Thinking about starting a nonprofit? Confused about whether it’s the right choice for you? This free webinar will help you understand the upsides and downsides of starting a nonprofit and will introduce several alternatives that might better serve the community and achieve your goals.
TOPICS WILL INCLUDE
Basic components of operating a nonprofit including: legal compliance, financial responsibilities, and board governance
The benefits and responsibilities of tax-exempt status
The legal responsibilities of a nonprofit board
Alternatives to consider
Questions to ask yourself before forming a nonprofit
Register for Upsides, Downsides, and Alternatives to Starting a Nonprofit using the form below. A Zoom link to join the webinar will made available to you upon registration. The link will also be sent to the email provided during registration prior to December 8, 2022. Registration will close if we reach maximum capacity.
A recording of the webinar will be available for a limited time. Each registered attendee will receive a recording of the webinar after the live presentation.
Do not hit back or refresh during the registration process. Contact Kate Marchese at 973-240-6955 ext. 301 or firstname.lastname@example.org before resubmitting a registration if you receive an error message.
Please note that all Pro Bono Partnership webinars have live captioning capability. If you have questions about this service, or to request other accommodations, please email email@example.com.
Please virtually join us at 8:30am on September 20, 2022 for an informative discussion with the winners of the 10th Annual Long Island Imagine Awards. This webinar is free to attend for Long Island non-profit organizations.
Objective: Learn from a contingent of highly regarded non-profit leaders that are successfully moving the sector forward. Let their experience guide you to think differently and effectively advance your non-profit to the next level.
This discussion will be moderated by Kenneth Cerini, CPA, Managing Partner of Cerini & Associates and Founder of the Long Island Imagine Awards, an event designed to recognize Long Island non-profits for their innovation, impact, and leadership. Attendees will be given the opportunity to directly ask the guest panel questions.
For those of you who filed for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan, you remember the early days of the application process were marked by conflicting information, short deadlines, potential exposure, and more. As time went by, the regulations loosened up and became clearer, which resulted in benefits for those that waited. Flash forward to now and as Yogi Berra said, “it feels like déjà vu all over again” with the Healthcare Workers’ Bonus program. On Monday, August 29th, additional FAQ’s were posted to the HWB website (the new questions are hi-lighted in yellow). The key updates are:
The DOH clarified the criteria necessary to be a Qualified Employer to be subject to the HWB program. In determining if a program is eligible there are 4 criteria:
They are a Medicaid enrolled provider;
They bill for Medicaid services (either through fee for service, managed care, or a 1915(c) waiver);
Employ at least one eligible employee;
Are included in the list of provider and facility types in the statute, OR
Are subject to a certificate of need (CON) process, OR
The provider serves at least 20% Medicaid enrollees.
The fourth bullet was modified with the insertion of the word “or” between B and C. The prior NYS Townhall stated that a provider needed to be in the provider/facility list and meet either the CON process or 20%; however the clarification from NYS indicates that a provider only need to meet one of these three criteria. This may mean that you may now be eligible for the program even if you bill Medicaid less than 20% or you are eligible as long as you bill Medicaid 20% or more (which is the case for most early intervention providers).
The DOH had previously stated that overtime pay and bonuses are not included in the calculation of base pay to determine if an employee’s salary is under $125,000 for bonus eligibility. They have now provided clarification that overtime hours worked should likewise not be included in the calculation of average hours worked for calculation of the applicable bonus amount.
For hourly employees an employer should use what they were paid over the vesting period times 2 in calculating an employee’s annualized base salary for eligibility purposes. This is a different calculation than is used for the attestation, which is hourly wage x hours worked * 26 weeks.
While overtime and bonuses are not included in gross pay, differentials (and presumably other stipends) would be included as part of an employee’s gross pay to determine if they exceed $125,000 of annual compensation.
In order for a qualified “other healthcare support staff” worker to be eligible for a bonus, they must work in a setting where patient care is provided (in essence they need to be program administration not agency administration). Furthermore, the FAQ’s state that an “other healthcare support staff” worker must provide patient-facing care provided within a patient care unit of a hospital or other Article 28 institutional medical setting in support of treating and caring for patients. Based upon this answer, it implies that mental health clinics like Article 16 and Article 31 providers are not eligible for other healthcare support staff as they are not providing services in a medical setting … as there has been a lot of differentiation within the regulations between Medical and Mental Hygiene.
The FAQ’s now make it clear that contracted staff through staffing arrangements (including PEO’s and other 3rd parties) who are engaged in front-line-hands-on healthcare services in eligible employee titles are eligible for the HWB.
If multiple employers in a health system have an MMIS ID that is linked, you would look at the linked entities together for determining employee eligibility (hours worked, continuous employment, and salary). If the entities have unlinked MMIS ID’s, then you would not include all employers in determining employer eligibility criteria.
A qualified employer who is unable to complete their submission of qualified employees in the HWB portal for Vesting Period 1 by September 2, 2022, can submit for Vesting Period 1 during Vesting Period 2.
Employers should make every attempt to submit claims for Vesting Period 1 as soon as employee is eligible;
Employers must validate that employee(s) met all other qualifying criteria during the respective vesting period;
The HWB Portal will be closed for submissions from September 3, 2022 – September 30, 2022, but Providers may submit for Vesting Period 1 during the Vesting Period 2 Submission period which begins on October 1, 2022, and ends October 31, 2022;
An extension to submit for Vesting Period 1 will be limited to only the submission close date for Vesting Period 2 (October 31st).
The FAQ’s provide additional clarification as to when a separated employee would be eligible for a bonus with a helpful chart. The clarifications have to do with payment of bonus and separation; in short, an “employer driven” termination post vesting will still require payment however an “employee driven” separation will not require payment.
