National Hispanic Heritage Month is annually celebrated from September 15 to October 15 to recognize the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture and achievements of the United States.

In line with the mission of our Center for Race, Equity, Justice and Inclusion, during National Hispanic Heritage Month the Center celebrates leaders and organizations that pursue justice, inclusion and equity for Hispanic communities, particularly one of our member organizations: the Latin American Youth Center.

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Adanech Devenouges joined our team on August 1. In addition to her wide-ranging work experience, Adanech brings a strong passion for volunteering. She is excited to interact with our entire community as she coordinates the Center programs, partnerships and memberships. Please feel free to contact Adanech here.

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In 2020, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement and consulting firm Brighter Strategies collaborated on a study to assess the impact of the convergence of Covid-19, incidents of racial injustice, and multiple environmental challenges on the nonprofit community at that time.    The survey included 255 organizations representing a cross-section of our region’s nonprofit sector, and the research resulted in significant changes to government partnership priorities, targeted philanthropic investments, and the Center’s work.    As we continue to address the impact of the pandemic and the shifts in our work, Brighter Strategies and the Center are embarking on a follow-up study.  While we recognize that there are many interesting questions to explore, we decided to focus on those questions that would best help us all understand our area’s current and expected capacity-building and funding needs.

With this data, we can prepare to serve you better, and will also analyze the data to understand trends by specific industry or region (county, state, ward, etc.). We intend to share the results widely.   We hope you or a leader at your nonprofit will give us a few minutes of your time to complete this survey, which should only take about 10 minutes to complete. We thank you in advance for your time in this important effort.

Begin Survey

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Find out in our guest blog provided by Fern Hernberg from Brighter Strategies

(A version of this article appeared on the Brighter Strategies blog in July 2022.)

Low pay, little opportunity for advancement, and a lack of employer respect are the main reasons employees quit their jobs last year, according to a February 2022 PEW Research Center survey. Childcare issues, little flexibility, and a lack of good benefits followed closely behind. 

Indeed’s February 2021 findings corroborate these trends. Here are some of the top reasons employees leave their jobs:

  • Needing more of a challenge
  • Looking for a higher salary
  • Feeling uninspired
  • Wanting to feel valued
  • Seeking a better management relationship
  • Searching for job growth and career advancement

Second, to wanting more money, a need for connection is the most common driver of employee attrition. This blog article will explore ways to help employees feel connected to the organization in the post-pandemic workplace.

Time is of the essence

Several years ago, HR trends showed a dip in employee engagement and an increase in attrition around 18 months post-hire. Much has changed since the pandemic, and although we’ve yet to see the longer-term impacts on the workforce, one new trend is emerging: Employers have less time than ever to engage employees. 

In years past, employers assumed that once they had a new hire hooked, that employee would stick around for at least a year or so to build their resume. The pandemic taught the workforce that time is precious. Today people will leave a company at any time if they believe the fit is poor. Some employees abandon roles weeks and even days after their start dates, and some never even show up on their first day!

Considering these employee attrition trends, consider the following tactics for engaging and retaining new talent today.

Retain employees differently from how you attract them. What secured your new hire is not going to keep them. Employers are attracting employees through flexible work, competitive salary and benefits, and claims of work-life balance. Employees will choose to stay when they feel connected to their peers, manager, organization, and work.

Start engaging employees at recruitment, not onboarding. Show candidates how your organization is one worth their investment even before they accept a new job. In a world where many HR processes are automated, organizations that take a personalized approach to hiring will make a strong impression. For example, automating tax form completion is efficient, but having a personal conversation about an employee’s start date elevates the connection experience. Handwritten notes, phone calls to check in, and introductions to fellow employees are ways to draw them in before they start.

Consider connection above all else. Retaining employees is not complex; it’s about getting the basics right. Building connection means ensuring new employees feel a tie to their work, understand how they contribute meaningfully to the organization’s mission and have a sense of belonging among their peers. People must feel these connections the second they walk in the door. And in the virtual workplace, employers must work harder to make and keep relationships. Often this means entirely revamping onboarding for greater effectiveness.  

Elevate empathy throughout the organization. Understanding and empathizing with others is part of developing a genuine connection with them. What do they care about most? What are they committed to outside of work? While many organizations talk about providing work-life balance, how empathy shows up on the job is often a different story—and one that matters. 

Show employees their future. The connection goes beyond the here and now of a current role. Employers must help candidates, and new hires see their future at the organization. Professional development opportunities are integral to an employee’s choice to remain in their role. If individuals understand how the job provides career advancement opportunities beyond their current work, they will be more motivated to stay.

Final thoughts

People today are looking for work that will be more satisfying to them in the long run—they are looking for meaning. More than half of employees who quit their jobs in 2021 did so to change careers, explains Bill Murphy in his recent Inc.com article. As your organization increasingly picks up career-switchers in the coming months, help these people know the connection in the first moments of their new career with you. Be willing to support them through the transition and connect them to that deep purpose they are seeking.

