Staff Retention: High turnover is expensive in time, money, and energy for any organization. Ensuring your employees (or contractors) want to stay (or return) can be broken down into three simple steps. Step One: Hire the right person for the job. Step Two: Make them feel satisfied with their job and the organization. Step Three: Create and implement set procedures for staff promotions and transitions.
Take your time finding the right candidate for the position. Be open and flexible with your requirements, and be open to potential prospects surprising you. We recommend checking out the details in the Hiring section, if you haven’t done so already.
In addition to having competitive forms of compensation, employee satisfaction relies greatly on having a positive, healthy work space. An organization that truly values their employees (and shows it) is far more likely to have a great team, with little turnover. See the Workplace Culture category for more information.
Having a specific procedure for promoting, hiring, internal transitions, and termination will ease these shifts on all sides. They not only create less room for bias and favoritism, but it gives employees expectations about what’s coming next.
Retention: Why It Matters
- Retention Statistics by Leah Cooper & Nicki Pretzer for PAHRTS: A brief overview of turnover and why it matters.
- Theatre Specific Retention Facts for PAHRTS: A short overview of retention statistics and leadership skills focused on Minnesota arts organizations.
- Linking Employee Satisfaction with Productivity, Performance, and Customer Satisfaction: Data from the Corporate Leadership Council connecting the outcomes of employee satisfaction on customers and finances.
- Lessons From 2005’s Human Capital Index: More data and analysis on the connection of customer and financial satisfaction to employee satisfaction.
- Bad Hire Calculator: How much does employee turnover actually cost your organization – in dollars? An interactive spreadsheet to calculate the cost of employee turnover including training, replacement, and lost productivity.
- 6 Best Practices: Is Your Nonprofit Staff Training Effective? by Rebecca Wyatt for Salsa Labs. Discussion of types of training and the steps to build more robust training opportunities for your staff.
- Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process: A widely-recognized method that nurtures the development of artistic works-in-progress.
- Fostering Critical Response to Complex Experience from the Artful Manager by Andrew Taylor on ArtsJournal.
- Sample Employee Engagement Survey from the Canadian HR Council. Want to know how likely you are to retain your staff? This quick 10 question survey could help you measure how much buy-in your organization has.
- Training Evaluation Survey from the Canadian HR Council. Especially if you’re just instituting a training program, make sure to ask your employees to evaluate how it went. These are sample questions to get you started.
- Employer’s Guide to Developing an Employee Right to Know Program by OSHA: A very thorough manual describing the process and importance to ensure employees are aware of the dangers associated with hazardous substances, harmful physical agents or infectious agents they may be exposed to in their workplaces.
- Theatre Safety Manual from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. A brief (9-page) but comprehensive guide to student, employee, and technician safety that you could customize for your own shop.
- Performing Arts Safety Center for Excellence by the University of California. A website dedicated to managing risks in the performing arts, including safety manuals and links to more resources.
- Leadership Transition Barriers in Small Nonprofits by Matt Kramer: Tactical and strategic challenges of leadership transitions in a short powerpoint.
- Managing A Leadership Transition from Executive Transitions. A check list of key interventions for transition consultants and interim Executive Directors. Simple and straightforward.
- Transition Committee Duties & Responsibilities from Executive Transitions. Focused on executive-level employee turnover, this simple one-page document lays out all the considerations for a committee (or full Board, or individual, whatever you might need) to make the transition happen smoothly.