The FAQ’s now include questions with respect to enforcement
If a qualified employer fails to identify, claim, or pay a bonus to an eligible employee they are subject to sanction, up to an including exclusion from the Medicaid program and may be subject to penalty. In addition, the employer is still liable to pay the bonus to the employee.
Conversely, if an employer erroneously pays a bonus to an ineligible employee, the State can recoup the bonus from the employer who has no recourse against the employee.
In addition, the DOH has added a new slide deck to its website as part of its Town Hall Webinar Series, however, there is no recording posted as of yet to take providers through the slide deck.
Finally, there is also some additional information coming out from other impacted state agencies.
BEI sent out an e-mail Monday afternoon letting EI providers know that they should direct any questions they have directly to HWB as BEI will not be able to answer any questions posed to them.
NYSED on Friday sent out an implementation memo. NYSED has confirmed that 4410 and 853 providers don’t need to complete the survey discussed in the implementation memo unless they receive an e-mail. In addition, SED has informed the field that the Governor’s Office has confirmed that the list of eligible worker titles on DOH’s website (which can be found here) is final and there will be no additions or changes. This effectively means that teachers and teacher aides/assistants are not covered under this program.
We expect additional clarification over the next few weeks, and we have posed questions of our own to DOH to gain clarification. As new information becomes available, we will keep you informed … stay connected!
Kenneth R. Cerini, CPA, CFP, FABFA
Ken is the Managing Partner of Cerini & Associates, LLP and is the executive responsible for the administration of our not-for-profit and educational provider practice groups. In addition to his extensive audit experience, Ken has been directly involved in providing consulting services for nonprofits and educational facilities of all sizes throughout New York State in such areas as cost reporting, financial analysis, Medicaid compliance, government audit representation, rate maximization, board training, budgeting and forecasting, and more.
Edward McWilliams, CPA
Ed is a Partner in the firm’s tax and business advisory practice focusing on providing services to middle market private companies across different industries as well as to early stage startups. Ed has over a decade of experience providing tax and business consulting services to these companies of different sizes and across different industries, bringing a broad and diverse knowledge base and strategic solutions to the many complex issues that businesses face.
Join us for our Series “Ask The Expert.” These 45-minute, lunchtime sessions will allow our Nonprofit partners to get all the answers on a specific topic/area of need to help make their nonprofit organization stronger!
Please note we will cap these sessions at 30 and it is first come first serve.
ABOUT VANGUARD INSURANCE AGENCY
For decades we have been taking an honest an innovative approach to providing winning employee benefit strategies that aid employers with cost efficiency and recruiting. With a focus on education our concepts reduce health insurance and benefit costs while creating strategies that stabilize them permanently. By educating employers one employee at a time our solutions increase ROI and employee satisfaction. Our approach is designed specifically for each of our clients through extensive review of their business goals and a dedication to developing long lasting relationships.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the relationship between data privacy and cybersecurity is a symbiotic one. Data privacy depends upon cybersecurity.
In this article, we will discuss both privacy and cybersecurity and explore how they work together. We will also provide recommendations for improving your organization’s cybersecurity and data privacy posture. Now more than ever, it’s important to stay safe out there!
What is the relationship between cybersecurity and data privacy?
As the world becomes increasingly digitized and cybercrime continues to evolve and escalate, data privacy and cybersecurity have become major priorities for organizations and individuals. Data privacy refers to the protection and management of personal information and cybersecurity focuses on the protection and preventing systems and data from unauthorized access or theft.
Despite their different focus, cybersecurity is a basic requirement for data privacy. Data privacy informs data management practices, while a robust cybersecurity infrastructure can help to protect data once it has been collected. As the stakes continue to rise, it is clear that data privacy and cybersecurity must be given equal attention in order to keep sensitive information safe and maintain compliance with existing and emerging regulations.
Why does this matter for nonprofits?
Nonprofits often collect a great deal of personal information, making them a prime target for cyber criminals. Nonprofits are increasingly relying on technology to further their mission, which means they are also collecting and storing more data. This makes them potential targets for cyberattacks, which can result in the loss or theft of sensitive information.
Data privacy is also a concern for nonprofits, as they may collect personal information from donors, volunteers, and clients. If this information is not properly secured, it could be accessed by unauthorized individuals, which is a breach. As a result, cybersecurity and data privacy are essential considerations for any nonprofit.
In order to ensure the safety of your information and data, we suggest that organizations conduct a cybersecurity assessment. A cybersecurity assessment can help you identify potential security risks and take steps to mitigate them. By understanding where your digital assets are vulnerable, you can make changes to improve your overall security posture.
As a nonprofit organization, you are responsible for safeguarding sensitive data and protecting your constituents from cyberattacks. While the stakes may be high, there are some basic steps you can take to reduce your risks.
First, make sure that all of your devices and software are up to date with the latest security patches. This will help to close any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers. Next, use strong passwords and two-factor authentication for all of your accounts. This will make it much harder for unauthorized users to gain access to your systems.
Cybersecurity training should be a regular part of every employee’s development. By receiving regular training, employees can stay up-to-date on the latest threats and best practices for keeping themselves and their organizations safe online.
Data Privacy Measures
As global privacy legislation continues to develop, it is increasingly important for organizations to take data protection and privacy seriously. In light of recent changes, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and emerging laws in various US states and in countries around the world, organizations must adapt their practices to ensure compliance with these regulations.
Organizations that collect, process, and store personal data must be transparent about their data collection practices, provide clear mechanisms for individuals to exercise their rights under these laws, and implement strong security measures to protect personal data from unauthorized access or disclosure.
