Technology Outsourcing for Nonprofits – Why do it?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. It is important to select a company that is reliable and trustworthy. Make sure to ask for references and read reviews from past clients.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.

Getting Started

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.

If you’d like to speak with our own technology experts feel free to contact us or schedule a 15-minute discovery call to see if RoundTable Technology can meet your organization’s needs.

We also have a free guide – What to Pay for IT? – that is useful when starting to compare providers. 

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Employee Loyalty: The Secret Sauce and Tips Your Organization Needs

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
This graphic illustrates the finding that 82 percent of employees feel loyal to their employers.

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 next two 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!

This CTA encourages readers to learn more about what Astron Solutions can do to help them grow employee loyalty at their organization.
In this section, we'll walk through some frequently asked questions about employee loyalty.

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.

This graphic identifies some of the characteristics of a loyal employee.

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.”

In this section, you'll learn about the secret sauce your organization needs to improve employee loyalty.

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.

The secret sauce of employee loyalty is realizing you can't control your employees' feelings about their jobs or your organization--you can only control how loyal you are to them!

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.

In this section, we'll cover 15 tips you can use to cultivate employee loyalty at your organization.

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.

In this section, we'll talk about how working with an HR consultant can help you improve employee loyalty at your organization.

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:

This graphic walks through the steps of choosing an HR consultant that your organization can work with to improve employee loyalty.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

The second tip for improving employee loyalty is to equip your employees with the best tools for their work.

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!

In this section, we'll talk about how having open conversations about retention can help you with your efforts to improve employee loyalty.

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.

In this section, we'll explain how total rewards compensation can be helpful when trying to cultivate loyalty among your employees.

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
  • Performance recognition
  • 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.

Transparency can go a long way in helping your employees feel more loyal to your organization.

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.

In this section, we'll discuss how an employee recognition program can have a positive impact on your efforts to grow employee loyalty.

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.

In this section, we'll explain how management training can have a positive influence on employee loyalty at your organization.

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.

In this section, we'll give you some reasons that prioritizing employee health is good for employee loyalty.

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.

In this section, we'll show you how faciliating social events can help you cultivate employee loyalty.

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.

In this section, we'll walk you through how career development opportunities can have an impact on employee loyalty.

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:

This graphic illustrates the many career development opportunities you can offer your employees that will help you grow employee loyalty at your organization.
  • 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.

In this section, we'll explore how championing diversity and inclusion can help you with your efforts to improve employee loyalty.

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.

In this section, we'll look at how empowering employees to give back to their communities can boost employee loyalty.

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:

This is a clipboard image that notes three ways you can empower your employees to give back to the community: donation matching, volunteer grants, and corporate volunteer days.
  • 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.

In this section, we make the case for showing appreciation for the little things in the name of employee loyalty.

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.

Another great way to bolster employee loyalty is to change up the routine for your workers.

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.

When you put forth a real effort to listen to your employees' feedback, you'll notice employee loyalty getting stronger.

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.

In this section, we'll wrap up this post on employee loyalty and point you toward useful additional resources for learning more.

Wrapping Up

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:

This CTA encourages readers to learn more about Astron Solutions' services and solutions for employee loyalty.

Employee Retention: Best Practices & 7 Key Steps for 2022

Employee Retention: Best Practices & 7 Key Steps for 2022

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.

Table of Contents

RealHR Solutions can help you analyze and address your employee retention issues.

We begin with definitions of employee retention, churn, and how to calculate your retention rate.

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)

x 100

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)

x 100

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.

These employee retention strategies can help you cover your bases.

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:

Retention strategies: recruitment and onboarding

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.
  • Offer new hires opportunities to build relationships with colleagues through planned meetings and structured coaching or mentorships.
  • Ensure that training is available and that the content is relevant and helps new hires get up to speed as quickly as is possible.
Retention strategies: employee compensation

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.
Retention strategies: employee development

3. Employee Growth, Engagement, and Recognition

A high percentage of employees report feeling dissatisfied with the development opportunities offered by their employers, but learning and development, engagement, and recognition are critically important for long-term retention.

  • 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.
Retention strategies: culture

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.
Retention strategies: organization and management

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.
RealHR Solutions can help you analyze and address your employee retention issues.
This section explores how to improve your employee retention rate.

How to Improve Employee Retention: 7 Steps

To begin strategically improving your employee retention rate, we recommend following these core steps:

Follow these steps to begin improving your retention rate in a systematic way.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 so much for organizations?

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.
The Great Resignation is reshaping the labor landscape and how businesses think about 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.
  • Generational factors. Older workers are retiring at rates higher initially predicted at the start of the pandemic, meaning many organizations have experienced high turnover among Baby Boomer employees. However, younger employees report feeling the most unengaged, unappreciated, and underpaid at work, where they may meet structures and management styles that were not developed with them in mind.

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:

Wrapping Up

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:

Need help understanding and improving your employee retention rate? RealHR Solutions can help.

Pay Equity Audit: Results and Implementation
Response to the Great Resignation
Employee Coaching: Complete Overview and How-To Guide

HP Releases Printer Firmware To Address Critical Threats

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:

If you find yourself without a strategy for print security and/or falling behind on upgrading printer firmware (or not doing it at all!) our team can help!  We can run an HP Security Manager quick assessment and analyze your printers to see where you need to upgrade the firmware.  Reach out to us below today: Schedule a Conversation with one of our Printer/Copier Solutions Experts

Building Data Ethics into Data Management – The Bright Side of Scary

Building Data Ethics into Data Management

This article was written co-operatively by RoundTable Technology’s Kim Snyder and LA Tech4Good’s Rachel Whaley.

