Wipfli logo
Management and Leadership in Nonprofits

Management and Leadership in Nonprofits


How you can encourage employees to stay

Feb 28, 2020
By: Tammy T. Jelinek
How you can encourage employees to stay

There is a rumor that the “next generation” will only stay in their jobs for a year or so and then leave. And that the generation before them will stay for only three years, and the one before that five years, etc.

But you can change that trend and keep great talent for decades if you have an open mind and an open process. 

For instance:

  • When people are hired in for one job, do we offer them career paths both up and lateral?
    • Not everyone wants to lead people or projects, but most people want to keep learning and be relevant in the work they do.
  • Do we offer professional development that enhances what they can offer in the work environment and in their lives outside of work? 
    • “Soft skills training” (and I will argue soft skills can be the hardest to learn and apply) is helpful in numerous life situations. When we offer this education to those in the work environment, they positively impact numerous layers.
  • Do we offer stay interviews to learn why people would leave – before they give their two weeks’ notice to leave?
    • If you invest time to train and embed someone in your organization’s culture, why not invest the time to learn how to help them to stay.
  • If someone is hired into one department, do we make it easy or hard for them to transfer to another department?
    • I have known many individuals who stayed in the same company for decades, just not in the same job. And these were not always climb the ladder movements. Many of these movements were to learn new skills, work with new teams, use current skills in new ways, meet current life needs, etc.

The path through careers will always be more squiggly line then straight – any of us who have been working a while know this fact. Help those coming into the work environment – or who are seasoned too – have opportunities to change, move, grow, learn, teach all while staying in one workplace.

Wishing you a great day and remember: Lead with legacy – 


Tammy T. Jelinek, MBA
View Profile
Management and Leadership in Nonprofits blog
Subscribe to Management and Leadership in Nonprofits