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Get More From Your Employees Featured

Get More From Your Employees Jud Mackrill

Employees are a critical part of any organization. Without the right employees and in the absence of motivation, they are likely to perform dismally, and the vision and mission of your organization might suffer. For nonprofits, employee retention should be an important area of focus. In a sector where high operating costs can affect the delivery of service, high employee turnover could affect operations. A 2019 State of the Nonprofit Workplace report by Bloomerang shows that the nonprofits turnover rate stood at an average of 19%. According to the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, high turnover is not just the amount associated with the staff entering and leaving.  

For nonprofits, turnover is a huge loss in terms of money, knowledge and opportunity lost. Once exceptional staff are gone, it becomes hard to replace by hiring other talented individuals to help deliver the nonprofit’s mission. The turnover rate of nonprofits can be similar to that of other sectors. However, the key difference is that the latter suffers from the “revolving door of staff members” where employees change between organizations faster than the ability of the nonprofit leaders to keep up. As a nonprofit leader, you must understand the challenges of working with and managing underpaid and overworked staff on the organization’s mission. However, constant turnover makes things even harder for leaders who want to inspire, motivate and help employees build a better workplace culture.

Priority for nonprofit professionals

According to Bloomerang, who conducted a survey on 1,000 workers regarding different parts of compensation and workplace environment, the leading area they found to interest many was flexible work hours. For most job seekers, flexible work and remote hours were among the leading priorities for job seekers when selecting a new workplace. This is similar to what Flexjobs found out. Job seekers were found to be in need of more control and opportunity, with 30% claiming that they left their jobs because they did not offer flexible work options. With these employee demands, leaders have to deal with the revolving door employees, and one of the leading reasons is the inflexible workplace.

Flexible workplaces have various advantages. Some of them include better retention, increased diversity in the pool of candidates to choose from, enhanced productivity and a competitive edge for companies to acquire high-quality talent. Here are some popular work structures:


This work arrangement allows some or all work to be done in a home office, a coffee shop or wherever the employee feels highly productive. Some employers use this as a benefit that employees who have worked in an organization for a long are given. While some workplaces allow employees to work remotely for a particular number of hours, some give candidates a chance to be remote all through, except during some meetings or events.

Variations in work hours are another scheme that increases productivity. The productivity of individuals varies with time. Therefore, some people might be productive during the day while others are productive at night. Some might have different obligations such as family or school that require time at day and therefore working at night is good for them. Flexible working hours may include early arrival and leaving or late arrival and leave. It can also include decompressed work week.

Paid time off

A popular trend that is growing each day is unlimited paid time off. With this work arrangement, employees can take as much time off as they want during the year. However, they will still work during the paid time off if an emergency arises. This arrangement suits organizations with resources for employees who can be out for periods because of a big-project task-based work.

Although there are many other flexible work arrangements and structures that can be mixed to fit the needs of an organization, all you need to do is find out which arrangement works well for you. While some staff might want to work remotely, others might want paid time off so that they can strike a work-life balance.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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