Yes, there are a few looming, scary reasons why nonprofit professionals are rethinking their relationship with their own data. The first is compliance. In recent years, individual states — California, New York, Colorado — have enacted privacy regulations. The majority of states have recently considered enacting some level of privacy legislation, and many are actively in the process of drafting legislation. In our increasingly boundary-less world, many organizations collect data from EU residents. That means that GDPR applies.  Even if privacy regulations aren’t on the radar, they are sure to be knocking on just about every organization’s door soon.

The second scary reason is cybercrime. We hear about it in the news, and we also feel it in our gut: data breaches are a very real threat for organizations of any size. Breaches and ransom attacks are not just a big business problem. Nonprofits collect and process high value data, particularly donor data, and cybercriminals have their eyes on this, especially in today’s very polarized world. Added to this are recent  global tensions with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,  which places  US-based organizations  on high alert.

Both of these realities are motivating nonprofit leaders to prioritize data management and security like never before. Think of these as the extrinsic motivators for organizations to take control over data. We need to take actions to prevent bad things from happening to us. That doesn’t make these reasons any less real — and building a practice of data management is a very real requirement for addressing them. 

But there is another brighter side to this. 

The same data management practices that nonprofit professionals are learning and building to address privacy and security share significant elements with data ethics principles and practices. Developing data governance and management practices offers organizations an opportunity to actively build a data ethics culture. Promoting an ethical approach to data means that in addition to complying with relevant regulations, you are also ensuring that your organizational core values are reflected and upheld in your data practices.

Think of data ethics as an intrinsic motivator. We need to take these actions because they will make us better as an organization.  We will be more  conscious of what we collect, more thoughtful about how we manage this data, and become more trustworthy in the process.

Ethical Building Blocks

Ethics principles touch upon virtually every aspect of establishing organizational best practices in data management and security. Here are a few examples of how aligned these principles and practices are:

Start with Individual Rights

The newly emerging state-based privacy laws incorporate the principles of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as a foundation. GDPR is created around the belief that personal information belongs to the individual, and that individuals have an inherent right to privacy. Respect for an individual’s right to privacy as a starting point is very solid ground upon which to build ethical data practices. 

Know Your Sources

Capturing the how and why of data collection is a first step in building a data inventory. Once we can verify we have a legitimate reason for collecting a person’s information, we need to document the collection points to ensure that we can protect that information at every point in its journey into and through our organization. Data ethics asks that we know and examine our sources, but for slightly different (but related) reasons. In the foundational work “Datasheets for Datasets”, researchers led by Dr. Timnit Gebru provide a model for documenting data sources and processes to promote greater transparency and accountability throughout the data lifecycle. Documentation like this is a key tactic for promoting ethical data practices, because it enables transparency of crucial information such as, How was this data collected? When and why was it collected, and by who? How is the data processed and analyzed? And based on all of those answers, what should the data be used for? What should this data not be used for? Answering these questions about your datasets up front will help get everyone on the same page about how to use the data and will help prevent misunderstanding of what the data means.

Align with Your Organizational Values

As you think about what it means to practice data ethics in your daily work at your organization, one good starting point is to assess how closely your data practices align with your organizational values. Building data documentation is a great step in beginning to align your data practices (which could include technical choices, process steps, and team setup) with those values, because the act of creating documentation requires you to look closely at each piece of data with a critical lens. These reflections can help you think through how your values, whether those include respect, inclusion, accountability, or any other core belief, manifest themselves in your data work, and how to make them more tangible in your data management processes.

Protect what we Collect

Security is another crucial aspect of ethical data management. When we collect personal information — whether it’s our constituents or employees — we need to be trustworthy guardians of that information.  Considering that “accidental” is one of the root causes for data leaks and breaches, we need to establish the systems that minimize the risk of those accidents from happening in the first place.  This is why healthy cybersecurity is inseparable from data management practices in today’s world. This is especially true for organizations and programs that handle sensitive data, where accidental exposure can lead to very real risks for individuals.

Learn More

We believe that the process of building ethical data management practices is one of continuous learning. New regulations will emerge, cyberthreats will advance and ethics requirements will evolve as our programs and organizations change.  It is never too soon for organizations at any point in their data maturity evolution to begin building in data ethics practices. 

Building your Data Maturity Model is another good next step to take in this journey, luckily we have another article detailing this process.

To learn more about building ethical data management practices, join us for our upcoming webinar, Data Ethics and Privacy for Nonprofits – register here!

Register for Data Ethics and Privacy for Nonprofits

Protecting Your Nonprofit from Cyber Threats

By Michael Fleischer

Senior Vice President, SterlingRisk

The cyber-attacks that make headlines are often aimed at large corporations and financial institutions with household names. The sad truth, however, is that no one is safe from cyber activity, including today’s nonprofit. In fact, a growing number of charitable organizations that engage in online fundraising and giving campaigns have discovered the hard way that cyber criminals don’t discriminate when targeting victims.

While ransomware and phishing pose a growing threat to all organizations, the following tips can help protect your agency or association from cyber-attacks, cybercrime, and online fraud.

Plan for Worst Case Scenarios

If someone orchestrates a cyber-attack against your nonprofit, it is important to be able to respond quickly. All organizations should have cyber protocols and testing in place. You should be systematically testing your business for cyber weaknesses and entry points, and if a hack or mistake shuts down a vital system, have a plan B. Find a workaround that allows you to keep as much of your business running as possible.

Assess Your Vulnerabilities

You might not always know the risks you and your employees are taking. Bringing in an independent contractor to audit your technology systems and processes is one way to get ahead of those risks. A contractor can uncover hidden dangers such as unpatched software, insecure processes, or compromised systems.

Be Mindful of Emails

Research has found that more than 90 percent of detected malware arrived via email. This is due to the number of ways email can be manipulated.