By taking these steps, organizations can protect themselves from potential fines and other penalties, and ensure that they are respecting the privacy rights of their customers and employees.
Organizations are encouraged to develop a data handling policy. This policy should outline how personal data is collected, used, and protected. By developing this policy, you can help ensure that your organization treats personal data responsibly and protects the privacy of individuals.
An effective data handling policy is also an internal educational document for staff. By having clear guidelines and procedures in place, employees can be better informed about how to handle sensitive information. Creating a data handling policy can help to foster a culture of responsibility and accountability within an organization.
Finally, organizations should provide training for all employees on data protection best practices. By taking these steps, you can help to ensure that the personal data of those associated with your organization is safe and secure.
Data privacy is a critical issue for nonprofit organizations because it impacts the trust that donors and constituents have in those organizations. Individuals need to feel confident that their personal information will be protected, and cybersecurity is essential to maintaining that confidence. In order to keep your data private and your constituents feeling safe, make sure you are taking steps to protect your organization from cyberattacks.
Join us for our upcoming webinar, “A Little Privacy Please…”, where we will discuss data privacy best practices for nonprofits. You’ll learn about the current laws that apply to many of today’s nonprofits, managing data privacy throughout the lifecycle of your data, and the essential role that cybersecurity plays. We hope to see you there!
By outsourcing certain technological tasks, nonprofit organizations can focus on their core mission while leaving the day-to-day tasks of managing technology to a third party. This can be a cost-effective way for nonprofits to get the technology they need without breaking the bank.
Technology is an integral part of society and its continuous development. The way that technology has been integrated into our daily lives has changed dramatically over the last few decades, with new technological advances being made all the time. This means that there are always ways to make your work more efficient and effective through the use of technology.
In order to do this, nonprofit organizations are turning to technology outsourcing. By outsourcing certain technological tasks, these organizations can focus on their core mission while leaving the day-to-day tasks of managing technology to a third party.
What is technology outsourcing?
Technology outsourcing for nonprofits refers to the process of hiring a third-party company to provide specific technological services. This can include anything from managing email systems to developing and maintaining websites. By outsourcing these tasks, nonprofits can free up time and resources to focus on their core mission.
There are many benefits to technology outsourcing for nonprofits. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is cost savings. By contracting out technological tasks, nonprofits can often save money compared to hiring in-house staff.
Technology outsourcing can help improve efficiency and effectiveness. By working with a qualified partner, nonprofits can get the expertise and support they need without having to invest in training or infrastructure.
When it comes time to choose a technology outsourcing partner, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Be sure to select a company that has experience in working with nonprofits. This will ensure that they have an understanding of the specific needs and challenges of these organizations.
It is important to select a company that is reliable and trustworthy. Make sure to ask for references and read reviews from past clients.
Evaluate the cost of outsourcing and whether or not it is worth the investment. Nonprofits should carefully consider the amount of time and money that will be saved by outsourcing, and whether or not those savings are significant enough to justify the expense.
Nonprofits should also assess how much control they will have over their outsourced tasks. Will they be able to customize their services to meet their specific needs? Will they have access to support and maintenance if needed?
Finally, be sure to establish clear expectations and parameters with your outsourcing partner. This will help avoid any misunderstandings down the road. By taking the time to do your research and establish a strong partnership with your technology outsourcing provider, you can maximize the benefits of outsourcing for your nonprofit organization.
Nonprofit organizations can benefit greatly from technology outsourcing. By turning to a third party to manage their technological tasks, these organizations can focus on their core mission and goals.
Outsourcing can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations.
Downsides to Technology Outsourcing
There are a few drawbacks to technology outsourcing for nonprofit organizations.
When tasks are outsourced, there can be a loss of control over those tasks. Nonprofits may not be able to customize their technology services the way they would like, and they may have to rely on a third party for support and maintenance.
There is also always a risk that the third party will not be able to meet the expectations of the nonprofit organization. This could lead to frustration on the part of the organization and a decrease in efficiency and effectiveness.
There are a number of resources available to help nonprofits get started with technology outsourcing. TechSoup provides a wealth of information on technology topics as well as many other free and useful resources.
Nonprofit organizations are starting to turn to technology outsourcing for all of the reasons listed above, but before beginning any type of third-party relationship, make sure you carefully evaluate the cost-benefit analysis of outsourcing, as well as how much control they will have over outsourced projects.
You’ll want to make sure you’re getting what you need from your service provider before signing anything – so be sure to do some research beforehand.
“Should you outsource your IT for your nonprofit?” from TechSoup is another great place to start if you still have questions. And of course, don’t forget to ask your peers for recommendations! Many times other nonprofit professionals have already gone through the process of outsourcing and can offer great advice.
How loyal are your employees to your organization? As you consider this question, a few employees might stand out in your mind for their dedication to your nonprofit’s cause or their above-and-beyond contributions to a recent project for your business. But in reality, employee loyalty is a difficult thing to measure and quantify.
That isn’t to say there haven’t been attempts to measure employee loyalty. In 2018, management and consulting firm West Monroe found that 82 percent of employees have a high sense of loyalty to their employers. However, they also found the following:
45% of employees have applied to new jobs after a bad day at work
59% of employees would leave if they got a better offer from another organization
What does this all mean? Employee loyalty is volatile. Similar to a tropical plant that requires exact amounts of water, careful fertilization, specific stretches of time in the sunlight, and consistent pruning, employee loyalty is something you have to carefully nurture.
