How can you be sure to keep the staff you have?
The cost of losing staff is high when you consider the time and money invested in recruiting, training, on the job mentoring, and team building. Frequent staff turnover can mean that the quality and delivery of program activities are inconsistent. It can be hard to gain momentum and build a robust and impactful program when staff changes.
Here are some key areas to focus on when thinking about the best ways to keep staff.
If possible, set equitable and competitive wages that are similar to other employment opportunities in your community or region. If you can’t pay as well as others or offer full-time work, provide other kinds of incentives or benefits to attract and keep people on. Create a supportive and flexible work environment that accommodates and supports staff needs. For example, some people prefer seasonal over year round work because it allows time off in the winter for other activities.
Clear compensation policies are essential. Be clear on:
- Pay scales
- Travel expenses
- Time in lieu
When everyone is clear about what to expect, they will likely be more accountable, cohesive and function better together. Staff morale, job satisfaction, and absenteeism can all improve with clear and equitable policies.
On-Going Learning and Training
Provide opportunities for your staff to continue learning and take on more responsibility. Align training and work activities with the personal and professional goals of each guardian and build leadership training, mentoring and coaching into day-to-day work. When possible, consider pathways for people to advance in their jobs, such as opportunities to move into full-time work, a supervisory position, or a technical specialization. See the chapter 'Develop Training and Build Capacity' for more ideas.
Lastly, look for ways to enhance your guardian’s role and standing in the community by recognizing them and the importance of the work they do. Celebrate successes and achievements.