An employee might receive a seemingly innocent email attachment, only to discover it carries malicious software, known as malware. This malware could take down a single computer or your entire network. Emails can also contain links leading users to websites that automatically download malicious code onto their computers. This type of code cannot always be prevented using traditional antivirus software alone. If an employee’s email account gets broken into, a hacker can pose as a trusted sender and dupe you into sharing valuable information.

Train Your Employees to Detect Threats

Another reason email is such an effective way into an organization is that employees don’t always know what to look for and are not fully aware of the risks they are taking when they check their messages.

Phishing emails, which are messages sent by someone posing as a reputable sender, often have small details changed or contain odd phrasing. With good training, employees will know to ask questions, double-check procedures, and verify requests via other sources. One effective technique is to send test emails that can track whether employees click links or follow a direction contained in a message. If they do, then the system can display educational materials or you can follow up to make sure they understand their mistake.

Require Strong Procedures for Payments

When COVID-19 first emerged, many of the usual processes and procedures had to be reimagined. This created new opportunities for invoice fraud.

For example, after COVID-19 started, businesses and nonprofits saw an increased number of invoices sent via spoofed, disguised, or hacked email addresses. Cyber attackers who spent time observing workers were able to imitate language and processes perfectly. Due to this, it is recommended that employees be skeptical of all invoices and to have client, vendor, and bank phone numbers readily available in order to easily verify any payment or bank charge.

Use Strong Passwords

Passwords should be complex, but they don’t need to be hard to remember. Rather than pasting your passwords into a spreadsheet or writing them down, consider using a password manager with strong encryption. Password managers can assist with password protection, giving the ability to store encrypted passwords for multiple sites in a secure vault. These high-tech tools can keep hundreds of passwords safe and are easy to use.

While no system is foolproof, following the above cyber tips will go a long way towards safeguarding your nonprofit. If you experience any unusual requests or think you might be a victim of fraud, contact me at or call me directly at 516-719-8759.

Michael Fleischer is Senior Vice President at SterlingRisk, one of the nation’s largest privately held insurance brokers. He brings over 35 years of insurance and risk management experience to his clients at SterlingRisk. Michael’s understanding of cyber insurance, claims, risk management, complex coverage issues, and carrier relationships enables him to develop and implement complete and comprehensive solutions to his clients’ exposures. To learn more about SterlingRisk, visit

NRH Executive Director “Group Therapy” Session

Join us for the very first, NRH Executive “Group Therapy” session. This facilitated discussion group offers an exclusive opportunity for nonprofit Executive Directors to come together with their peers and colleagues in the C-Suite of the nonprofit industry. Together, you will discuss and explore professional development, organizational challenges, and timely industry topics.

Additionally, we will offer peer support and resources to help NRH Executive Director Partners in achieving their organization’s mission.

Why should an NRH ED Partner attend?
The NRH Executive Group Therapy sessions build on the existing NRH community but provide our Executive Director Partners with a more intimate support system of their peers. This subculture of the NRH will help EDs have a “go-to” when questions or situations arise in their work environment for which they need guidance and support. As an Executive Director Roundtable NRH Partner, they will be provided with an opportunity to build a community of trusted colleagues where they can openly seek support and resources, express and explore their ideas, and utilize their network within our community to succeed in their role.

*If you are not yet a Nonprofit Partner but want to be, sign up here.
There is NO fee and takes less than a minute!

Cybersecurity Concerns Related to Ukraine / Russian Conflict

As the Ukraine / Russian conflict continues, many people and organizations have expressed concerns about the potential for cyber-warfare and potential impact on their organizations and/or people.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, then your organization and/or personnel may indeed be facing greater than usual threats as a result of this conflict:

  1. You have operations in Russian or the Ukraine
  2. You have personnel working in Russia or the Ukraine
  3. You support journalism, research, or activism (especially human rights) in Russia or the Ukraine
  4. You are responsible for US critical infrastructure such as power, gas, water, or hospitals

Most people and organizations will answer no to all those questions. For those of you, the situation has not meaningfully changed. Your most significant threat is from cyber criminals and criminal organizations that wish to take your money. They will attempt to do this by tricking you (e.g. business email compromise and gift card scams) or through ransomware attacks or various other means.

Your best defense is a solid foundation of cybersecurity. At the absolute minimum you should:

  • Using multi-factor authentication on ALL your business critical applications
  • Ensure all your devices and software are patched – running up-to-date versions
  • Ensure you have verifiable, secure backups of all of your critical data
  • Train your staff regularly on cybersecurity awareness

You may also wish to inform your staff to be extra cautious of phishing attempts (via email, text or social media) on current news events, in this case, any communication purporting to be about Ukraine or Russia.

We do not advise trying to perform a year’s worth of security projects in a week. To paraphrase an ancient proverb,

“The best time to have started a comprehensive security program was several years ago. The next best time is today.”

Compensation Consulting: The Ultimate Guide (+ Top Firms!)

Compensation Consulting: The Ultimate Guide

When it comes to employee compensation, there are rarely any easy answers. This is true for organizations of all shapes and sizes—whether you’re scaling up your operations and experiencing employee retention issues or simply auditing and re-evaluating what you offer your employees.

The difficulty lies in the fact that compensation needs are ever-changing. In order to stay competitive and hire the best talent (and retain those employees), you have to keep an eye on the economy and the job market for similar positions. Plus, compensation needs can change over time. For example, schedule flexibility has become a top priority for employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and employers have had to adjust their compensation strategies to respond to that priority.

For many organizations, the best solution to compensation issues is to turn to the advice of a third-party expert—a compensation consultant. Investing in compensation consulting services can result in a stronger, more sustainable compensation strategy for your organization that can help you recruit and retain the best employees. But how do you get started?

In this guide to compensation consulting, we’ll answer this question by delving into the following:

Before investing in compensation consulting services, it’s critical that you explore your options. If you’re ready to learn more about what compensation consultants do and to begin researching various firms, this is the article for you! Let’s begin.