One current, large-scale threat to employee loyalty is a new trend called “The Great Resignation.” This refers to the massive amount of turnover the U.S. is currently seeing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.4 million employees quit their jobs in September 2021 alone. And The Great Resignation isn’t likely to end soon. Astron Solutions national director Jennifer Loftus recently discussed this topic with other HR experts in a Cerini and Associates webinar, predicting that The Great Resignation will likely continue for the nexttwo years.
A variety of things could be causing so many people to leave their jobs, including burnout from the pandemic and a realigning of personal priorities. But instead of deciphering the causes of The Great Resignation, your organization should focus on mitigating its effects by increasing long-term loyalty among your employees.
In this article, we’ll give you the information you need to understand what employee loyalty is and how to create it in your workplace. We’ll cover the following:
Are you ready to start taking action to improve your employees’ loyalty to your organization and its work? Let’s jump right in!
Employee Loyalty: FAQs
A number of questions can arise when discussing employee loyalty. Let’s tackle a few of these to help you cultivate loyalty among your workers.What is employee loyalty?
Employee loyalty is the idea that employees at your organization are genuinely invested in your organization and its work because they believe in it and want to see it move forward. Loyal employees view your organization as the best place for them to work.Why is employee loyalty important?
Employee loyalty is important because it affects overall employee satisfaction and retention. If an employee is loyal to your organization and is satisfied with their job and compensation, they will be much more likely to continue working at your organization in the long run.What does a loyal employee look like?
There is no comprehensive checklist for determining whether an individual employee is loyal to your organization or not. But loyal employees do have some key qualities, many of which are easy to identify. They come to work on time, complete their work, and participate in company culture. But there are also some characteristics that make a loyal employee stand out from the crowd.
A loyal employee is truly invested in your organization’s work. You may have heard these employees described as “engaged.” They see the bigger picture of your work or mission, instead of just focusing on the day-to-day. This is often reflected in their efforts to improve themselves in their current roles or take advantage of career development opportunities. A loyal employee helps brainstorm ideas that will benefit your organization as a whole and gives honest feedback about their experience because they want to make your organization a better place to work. They also accept final decisions that come from the top and run with them.
Loyal employees also have boundaries. They don’t sacrifice their health, personal endeavors, or time with loved ones for your organization. They take their vacation time, use their sick days, and are better workers because of it.
How do you improve employee loyalty?
You can’t improve loyalty at your organization overnight. Much like a relationship with a donor or client, loyalty has to be cultivated over time, and that effort can take many different forms. In the sections below, we’ll give you actionable strategies for improving employee loyalty.
What employee loyalty means and looks like will vary from organization to organization. Loyalty is a complex idea to define and measure, but there are some effective ways to make positive changes in your organization so you can foster loyalty among your workers. It all starts with what we call “the secret sauce.”
Employee Loyalty: The Secret Sauce
The reality of employee loyalty is that most organizations try to get their employees to truly care about the organization and their work and end up missing the mark. Why?
Because they aren’t applying the “secret sauce.”
This secret sauce comes from an idea David Turt and Todd Nordstrom shared in a 2019 Forbes article called “The Truth About Employee Loyalty, And 5 Things Every Leader Should Know”:
You, as the leader, can only control your loyalty to them. We’ve personally seen so many managers get wrapped up in trying to ‘fix’ employee behavior. That seems like the job of a boss. But, it’s not. As a leader your job is to focus on what you can do to bring the best out of people. If it’s not working, keep focusing on what you could do differently.
-David Turt and Todd Nordstrom
This is the secret sauce: realizing that you can’t control your employees’ feelings about their jobs or your organization. The only thing within your control is your ability to create a work environment in which employees thrive in their roles, causing them to feel loyal to your organization and you as a leader.
Organization leaders who realize they can’t force loyalty look at their employees and their organization differently. They see their employees as assets who need to be treated fairly and compensated in a way that communicates appreciation. These employers do everything in their power to ensure employees enjoy their jobs and have opportunities to learn and grow professionally. Then in return, employers like these get the dedication and investment they want to see from loyal employees.
Now that you know about the secret sauce of employee loyalty, you may be wondering what changes you need to make to your approach to apply the secret sauce and create an environment where employee loyalty can grow.
Employee Loyalty: 15 Tips for Positive Change
What do your employees need from you right now that can help them develop loyalty toward your organization? Check out these 15 tips for creating a workplace that employees will want to stay and thrive in.
Note that some of these tips may need to be modified depending on what your workplace currently looks like during the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to follow state and local guidelines and to modify these tips as needed.
1. Work with an HR consultant.
Does your organization have the human resources policies and processes in place to encourage employee engagement and long-term retention? In order for your employees to buy into your organization and its work, you may need to work with an HR consulting firm that can provide an objective third-party evaluation of your current strategies and help you to improve them.
To select an HR consultant for your organization, follow these steps:
Define your needs. Identify what you need from an HR consultant. This might include streamlining your performance management process, changing your approach to compensation, or improving how you find and hire job candidates. Your needs will help guide your search for a consultant.
Discuss with key stakeholders. Before you commit to any engagement with a consultant, make sure your team is on board with the idea of hiring outside help. This will be especially important if you’re working with a strict budget.
Outline your guidelines. Set your expectations for working with an HR consultant. Consider the budget you have, the expected start date, and the timeframe for the engagement.
Begin your research. Search the internet for candidates or reach out to professional connections for recommendations. Remember to consider whether or not you’re willing to work with someone remotely and to filter your options accordingly.
Draft an RFP. An RFP, or request for proposal, will detail your organization’s needs and expectations. When you submit an RFP to a consultant, they can use that context to draft a strategy for your organization, which will help you decide whether or not you want to work with them.
