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Get Ahead of the "Turnover Tsunami"

Posted Jun 25, 2021 12:50 PM
We are just recovering from the pandemic, and another challenge is overtaking nonprofits – the "Turnover Tsunami."

This Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article predicts historic levels of job changes. They cite a report that half of North American employees plan to look for a new job in 2021. Other research found that 25% of workers plan to quit their current job once the pandemic resolves.

These numbers are for all sectors, but the bad news is turnover in the nonprofit sector is much higher than in the overall economy. Turnover erodes program results, disrupts operations, causes remaining employees to burn out…and is very expensive.

What can you do?

Encourage all nonprofit employees working in organizations serving King County to participate in the Employee Engagement Survey before July 9. Also, when the results of our Wage & Benefits Survey becomes available in the fall, you will be able to set a fair salary based on comparative information from nonprofits. The Engagement Survey will tell us the factors contributing to staff dissatisfaction; such as pay and benefits, how an organization handled COVID-19, or their relationship with their supervisor. These and many more issues related to staff turnover are included in the engagement survey. Download this helpful toolkit with sample messaging and flyers in multiple languages.

The reports from these studies will be free on the 501 Commons website this fall. The King County Veterans, Seniors & Human Services Levy (VSHSL) is funding these efforts because the County is aware of the high cost of turnover. If more than 5 employees from an organization participate in the employee survey, a special report for the organization will be provided.

Why invest your time?

Nonprofit HR reported that half of the 45% of nonprofit employees planning to leave their jobs in the next five years do not plan to look for a job in the nonprofit sector. So, we have to attract and hold onto talented people. To do that, we need to understand how we are paying people and what they are experiencing. The surveys can help us do that – but only if we get strong participation from all types and sizes of King County’s nonprofits.

For more information visit King County Employment Surveys or contact