Click through to learn more about Astron Solutions' compensation consulting services.

Why Your Approach To Employee Compensation Matters

Developing a clear strategy for how team members are compensated for their contributions is essential. It lays concrete groundwork for growth and reflects your organization’s values, mission, vision, and priorities in a more tangible way than just a mission statement. A strong compensation strategy gives your employees insight into why their contributions are valued, not just how much they’re valued.

This is even more important during times of uncertainty and crisis. With a global pandemic and mass social movements affecting your employees’ everyday lives, it’s worth it to take a closer look at how you compensate them for their contributions.

After all, the United States has seen a recent surge in turnover so historic it’s been termed “The Great Resignation.” According to SHRM, 4.5 million people resigned in November 2021 alone. Navigating The Great Resignation isn’t easy, but refreshing your approach to compensation is an effective way to strengthen your retention strategy during this time. Let’s explore the role that compensation consulting can play as you improve your compensation approach.

Compensation Consulting: What Does a Consultant Do?

Some organizations may hesitate to seek valuable assistance from a compensation consultant simply because they are unsure if a compensation consultant can provide value to their operations. The core role of a compensation consultant is to evaluate an organization’s current approach to compensation and suggest actionable and sustainable changes that can increase employee satisfaction and improve retention, all while helping the organization to remain as efficient as possible with its money.

There are a number of services a compensation consultant might provide to fulfill this role, including:

  • Evaluation and Development of Compensation Strategy and Policies: A compensation consultant will meet you where you’re at. They’ll take a look at how your organization has handled compensation so far and then help you design a strategy that will ensure compensation packages and policies are aligned with your larger organizational aims and strategies.
  • Job Evaluation Plan: Compensation consulting involves looking at individual roles as part of the organization as a whole. With a job evaluation plan, a compensation consultant can help you address each role’s relative value at your organization to ensure that every employee is compensated fairly.
  • External Market Analysis: Some organizations struggle to offer competitive pay when hiring, while others end up overspending on compensation. Through external market analysis, a consultant can help you find the middle-of-the-road solution that will get the top talent applying to your organization and keep you within your budget.
  • Creation of Incentive/Variable Compensation ProgramsIf employees at your organization receive commissions on sales or bonuses after a successful quarter, your compensation consultant can help you weave these more complex compensation methods into your larger strategy and create sustainable programs.
  • Performance ManagementOrganizations increasingly base compensation on performance. When you work with a compensation consultant, they can assist you in establishing performance-based pay and the policies associated with it.
  • Executive CompensationWith multiple elements to monitor and maintain (base salary, short-term and long-term incentives, perquisites, etc.) executive compensation is complex and, at times, controversial. Consultants help organizations take an approach to executive compensation that will satisfy your executives, employees, and other stakeholders.
  • Employee Communication: Employees value transparency, especially when it comes to compensation. The best compensation consultants will ensure you clearly lay out your new and improved strategy and create a plan to field questions and concerns.

We also recommend looking for a compensation consultant who can see beyond the hard numbers and take a total rewards approach to compensationA total rewards approach means viewing how your organization compensates its employees comprehensively.

This includes direct financial compensation and traditional benefits like insurance and retirement funds and also encompasses indirect compensation elements like flexibility, performance recognition, career development opportunities, and even internal culture. This holistic approach can lead to better employee performance and productivity and help your organization stand out to job candidates.

A total rewards approach and the services listed above are the strategies a compensation consultant can bring to the table to help you improve how your organization handles compensation. When hiring a compensation consultant, make sure you carefully consider the specific strategies they offer and how those strategies suit your specific needs.

Compensation Consulting: How to Hire a Consultant

Finding the right compensation consultant is more of a marathon than a sprint. There are a few steps you’ll need to take to make sure you’re getting the best assistance for your organization’s specific needs. These steps are:

This graphic outlines the seven steps to hiring a compensation consulting.
  1. Review your needs. The first thing you need to do once you’ve decided you want to work with a compensation consultant is to identify what you need help with. Does your organization need help with designing competitive executive compensation packages? Are you interested in offering new non-financial benefits to entry-level employees?
  2. Discuss with your organization’s leaders. Your business or nonprofit leaders, HR team, and other top-level management should all be on the same page before you hire a consultant. This will not only help ensure you’re working within an agreed upon budget, but will also prepare everyone to work with your consultant to get the most out of your partnership with them.
  3. Outline some guidelines. Your guidelines for your consultant should include a general budget, an estimated time frame for the partnership, and an estimated start date.
  4. Begin your research. Don’t just go with the first compensation consultant you find on Google. You’ll need to thoroughly research your options! This can include getting recommendations from professional colleagues, reading through online lists of the top recommended firms (like the one below!), and checking out different consultants’ work experience.
  5. Draft an RFP. RFP stands for request for proposal. When looking for a compensation consultant, you need to communicate your needs and guidelines to your consultant with this written document. This will give the consultant the information they need to decide if your organization could truly benefit from their services and give them material to build a proposal. Make sure you review this document with your organization’s leadership.
  6. Compare the candidates. After doing thorough research, narrow down your potential consultants to a short list. Reach out to them, introduce yourself, and submit your RFP. Don’t forget to choose a date for them to submit their proposal to you.
  7. Make your pick. Once you receive the completed proposals from your candidates, review them with your team. Then, you can pick your consultant and start working together!

Hiring a fundraising consultant requires due diligence. But like any big investment, the process of choosing the right compensation consulting expert will pay off in the end when you partner with the right person or firm. For a more comprehensive look at this process, check out our guide to hiring a compensation consultant.