Compare the candidates. Once you’ve submitted your RFP to your chosen candidates and received their proposals, review the proposals and candidates with your leadership team.
Make your pick. After researching your top candidate and reviewing their references, reach out to them and start working together.
HR consultants can help you see the blind spots in your strategy for cultivating employee loyalty at your organization and help you determine what you need to change as an employer. Be open to your consultant’s ideas, but don’t be afraid to push back on or workshop the strategies they bring to the table, too.
2. Equip your employees with the best tools for their work.
Do your employees have the best tools available for their roles? For example, an employee might suggest that Slack or Trello could enhance workplace communication and project management. How do you respond? If you’re willing to try it out, this shows your employees that you care about their ideas to improve how they work.
Providing your employees with the best tools can require investing in technology or other resources you may be unfamiliar with. But letting your employees have more of a say in how they complete their work helps communicate your loyalty to them and receive their loyalty in return.
Plus, never underestimate the effect purchasing up-to-date tools and equipment (like new computer monitors or desk chairs) can have on morale!
3. Discuss retention openly.
Your efforts to retain your employees don’t have to be a secret. In fact, communicating to your employees that you want them to continue working for you can actually help your retention efforts. This will not only make them feel valued, but will also help both you and your employees speak up about what you need to change or keep doing to continue working together.
One of the best spaces for discussing retention is one-on-one meetings between managers and their direct reports. Because managers are in the best position to get to know their direct reports and be involved in their work, they are also in a great position to discuss potential retention risks. Here are some questions that can help guide managers when talking about retention:
What do you like about your job?
What do you dislike about your job?
Do you feel like your work is meaningful?
Do you feel you’re able to develop new skills and take advantage of professional development opportunities in your role?
Questions like these can help you proactively extinguish potential employee turnovers before they even have a chance to spark. You can also use retention surveys to gauge new employees’ first impressions of your organization, reasons that star employees stick around, and why employees leave, all of which can inform your strategy for cultivating employee loyalty.
4. Take a total rewards approach to compensation.
According to our guide to total rewards compensation, “a total rewards approach to compensation is the most viable method of keeping your employees satisfied, increasing retention rates, and growing your organization sustainably.”
This approach encourages employers to view compensation more holistically, offering not only direct compensation and benefits, but also things like:
Scheduling flexibility and PTO usage
Career development opportunities such as continuing education courses, professional association memberships, and relicensing or recertification opportunities
A total rewards approach to compensation can help you create the kind of internal culture where employees thrive and want to stay. This will encourage them to strive for constant improvement in their roles, boosting retention and loyalty all around.
5. Be transparent about everything.
Transparency is key to building trust and loyalty with your employees. Transparency ensures that both your and your employees’ expectations are clear and can be met. Whether you’re open about compensation or an upcoming merger, employees will appreciate it when you make an effort to keep them updated and involve them in big-picture organizational moves.
It’s also important to be transparent about the negatives. If your nonprofit loses a major source of funding or a client’s relationship with your company sours, employees will want to know. Instead of scaring them away, you’ll show them that your organization has high ethical standards and wants to collaborate with everyone to improve and move forward.
6. Set up an employee recognition program.
According to an Apollo Technical article on employee recognition, an employee who receives recognition for their work is 63% more likely to stay at their current job for the next three to six months. What does this mean for you? Frequent and thoughtful recognition is key for ensuring your employees are happy and productive in their roles, which can increase their feelings of loyalty toward your organization.
Here are a number of ways to recognize your employees:
Set up an incentive plan, encouraging individuals or teams to meet certain goals to earn a reward, like a gift card or an extra day of PTO.
Write thank-you notes for employees that go above and beyond.
Give star employees shoutouts in staff meetings or newsletters.
Select an employee of the month and give that employee extra perks for the month, like a reserved parking spot.
Throw parties or host special lunches or dinners for teams who go above and beyond.
Remember, employee recognition doesn’t have to break the bank. According to our article on low-cost employee recognition, “the point of employee recognition is to make the employee feel valued by the organization.” No matter your budget, you can find a way to incorporate recognition into your strategy for cultivating employee loyalty.
7. Provide management training.
Management training can help your employees—from those in entry-level positions all the way to those in top-level management roles—learn more about how your organization works and what it means to be a good boss. These opportunities can help employees who aspire to be in a management role and provide insight for others interested in learning more about why their boss makes the decisions they do.
Offer management training sessions to your employees in which you discuss how you run your organization and how managers fit into the organization’s hierarchy. Create spaces for open discussions about good management techniques, like active listening and providing feedback, so that both managers and their direct reports can get more out of their relationships with management.
Remember, teaching your employees what it means to be a great manager won’t mean much if you don’t live by what you talk about in training. Actively apply the advice you give in training to show your employees how to put it into action themselves.
8. Promote employee health.
Employees will feel more connected to your organization when your organization promotes healthy ways of living. Why? Because employees want to know that you see them as people, not just parts of an always-working machine. There are a variety of ways you can promote healthy living, including:
Offer a mental health stipend.
Hold daily or weekly workplace yoga, meditation, or stretching sessions.
Keep your breakroom stocked with fresh fruits, vegetables, and caffeine-free beverages.
Encourage teams to take walking meetings.
Enter teams of interested employees in fun runs or walk-a-thons.
Install standing or cycling desks.
Invite a sleep expert to present to your employees about getting the rest they need.
Host challenges to see which department can walk the most steps or drink the recommended amount of water every day for a certain period of time.
