You don’t want them to leave. They are brilliant. They get things done. You would rely on them if everything else went down the drain. They are your best employees, and you wish they could stay forever. Chances are, they won’t, but there are some ways that, as an executive director, you can ensure that they will stay longer:
- Be passionate about your cause: When employees fee that they have a real purpose in the organization, they are more likely to stay. As an executive director of a nonprofit organization, you have a clear purpose. Make sure your employees get a sense for that. Get them involved with it. Let them see how their efforts have touched the community.
- Seek their input: When you go to your best employees for advice, they feel valued. You show that you trust them and make them fee like they are truly part of your cause. They will likely have a better idea of what’s going on in the organization than you do anyway, so go ahead and ask for their observations and advice. They will also usually have great ideas, which leads to the next point…
- Apply their input: Nothing says “You have a purpose here” better than putting their idea into action. Don’t just seek input from your stellar employees, implement it. Make them feel like they have contributed toward making the office, the organization, and the community better in a very real way. Then publicly give them credit for it. They feel important, and you’ll be more likely to keep them around.
- Expand their horizons: Your best employees are the best for a reason. They have talent, and it is important to give them ways to build that talent. Sit down and talk with them about their career goals, and then work with them to make plans to reach those goals. You will show that you are interested in them as individuals, and they’ll gain a greater sense of belonging and value in your organization.
- Promote teamwork: People want to belong, and your employees are no different. By creating ways for employees to work together, they become part of something bigger than themselves. They contribute. They work together and get feedback from one another. Not only can this facilitate the growth of ideas, it keeps everyone from being isolated from one another and builds unity. Build teams to handle situations rather than assigning them individually. Let everyone build working relationships with one another, and they’ll want to stay.
With these steps, you’ll create an environment and build relationships that will make working at your organization worthwhile to your employees. They’ll stay with you because they find fulfillment working with you. They’ll have purpose, which is what a nonprofit is all about.
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