Compensation Consulting: 14 Top Firms For Any Sector

Now that you’re familiar with the services a compensation consultant can provide to your organization and how to go about hiring one, it’s time to take a look at the top compensation consulting firms. Our list highlights experts who specialize in particular sectors or niches:

  1. Astron Solutions – Best Full-Service Compensation Consulting Firm
  2. RealHR Solutions – Best Compensation Consulting Firm for Organizations Who Are Scaling Up
  3. Compensation Advisory Partners – Best for Large Corporations
  4. FW Cook – Best Consulting for Executive Compensation Strategy
  5. Johnson Associates – Best Compensation Consulting for the Financial Sector
  6. Semler Brossy – Best Compensation Consulting for Transitional Periods
  7. NFP Compensation Consulting – Best Compensation Consultants for Corporate Benefits
  8. Mercer – Best Compensation Consulting Firm for Global Executives
  9. Alliant – Best For Health Benefits Design Consulting
  10. Pearl Meyer & Partners – Best Compensation Consultants for High-Growth Startups
  11. HR Works – Best Compensation Consultant for Affirmative Action Plans
  12. Compensation Resources – Best for Board Equity Compensation Consulting
  13. Brio Benefit Consulting – Best for Benefits-Focused Consulting Needs
  14. The VisionLink Advisory Group – Best for Variable Compensation Plan Design Consulting

In each section, we’ll provide an overview of the firm’s compensation consulting services as well as more information on what makes them stand out in their space.

No matter what sector you’re in, there’s a compensation consulting firm that can bring relevant experience to your organization and help you develop the best possible strategy for long-term growth and retention. Let’s get started!

1. Astron Solutions – Best Full-Service Compensation Consulting Firm

Overview of Astron Solutions

Astron Solutions is a full-service human resources and employee compensation consulting firm that’s been helping businesses and nonprofit organizations for over 20 years.

We believe that simplifying compensation and human resources processes is the best way to keep your organization’s big picture goals in focus. Our fully customized approach has guided a wide range of organizations, helping them boost employee engagement and retention with optimized compensation strategies that address all of their employees’ and executives’ priorities.

Contact Astron Solutions to learn more about their compensation consulting services.

Astron Solutions’ Top Employee Compensation Services

As a full-service compensation consulting firm, Astron Solutions has experience providing a wide range of employee compensation services for businesses and nonprofits. These include:

  • Total rewards consulting for base compensation strategy. We believe that a total rewards approach to compensation is the most effective way to create sustainable improvements for organizations. This is true if you’re rethinking your strategy for any reason, whether it’s due to the direct effects of recent disruptions or you want to combat ongoing retention and engagement issues.
  • Custom surveys that provide actionable information about total rewards needs in your organization. With customized surveys, we can collect and analyze data about industry trends and what your employees need and want from their compensation packages. Plus, you can rest assured that the collected data is secure, as we value confidentiality and ensure that our surveys meet legal antitrust requirements.
  • Specialized strategy development for executive and sales-based compensation. Executive and sales-based compensation can be particularly complex pieces of your broader strategies. Astron Solutions can walk you through developing and updating these programs, making sure to cater to the unique needs of your employees and culture.
  • Incentive and variable compensation program development to address specific goals. We can help you develop incentive and variable compensation plans that drive engagement for organizations of any size. By working closely with your team, we can create custom strategies tailored to your specific goals and constraints.
  • Policy development guidance to help HR departments effectively administer their new compensation programs. Once you’re done designing the best compensation strategy for your organization, you then have to implement it. When you partner with us, you receive guidance from professionals to ensure the new programs are successfully implemented and that all team members are on the same page now and down the line.

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

Few compensation consulting firms offer as wide a range of services to as wide a range of organizations as Astron Solutions. Astron Solutions is a leader in compensation consulting for small to mid-sized businesses and nonprofits. Oftentimes compensation consulting services (and their price tags) are targeted only towards large businesses, whereas Astron Solutions is equipped to help no matter your size.

Our customized approach is well-suited to tackling today’s unprecedented challenges, as well. From COVID-19-related challenges to internal cultural shifts and employee engagement issues, compensation strategy plays a significant role in shaping how your organization can adapt to change. We’ll help you focus on big picture goals while also adapting to the real-time challenges you face.

Contact Astron Solutions to learn more about our compensation consulting services.

2. RealHR Solutions – Best Compensation Consulting Firm for Organizations Who Are Scaling Up

Overview of RealHR Solutions

RealHR Solutions was created in 2005 with the primary objective of helping organizations (both nonprofit and for-profit) meet their business goals.

This firm understands the growing pains that come when organizations scale up their operations and prioritizes efficiency and positive internal culture to help your organization become more competitive in the marketplace.

Contact RealHR Solutions to learn more about their compensation consulting services.

RealHR Solutions’ Top Services

RealHR Solutions offers a wide variety of solutions for growing organizations. Specific to compensation, they offer the following:

  • Compensation philosophy development
  • Compensation structure and practice design
  • Benchmarking for current external market compensation and benefits offerings

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

RealHR Solutions knows that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for issues related to scaling up your organization’s operations. They emphasize understanding your starting point and providing solutions that truly fit your organization’s needs, whether that means taking a business partner role or helping with one-off projects.

This focus on unique, sustainable solutions catered to your organization helps RealHR Solutions stand out from the crowd as the compensation consulting firm for growing businesses and nonprofits.

Contact RealHR Solutions for more information.

3. Compensation Advisory Partners – Best Compensation Consulting for Large Corporations

Overview of Compensation Advisory Partners

Founded in 2009, Compensation Advisory Partners is a leading compensation consulting firm for large and multinational corporations.

They focus on offering independent and expert advice tailored to the needs of complex organizations, with an emphasis on analytics and strong standards of corporate governance. Compensation Advisory Partners works side-by-side with boards and management teams to develop custom strategies that fit within the large-scale internal structures that already exist in large businesses.