Why Creating Connection Is the Most Important Factor in Employee Retention

Fern Hernberg, Managing Director People Strategy, Brighter Strategies

Note: A version of this article appeared on the Brighter Strategies blog in July 2022.

Low pay, little opportunity for advancement, and a lack of employer respect are the main reasons employees quit their jobs last year, according to a February 2022 PEW Research Center survey. Childcare issues, little flexibility, and a lack of good benefits followed closely behind. 

Indeed’s February 2021 findings corroborate these trends. Here are some of the top reasons employees leave their jobs:

  • Needing more of a challenge
  • Looking for a higher salary
  • Feeling uninspired
  • Wanting to feel valued
  • Seeking a better management relationship
  • Searching for job growth and career advancement

Second, to wanting more money, a need for connection is the most common driver of employee attrition. This blog article will explore ways to help employees feel connected to the organization in the post-pandemic workplace.

Time is of the essence

Several years ago, HR trends showed a dip in employee engagement and an increase in attrition around 18 months post-hire. Much has changed since the pandemic, and although we’ve yet to see the longer-term impacts on the workforce, one new trend is emerging: Employers have less time than ever to engage employees. 

In years past, employers assumed that once they had a new hire hooked, that employee would stick around for at least a year or so to build their resume. The pandemic taught the workforce that time is precious. Today people will leave a company at any time if they believe the fit is poor. Some employees abandon roles weeks and even days after their start dates, and some never even show up on their first day!

Considering these employee attrition trends, consider the following tactics for engaging and retaining new talent today.

Retain employees differently from how you attract them. What secured your new hire is not going to keep them. Employers are attracting employees through flexible work, competitive salary and benefits, and claims of work-life balance. Employees will choose to stay when they feel connected to their peers, manager, organization, and work.

Start engaging employees at recruitment, not onboarding. Show candidates how your organization is one worth their investment even before they accept a new job. In a world where many HR processes are automated, organizations that take a personalized approach to hiring will make a strong impression. For example, automating tax form completion is efficient, but having a personal conversation about an employee’s start date elevates the connection experience. Handwritten notes, phone calls to check in, and introductions to fellow employees are ways to draw them in before they start.

Consider connection above all else. Retaining employees is not complex; it’s about getting the basics right. Building connection means ensuring new employees feel a tie to their work, understand how they contribute meaningfully to the organization’s mission and have a sense of belonging among their peers. People must feel these connections the second they walk in the door. And in the virtual workplace, employers must work harder to make and keep relationships. Often this means entirely revamping onboarding for greater effectiveness.  

Elevate empathy throughout the organization. Understanding and empathizing with others is part of developing a genuine connection with them. What do they care about most? What are they committed to outside of work? While many organizations talk about providing work-life balance, how empathy shows up on the job is often a different story—and one that matters. 

Show employees their future. The connection goes beyond the here and now of a current role. Employers must help candidates, and new hires see their future at the organization. Professional development opportunities are integral to an employee’s choice to remain in their role. If individuals understand how the job provides career advancement opportunities beyond their current work, they will be more motivated to stay.

Final thoughts

People today are looking for work that will be more satisfying to them in the long run—they are looking for meaning. More than half of employees who quit their jobs in 2021 did so to change careers, explains Bill Murphy in his recent Inc.com article. As your organization increasingly picks up career-switchers in the coming months, help these people know the connection in the first moments of their new career with you. Be willing to support them through the transition and connect them to that deep purpose they are seeking.

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The Center’s board of directors recently added two new members to its team of respected leaders in our region.

Victor Valentine

Victor serves as the executive director of National Assembly Business Services, Inc. (NABS), a for-profit subsidiary of National Assembly. NABS operates PurchasingPoint®, a discount group purchasing program that leverages $45 billion in annual purchasing. Nabs has saved nonprofits an estimated $198 million for mission-related activities since 2004.

Victor’s professional career includes founder and CEO of Nfrastruct, LLC, a nonprofit capacity-building consultancy, and leadership positions with the Maryland Philanthropy Network, the New York City Urban League, the United Way of New York City, the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, and the Maryland General Assembly.

Victor is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park and Wilmington University where he earned his BA in Political Science and MA in Public Administration respectively. He is also an alumnus of the American Express Leadership Academy for Nonprofit Leaders.

 

LaJuana Warren

LaJuana is the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Guest Services and the Founder of Tapestry Solutions for Inclusion, a diversity consulting firm. Her team at the consulting firm helps clients with training, assessments, focus groups, strategy development and coaching.

LaJuana is a frequent guest speaker at Society for Human Resource Management conferences, has consulted with two leading DEI firms that work with fortune 500 organizations, and was the DEI manager for State Personnel for the State of Indiana. She is a qualified administrator of Intercultural Development Inventory, which measures cultural competencies, as well as a member of the International Coaching Federation. LaJuana completed her coach training with Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching and her diversity certification through University of South Florida. She holds her Masters in HR and her PHR. LaJuana is a mom of two wonderful young men and one fur baby.

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