on paper lets you see what you got (it’s OK if you cringe a little).

2. Calculate Your Retention Rate.

Here’s a handy calculator.

3. Find out Why Employees Are Leaving Exit interviews are important.

Find out if there’s a pattern.

4. Hire for Fit.

Once you know the skills and experience are in line it’s time to take a very close look at fit. Does this person solve problems in a way that your office would respect?

5. What Makes Your Office Appealing.

Find out what people like about their jobs. This could be very revealing. Sometimes you can improve your office greatly with something as simple as a survey.

6. Set Clear Goals and Expectations.

You have to be the bridge for your employees work and your company’s vision. If you connect these two well you have an engaged employee, if you don’t you have a confused employee whose just filling a seat.

7. Clear Career Path.

Ensure your employees know what they can do to get ahead. If you don’t, your employees will perceive your office as cliquey and won’t know why they should do great work.

8. Evaluate Benefits.

Some startups and nonprofits think their employees are too young to worry about retirement. This is a huge mistake. Make sure you’re getting the best return from the benefits you offer.

9. Incentivize Training.

Pay for your employees to attend conferences and training. It lets them know you really care about them and their growth.

10. Good Vibes at the Office.

People spend a lot of time at work. It should be a place they look forward to coming to. Do everything you can to promote a fun/rewarding environment.

Once you have a plan in place it gets a lot easier to be an office your employees look forward to being at. Once you make this a priority your employees will know and they’ll feel more valued.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

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