Explore CAP's website for more information on their executive compensation consulting services.

Compensation Advisory Partners’ Top Services

Compensation Advisory Partners offers a range of consulting services for corporations looking to refine their compensation strategies. Their top services include:

  • Compensation strategy development
  • Competitive market research and comparisons
  • Annual and long-term incentive plan design
  • Compensation committee organization and support

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

Compensation Advisory Partners’ focus on providing real-time and data-driven insights is particularly well-suited to the needs of large corporations. They regularly conduct proprietary studies on pay and design best practices, helping them better understand their clients’ spaces and emerging best practices.

These insights, coupled with their years of experience in the field, makes them a leader for large-scale businesses and multinational corporations that need to update their compensation programs.

Reach out to Compensation Advisory Partners to discuss your needs.

4. FW Cook -Best Consulting for Executive Compensation Strategy

Overview of FW Cook

FW Cook is an executive compensation consulting firm that was founded in 1973. Their long history in the space gives them a real advantage when it comes to aligning compensation strategies with a client’s long-term goals.

Focused solely on executive compensation, the firm provides expert insights to the compensation committees, boards of directors, and management teams of large businesses.

Explore FW Cook's employee compensation consulting services for more information.

FW Cook’s Top Employee Compensation Services

Although FW Cook only provides consultation for executive compensation, their offerings within this category are fairly broad. They include:

  • Executive compensation strategy development
  • Incentive and equity plan design
  • Non-employee board member compensation strategy
  • Executive severance and transaction assistance

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

FW Cook takes their role as a legacy leader in the space of executive compensation consulting seriously. They emphasize taking a fully independent and compliant approach while working cooperatively with large organizations to design programs that will address all their big-picture goals.

Their guidance has helped countless businesses refine their compensation strategies and adapt to changing economic environments for decades.

Contact FW Cook to learn more about their services and approach.

5. Johnson Associates – Best Financial Sector Compensation Consulting

Overview of Johnson Associates

With over 20 years of experience in its space, Johnson Associates is a leading compensation consulting firm for large and multi-national financial services firms.

Their deep knowledge of the financial sector gives this firm an edge in providing up-to-date recommendations tailored to the specific needs and cultures of their clients. They provide custom-designed compensation programs for a constantly changing industry.

Compensations consulting for financial services firms from Johnson Associates is a top choice.

Johnson Associates’ Top Employee Compensation Services

Johnson Associates offers a range of typical compensation consulting services in addition to more finance-centric offerings. These include:

  • Executive compensation program design and feedback
  • Emerging market trends and issues analysis
  • Annual, sales-based, and long-term incentive development
  • Stock option valuation and transaction oversight

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

There are plenty of top compensation consultants who provide expert advice and strategy recommendations to large businesses, but Johnson Associates have proven themselves a leader in a particularly fast-paced niche.

Their deep institutional knowledge of the financial sector, up-to-date insights into new trends and regulations, and sensitivity to market cycles make them a top choice for firms in this space.

Contact Johnson Associates for more information on compensation consulting.

6. Semler Brossy – Best Compensation Consulting for Transitional Periods

Overview of Semler Brossy

Semler Brossy is a leading consulting firm founded in 2001. Although they focus on executive compensation consulting, Semler Brossy offers a number of other business consulting services for larger businesses across a wide range of industries.

Semler Brossy’s services are particularly effective for organizations undergoing significant transitional periods, including mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, and executive successions. Their team’s guiding principle is “creating clarity from complexity,” meaning their insights can really shine during your most complicated times.

Explore Semler Brossy's website for more information on their employee compensation consulting services.

Semler Brossy’s Top Employee Compensation Services

Semler Brossy provides a wide range of consulting services for large businesses, including executive compensation guidance. These services include:

  • Full compensation strategy development
  • Compensation strategy for transaction and turnaround periods
  • Strategy development for CEO and executive successions
  • Specialized incentive design for key employee populations during transitions

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

Semler Brossy stands out among the crowded field of executive compensation consulting because their expertise is perfectly suited to help businesses through some of the most difficult periods they experience.

Plus, this consulting firm prioritizes building lasting relationships with their clients. With yearly check-ins and regularly-scheduled program assessments, Semler Brossy can support your organization through a complex transition and then actively help you stay prepared for the next one, too.

Reach out to Semler Brossy for more information.

7. NFP Compensation Consulting – Best Compensation Consultants for Corporate Benefits

Overview of NFP Compensation Consulting

NFP is an insurance broker and consulting firm. Their consultants specialize in creating tailor-made benefit plans for employees and executives. They prioritize people first and stick to a high ethical standard.

Keeping your bottom line in mind, NFP has the experience that can help you with everything from designing retirement plans to staying on top of legal compliance.

NFP is the best compensation consulting firm for corporate benefits.

NFP Compensation Consulting’s Top Services

NFP knows that managing all of the moving parts of HR is a huge challenge for many corporations. This is why they offer a wide variety of services, including:

  • Compensation market benchmarking and strategy design
  • Job description development, recruiting, and interviewing
  • Payroll processing
  • Workplace compliance management
  • Call center services to field employees’ benefits questions and concerns

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

NFP Compensation Consulting stands out as a firm that can help your organization fill its HR gaps. If your in-house team is stretched thin, NFP can step in and help you keep moving forward.

With years of experience establishing best practices for organizations in a variety of industries, NFP can offer sound insights for clients working in any space.

Contact NFP Compensation Consulting for more information on their services.

8. Mercer – Best Compensation Consulting Firm for Global Executives

Overview of Mercer

Mercer is a global consulting firm that helps clients all over the world better manage their employees and streamline operations. 

Global executive compensation can be tricky, as it involves salary, benefits, bonus programs, equity options, and much, much more. Mercer aims to ease those challenges. With expertise and connections to national and international resources, Mercer can help you plan an executive compensation strategy that is fair, motivating, and grows as your business does.