Show your employees that you care about them and their well-being by incorporating more health initiatives into their day-to-day tasks. They’ll be more satisfied and happy with their jobs, as they’ll feel like your organization is a place where they can both develop professionally and maintain or improve their mental, physical, and emotional health.
9. Facilitate social events.
Employees need friends at work to enjoy their jobs and want to stay with your organization. To create an environment where friendships can grow, host social events. These events can be big or small. For example, you might organize an after-work happy hour, take the office out for lunch, host a holiday party, or even set up an employee trip to an amusement park.
Ask your employees for suggestions and be sure to listen. They’ll let you know what social opportunities are the best fit for them, and they’ll love the chance to meet people from other departments and develop memories outside of their day-to-day work with each other.
10. Provide career development opportunities.
Another great way to increase your employees’ loyalty to your organization is to offer them career development opportunities. Career development opportunities are likely already part of your organization’s talent management process. But also thinking about them as something that employees want and need to feel more invested in their work can help your efforts to increase loyalty.
Here are some popular opportunities you can offer your employees:
Stretch Assignments: These are out-of-the-ordinary assignments that require employees to learn and develop a new skill.
Cross-Functional Teamwork: This gives employees the opportunity to work with a team or department they usually don’t get to interact with in the scope of their daily duties.
Continuing Ed Courses: Continuing education courses, especially those that offer continuing education credits, can give your employees the chance to learn from experts in their field.
Recertification/Relicensing Opportunities: If your industry requires employees to recertify or relicense, your organization can provide study materials and pay for the relicensing exams to encourage employees to keep their skills sharp.
Conferences and Webinars: Provide your employees with opportunities to network and mingle with people in their field, allowing them to develop professional relationships and keep up with new industry knowledge.
Association Memberships: Associations create a community of professionals within the same field and provide opportunities like networking, conferences, workshops, and social events to help your employees grow their professional networks.
Management Training: In-house management training can help your employees develop a stronger understanding of how your organization works, how they can get the most out of their relationships with their managers, and how they can work toward a management position.
No matter where your employees are in their professional lives, it’s always a good idea to promote continuous learning and improvement. Providing career development opportunities like these can help you develop a great reputation with your employees as you encourage them to learn and grow within your organization.
11. Focus on diversity and inclusion.
According to Glassdoor, 76% of employees and job seekers report that diversity is an important factor when they evaluate companies and jobs. Work with your organization’s top leaders to evaluate your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. You might need to take action to adopt fairer hiring practices or to revise your compensation approach.
Remember, it’s not enough to just talk about DEI. Your employees want to see you making real, positive changes in the workplace.
12. Empower employees to give back.
Employees love to see opportunities from their employers to give back to the community. Opportunities to donate or volunteer enrich employees’ lives, and they also boost your reputation in your local area. Here are some opportunities you might consider offering:
Donation Matching: One of the most popular ways for employees to give back is to donate to causes they care about. Try offering gift matching to help employees increase their donations’ impact. To learn more about the good that gift matching can do, check out 360MatchPro’s article on corporate giving and philanthropy.
Volunteer Grants:Volunteer grants are donations organizations make to nonprofits where their employees regularly volunteer. These grants encourage employees to volunteer more and can be a great boon to nonprofits.
Corporate Volunteer Days: When you organize a corporate volunteer day, you’re arranging for all of your employees to participate in a nonprofit’s cause for the day. Whether you’re building a new playground or tutoring school kids, your employees will find fulfillment in lending a helping hand on these designated days.
If giving back is something that your organization values, providing opportunities for employees to do the same communicates to them that your organization is consistent and has a genuine desire to do good. As you look for ways to help your employees make a difference in your community, you’ll likely notice an increase in dedication to your organization.
13. Show appreciation for the little things.
When it comes to recognizing your employees or communicating how appreciated they are, remember to thank them for the little things. An employee might clean the coffee pot, water the office plants, or take notes in a meeting without being asked. Be sure to tell them “thank you.” Those two words can go a long way in making your employee feel like they belong at your organization.
14. Change up the routine.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your employees is to shake things up. A change in routine can be a lot of fun, relieve stress, and reset your team to be more productive. Try out one of these ideas:
Hosting a work retreat
Surprising your employees with catered breakfast or lunch
Bringing in therapy dogs for employees to interact with for an afternoon
Hosting meetings in different locations, like outside of your office building
Switching out office chairs for exercise balls for a day
Monotony can turn into a retention risk. By demonstrating that your organization works hard to make each day fresh and new, you can make a positive impression on your employees.
15. Listen to your employees’ feedback.
To feel invested in their work and loyal to your organization, employees need to know that when they give their managers feedback, suggestions, or ideas, they are being heard. Surveys are a great tool for getting feedback from your employees. When employees can remain anonymous, there’s less pressure to keep their ideas to themselves and more encouragement to share what’s on their minds.
To learn more about surveys and to choose survey questions that will help you get actionable feedback, we suggest working with an HR consultant. A consultant can help you design a survey, administer it, understand the survey responses, and implement positive changes to make your organization a better place to work.
Employee loyalty is complex, and your employees’ feelings about your organization can change on a regular basis. However, when you apply the “secret sauce” and work to demonstrate your loyalty to your employees by applying the tips we’ve discussed in this article, you’ll start to see more dedication to and investment in your organization’s work.
To get expert help with your efforts to cultivate employee loyalty, reach out to an HR consulting firm like Astron Solutions. Astron Solutions can provide you with the services and solutions you need to improve your employer brand and keep your organization moving forward.
Interested in learning more? Check out these additional resources:
Employee retention has never been as great a concern for employers as it is today.