To learn more about Mercer’s compensation consulting services, check out their website.

Mercer’s Top Employee Compensation Services

Mercer’s compensation consulting offerings are fairly comprehensive, with a variety of services for organizations and businesses of any size. Here are some of Mercer’s services:

  • Plans to attract, retain, and motivate executive employees
  • Alignment of executive pay with your organization’s unique strategic needs
  • Maintenance of compliance with regulatory and shareholder guidelines

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

Mercer stands out as a compensation consultant firm because they have special services dedicated to global benefits management. Compensating your executives can already be difficult to navigate, and when they’re all over the world, it’s that much harder.

By partnering with Mercer, you have access to their dedicated team of 9,000 experts specialized in executive compensation and the complexities of the global economy.

Contact Mercer for more information on their services

9. Alliant – Best For Health Benefits Design Consulting

Overview of Alliant

Alliant is a group made up of creative and experienced professionals who want to help other organizations and businesses navigate the current economic climate. 

Alliant consultants know that benefits play an especially important role in driving retention and engagement, especially during times of change. They’ll assist your compensation efforts every step of the way, providing resources and technology to help you create and implement the best plans for your team.

Learn more about Alliant’s compensation consulting services on their website.

Alliant’s Top Employee Compensation Services

Alliant understands that a compensation strategy with fully fleshed-out employee benefits generates long-term value for organizations of all sizes. That’s why they offer the following variety of consulting services:

  • Health and productivity program guidance and development
  • Benefits program administration
  • Industry benefits benchmarking

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

If your organization is struggling with designing your employee health benefits program, Alliant is the consultant firm to go to. Alliant understands that cultures that promote healthy lifestyles drive long-term employee value.  

This firm will work with you to create customized health benefit programs based on your employees, culture, and budget. With Alliant’s highly experienced team of clinicians and wellness consultants on your side, designing your health benefits will be a breeze.

Contact Alliant for more information on their services. 

10. Pearl Meyer & Partners – Best Compensation Consultants for High-Growth Startups

Overview of Pearl Meyer & Partners

Equipped with over 30 years of experience, Pearl Meyer & Partners has helped thousands of clients improve and optimize their employee compensation strategies.

Pearl Meyer & Partners has positioned itself as a thought leader for growing organizations, like high-growth startups. With their consulting services, your organization can create a compensation plan that thrives in today’s fast-paced environment.

Learn more about Pearl Meyer & Partners’ compensation consulting services on their website.

Pearl Meyer & Partners Top Employee Compensation Services

Pearl Meyer & Partners know that there’s no “one size fits all” best practice when it comes to developing your own compensation strategy. Instead, they aim to develop partnerships with clients in order to best understand their needs. Pearl Meyer has the following services:

  • Executive and employee compensation plan creation and feedback
  • Communication guidelines for announcing compensation programs (and future updates) to both internal and external audiences
  • Checklists for pre-IPO companies considering an audit

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

High-growth startups experience typical compensation challenges but at a much larger scale and faster pace than many young companies. Pearl Meyer’s consultants have years of experience with early-stage companies in various periods of growth and will be able to help you address any concerns you have.

Further, Pearl Meyer has worked with both public and private companies. This consulting firm has the insight to help any organization apply a long-term lens to its compensation strategy. With this expertise and guidance, you know your organization is set up for success.

Contact Pearl Meyer & Partners for more information on their services. 

11. HR Works – Best Compensation Consultant for Affirmative Action Plans

Overview of HR Works

HR Works is made up of human resources professionals who have served all types of clients for 28 years. HR Works aims to help your business or organization minimize HR risks and increase employee productivity through a variety of compensation consulting services.

One of HR Works’ primary focuses is affirmative action compliance. While not all organizations require an affirmative action plan, it is highly recommended. It’s especially important when it comes to your organization’s inclusion and diversity policy, an essential component of your compensation strategy. With years of experience and 100% technical compliance in OFCCP audits, HR Works closely works with you to develop your own affirmative action plan.

Check out HR Works’ website to learn more about their compensation consulting services.

HR Works’ Top Employee Compensation Services

HR Works knows how important a healthy company culture is to the wellbeing of your business, especially when it comes to affirmative action. Here are some of the top services they offer:

  • Affirmative action plan preparation
  • OFCCP audit support
  • Consultation and affirmative action plan implementation
  • Federal reporting assistance

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

It’s crucial that your organization has a solid affirmative action plan in place, especially for your internal work culture and employee wellbeing. 

HR Works provides affirmative action outsourcing services for whatever needs you have, from determining if you even need a set plan to implementing best practices for your own organization. With this dedicated support, HR Works ensures that every facet of your compensation strategies are sound and approved

Contact HR Works for more information on their services. 

12. Compensation Resources – Best for Board Equity Compensation Consulting

Overview of Compensation Resources

With over 25 years of experience, Compensation Resources specializes in providing emerging and mid-sized organizations with comprehensive compensation and human resources consulting services.

Often working with the boards of organizations and businesses alike, Compensation Resources can help your organization come up with creative and pragmatic solutions to any of your board compensation issues.

To learn more about Compensation Resources’ consulting services, explore their website.

Compensation Resources’ Top Employee Compensation Services

Compensation Resources has earned a reputation for providing sound business advice and consulting services to a number of their clients. Here are some of their top services:

  • Board member compensation plan review and design
  • Executive compensation evaluations
  • Stock option and board equity strategies

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

A pain point many larger organizations might have is determining how to compensate and engage their board members. Compensation Resources has specific abilities that aim to support programs focused on board member pay, retainers, and equity compensation. 

Compensation Resources aims to provide thoughtful, independent counsel to ensure that your board is fully engaged and invested in your organization’s growth.