Although retaining your talent has always been an important investment of time and resources, the unprecedented external conditions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic have only amplified the challenges of retaining talent and highlighted the need to look at retention with a critical eye. If you want to improve your organization’s employee retention efforts, knowing how and where to get started is key.
How can you best position your organization to engage and retain employees in 2022 and beyond?
This guide will cover the essentials and our recommended steps for building a well-developed retention strategy.
Defining the Essentials: What is employee retention?
Employee retention refers to an organization’s ability to retain its employees over time and minimize employee turnover, whether voluntary or involuntary.
Your employee retention rate, which compares the number of retained employees at the start of a specific time period to how many of those original employees are still there at the end of the period, can be calculated with this formula:
(# of individual employees who remained employed for entire measurement period
# of employees at start of measurement period)
Calculating the turnover rate will complement the retention rate by showing the percentage of separations in the same period. Turnover rate is often defined as the number of separations divided by the average number of employees during that same time period, and it can be calculated as follows:
(# of separations during the measurement period
average # of employees during the measurement period)
Best practice would be to track on an annual basis your organization’s retention rate and turnover rate, and the reasons behind them, so that you can accurately measure progress as part of your retention plan.
Employee Retention Strategies: 5 Key Areas to Prioritize
What elements of an organization’s operations contribute to retention? What specific strategies can you use to deepen relationships with employees and reduce turnover? We break them down into five key categories:
1. Recruitment and Onboarding
Hiring and onboarding practices are your first opportunities to set the tone for your relationships with new employees, so they play an immediate role in driving retention.
Review and improve your employee recruitment, hiring, and onboarding practices to provide enriching experiences. New hires should feel that your organization is thoughtful, welcoming, and caring.
Eliminate bias from your recruiting process.
Live your values through the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding process to allow candidates to experience your organization and its culture.
Ensure that training is available and that the content is relevant and helps new hires get up to speed as quickly as is possible.
2. Employee Compensation
There is much discussion around the role of compensation in shaping the employer-employee relationship and impacting retention. While intangibles like your culture, management philosophy, and an immediate supervisor’s management style have an increasingly large impact on retention, compensation and benefits still also play important roles.
Offer salaries and wages at rates as competitive as possible for your organization.
Take a total rewards approach to compensation. This entails breaking compensation down into its direct components (salaries and bonuses) and indirect components (benefits, culture, work-life flexibility, management styles, etc.) so that you can take a more holistic view of your strategy as a whole.
Ensure pay equity across your organization. Work with compensation experts as needed to conduct pay equity audits, benchmark your strategies, and develop other compensation improvements. Show employees the steps you are taking to review, adjust, and manage your compensation strategies over time.
Help employees understand the steps you are taking over time to review, adjust, and manage your compensation strategies. Consider whether compensation will be tied to performance. This can be determined based on a number of factors.
Offer benefits packages that meet the needs of your employees, offer flexibility, and provide the greatest value, while at the same time watching employer and employee costs. Consider flexible spending accounts to meet the needs of the greatest number of employees.
Set reasonable expectations around workload and hours. Consider offering benefits related to mental health and/or PTO for personal days.
Genuinely recognize and express appreciation for employee accomplishments. Consider creating systems for leadership and peers to submit “bravos,” offering spot bonuses or prizes for major contributions, and building in recognition as an ongoing part of employee-manager conversations.
Offer learning and development opportunities, and regularly discuss career growth with employees. Only 29% of organizations have concrete development plans in place, but 68% of workers are willing to retrain and learn new skills.
Set individualized goals and plans of action during your performance management process, and support employees with the tools they need to achieve them.
4. Company Culture
Your organization’s culture and the workplace environment you foster can play major roles in employee engagement, well-being, and ultimately retention.
Actively foster a flexible, diverse, and inclusive culture. Encourage employees to get to know one another and understand each other’s roles and responsibilities.
Create open lines of communication across the organization. Provide transparency into the reasoning behind leadership decisions that impact employees.
Develop and communicate your diversity management efforts to reflect your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and to creating a culture of respect, equity, and belonging.
Offer flexible work arrangements to whatever degree you are able. The ability to work remotely full-time or on a hybrid schedule has become a significant driver for many employees seeking new jobs.
5. Organization and Management
How your organization structures its teams and manages employees can also directly impact its ability to retain talent. These elements should be periodically reviewed to ensure they are still delivering maximum value for the organization and employees.
Keep job descriptions up to date to accurately reflect your organization’s positions
Consider broadening your concept of employees’ roles by creating a matrix model that taps into employees’ skills rather than the jobs themselves. This has many advantages—it offers greater flexibility and learning opportunities to the employees and also provides many benefits to the employer.
Empower managers by offering the training needed to support your organization’s retention plan.
Emphasize goal-setting across all levels of your organization. Communicate organizational, team, and individual goals, track your progress, and celebrate wins.
Consider conducting an HR Assessment to review and evaluate the ways in which your HR practices may (or may not) be supporting your retention goals.
How to Improve Employee Retention: 7 Steps
To begin strategically improving your employee retention rate, we recommend following these core steps:
Calculate your current employee retention rate.
This will give you a starting point on which to build your plan. Refer back to the top of this article to review the retention formula.
Analyze and benchmark your retention data.
Review the current state of your retention efforts. For example, who specifically is leaving? Do most employees who resign do so within a particular amount of time/common tenure? When you conduct exit interviews, an important tool for understanding and managing retention, what if any trends emerge in their reasons for leaving?
Consider working with an HR consultant to benchmark your own retention data against that of other organizations in your industry.
Conduct an employee retention survey.
Work with your team and/or an HR consultant to create and administer an employee survey asking questions related to retention. Do employees feel engaged at work? Do they understand why certain decisions are made? Do they feel fairly compensated?