Contact Compensation Resources for more information on their services. 

13. Brio Benefit Consulting – Best for Benefits-Focused Consulting Needs

Overview of Brio Benefit Consulting

Brio Benefit Consulting was founded in 2004 to help combat two pain points: the frustrating reactive approach to employee benefits and the lack of education that employees receive about their benefits.

Brio helps nonprofits and businesses alike identify the holes in their benefits strategies and creates sustainable solutions that help employers offer great plans to their employees.

Check out Brio Benefit Consulting's website to learn more about their compensation consulting services.

Brio Benefit Consulting’s Top Services

Brio Benefit Consulting has a unique and streamlined process that is focused on helping organizations satisfy their employees’ benefits needs. Their top services include:

  • Discovery meetings to gain a deep understanding of the organization’s needs and culture
  • Customized blueprints built for each organization that serves as a road map for their strategy
  • Software that helps organizations track their progress

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

Brio is all about benefits. Plus, their unique process reflects their belief that you don’t have to sacrifice your budget to offer great benefits your employees want. They track and measure eight KPIs to help maintain this balance.

Because of their emphasis on keeping up with current benefits trends and employee wants and needs, Brio Benefit Consulting stands out as a top compensation consulting firm that organizations can look to for real solutions.

Contact Brio Benefit Consulting for more information on their services.

Overview of The VisionLink Advisory Group

Created in 1996, The VisionLink Advisory Group is a pay design company that helps private employers design performance-based compensation strategies that satisfy employees and promote growth.

They specialize in designing variable compensation plans and offer consulting support and software for managing your strategy.

Check out The VisionLink Advisory Group to learn more about their variable compensation consulting services.

The VisionLink Advisory Group’s Top Services

VisionLink’s approach to compensation plan design centers on performance and aligning employee and employer values. Their offerings include:

  • Incentive plan design geared toward rewarding annual and long-term performance
  • Total rewards audits and structuring to help you compete for top talent
  • BonusRight, a tool that helps you create, communicate, and manage your company’s bonus plan

Why This Compensation Consulting Firm Stands Out

VisionLink wants you and your employees to be on the same page. This firm believes in helping you create variable compensation plans that will empower you to find and retain employees who are truly invested in the success of your business.

VisionLink made our list because they believe that above all, value-sharing between employers and employees can drive sustainable growth, which is reflected in their services.

Contact The VisionLink Advisory Group for more information.

Compensation strategy is vitally important for businesses and nonprofits of every size and industry. Remember, employee compensation programs and practices should reflect an organization’s long-term goals and priorities.

While developing an employee compensation program that addresses everything can be a challenge, compensation consulting firms are always available to guide your team through the process.

Look for partners with plenty of experience and a wide range of services in your specific space. Most importantly, look for a compensation consultant who understands that your strategy and program must lay a foundation for sustainable growth.

Interested in finding more resources on compensation consulting and human resources best practices? Continue your research with these articles:

Click through to contact Astron Solutions and get started with their compensation consulting services today!

5 Steps to Developing a Digital Accessibility Playbook

Developing a Digital Accessibility Playbook


Do you truly understand your organizations responsibility to provide accessible digital content for people with disabilities? Digital accessibility is something many businesses are aware of, but most haven’t addressed. No matter the type of organization you are, it is likely that a decent chunk of your customers and employees want or need accessibility. Almost 60 million Americans (or 1 in 5) have a declared disability. People with disabilities shop, read, engage, and work just like everyone else, so why wouldn’t they need access to your digital environments?

Over the past decade, one of the most concerning legal trends for organizations in the U.S. has been digital accessibility lawsuits. It has been especially prevalent in certain states; California, New York, and Florida. The complaints included organizations having websites or documents inaccessible to screen readers, or video content not captioned and audio described. As a result, there is an urgent imperative for organizations to proactively make their digital content accessible or suffer the financial and social consequences associated with these lawsuits.

For organizations trying to avoid the risks of maintaining inaccessible digital environments, there is already a well-established playbook. Following these five steps is paramount for any size organization to avoiding costly litigation.


First and foremost, organizations should check with their legal counsel to ensure that accessibility is a priority, and that a comprehensive compliance plan and accessibility policy is developed and made available to the public. The compliance plan should include steps to assess and remediate accessibility for websites, apps, documents, and videos, along with a dedicated, accessible method of contact for users who are experiencing accessibility issues. In conjunction, internal IT teams or vendors should be consulted to make sure they are aware of their responsibility to make digital environments accessible, and that the accessibility plan includes training for those teams.


Most organizations with web properties should have their sites and applications audited for accessibility by an outside organization to get a baseline of what is needed. The ensuing reports will help guide future training and remediation efforts and will prove crucial in prioritizing work.


Whether the accessibility fixes will be done by internal IT teams, the current IT vendor, or a digital accessibility focused vendor, organizations should ensure that those responsible for making them are well-versed in digital accessibility: what the issues are, what changes need to be made, and how to implement them.


Once the accessibility issues have been identified and teams have been trained in how to fix them, organizations should begin making changes prioritizing the most trafficked pages and documents to have the greatest immediate impact. Once the issues have been addressed, it is strongly recommended to have those sites and apps checked for usability by stakeholders.


Digital environments will ostensibly keep changing. As such, organizations must make sure that accessibility is continuously considered in any digital iterations, to avoid falling back out of compliance.

As far as digital accessibility goes, it’s not a sprint, but a marathon. A partner can help you develop a playbook that ensures ongoing compliance, which will reduce liability and maintain an inclusive environment. With a growing focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), efforts are expanding more than ever to include disability. This expansion means organizations need to be conscious of meeting all accessibility standards, including digital media.

Michael Caprara

Chief Information Officer

The Viscardi Center

This article was also featured in our newsletter NFP Advisor Vol. 25