Next, review survey results. Do employee survey responses reveal particular areas that seem to be driving turnover? For instance, you may identify compensation, inclusion, and career development as key pain points for your employees. These areas of focus will anchor your strategy going forward.
Audit your current practices in relevant areas.
Conduct in-depth audits of your practices in the areas of focus that you identified. Consultants and other specialized partners can conduct thorough, impartial audits of your HR practices, compensation strategies, diversity initiatives, and more.
Use your employee survey data to help inform areas of focus for your audit.
The results of an effective audit will point you towards specific gaps and shortcomings that can be addressed to drive stronger retention results.
Set employee retention goals.
Based on exit interviews, the employee survey, and the results of your audit, set your employee retention goals and create a plan for accomplishing your goals. Plan for incremental changes to your retention rate and build in various deadlines to evaluate success. This will include creating improvement plans.
Develop improvement roadmaps and assign ownership.
Lay out plans for addressing the identified issues. Outline specific changes, how they will be developed and implemented, who will own which elements of the plan, timeframes, and any other necessary details.
Make sure that involved team members understand why and how their help will support the broader retention plan and goal.
Actively track and review progress.
Regularly check in with your teams as they progress through the improvement roadmaps. Have a plan in place for measuring the impact of all individual improvements and the broader retention initiative as a whole. As the pieces of your plan come together, remember to recognize and celebrate your teams’ achievements!
Why does employee retention matter?
There are a number of reasons why employee retention should be a priority for your organization. An effective retention strategy will result in:
Reduced turnover and associated costs.
Turnover drains your organization of talent, institutional knowledge, and money. Gartner estimates that a single departing employee costs an average organization $18,591, with recruiting and onboarding being costly expenditures of your organization’s time and resources.
Increased engagement and employee growth over time.
When employees stay engaged with your organization, they are more likely to grow into new roles, contribute to your culture, and drive greater results for your business.
An improved employer brand, which can help with recruitment.
Being known as an organization whose employees enjoy their work and stick around for the long-term is a major asset and can create a helpful flywheel effect in which your employee-focused brand helps attract and retain top talent over time.
Overall improvements to your bottomline.
Taken together, the benefits listed above result in better overall financial health and resilience for your organization. Money saved by reducing turnover can be more effectively allocated to push the business forward and drive even higher retention.
Employee Retention and the Great Resignation
It is difficult to ignore the massive impacts of what has been termed the “Great Resignation” on employee retention. This unprecedented surge in voluntary turnover is reshaping the U.S. labor landscape. A record 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August of 2021, followed by 4.4 million in September.
The pandemic’s immediate effects have in part catalyzed this turnover increase. However, it is crucial to note that the Great Resignation seems to be driven by a complex mix of economic, social, political, and demographic forces, not all of which are directly attributable to the pandemic:
Rising wages and employee expectations.Salaries and wages have been rising. Coupled with the current impact of inflation on take-home pay and the general atmosphere of the labor environment, many workers are looking for more flexible and higher-paying jobs.
Pandemic burnout. The pandemic has been a difficult time for employees, especially frontline workers and those whose work could not easily be taken online. Many employees are reevaluating their personal and professional priorities and are exploring new career options.
A perceived labor shortage driving competition for talent. With 10.4 million job openings recorded at the start of October 2021, recruitment is currently a challenge. This is for a complex range of reasons, but a perceived labor shortage is driving employers to compete more aggressively for talent.
Socioeconomic and educational factors. The Great Resignation has revealed what some consider to be another emerging labor crisis in the United States: gaps in workers’ technological skills that are necessary for many jobs in a digital economy. High and rising costs of higher education will likely exacerbate this issue over time.
Additionally, the Employee Retention Tax Credit that was instituted to help struggling businesses retain employees in 2020, has ended earlier than expected with the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Organizations taking advantage of this credit may now face additional challenges making up for the lost support.
Clearly, the Great Resignation is complex. The factors listed above mean that retaining employees is more important than ever before for the immediate and long-term health of organizations today.
Want to take a deeper dive? How can organizations respond to the Great Resignation? What actions can HR leaders take to more effectively manage change in a turbulent environment? Jill Krumholz, Co-Owner and Managing Director here at RealHR Solutions, discusses the topic with our friends Jennifer Loftus of Astron Solutions and Ken Cerini of Cerini & Associates in this free webinar:
Employee retention is driven by a complex range of factors but has never been as important for organizations, in all sectors and of all sizes, as it is today. Understanding these factors, the current labor landscape, and how it all comes into play in the unique context of your own organization are important and also can be very challenging.
HR experts can be invaluable partners as you work to improve your employee retention rate. RealHR Solutions is a leading provider of HR consultation and outsourced services. Our experience spans a wide set of HR practices that impact retention, including recruitment, employee coaching, compensation and benefits planning, and more. We can help your organization develop a comprehensive retention plan of action or dig deeper into the specific areas that need improvement through benchmarking and HR assessments.
Get in touch today to discuss your organization’s retention goals and needs. We will be happy to help!
And to learn more about driving results for your business through strategic internal improvements, keep exploring with these resources:
Yesterday HP released firmware to address critical threats that cover popular LaserJet printer & MFP models. The threats have CVSS scores of 7.5, 8.4, and 9.8. If these patches are not applied, you may be leaving your printers vulnerable to information disclosure, denial of service, or remote code execution.
In certain HP Enterprise and HP LaserJet Pro printers, one of the threats can be mitigated by disabling LLMNR in network settings.
See below links for details on the threat, how to access the firmware update and instructions on disabling LLMNR: