In our 2023 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, we asked if you would be looking for a job with a different organization in 2023.
More than a third (34%) of nonprofit communications staff plan to look for new jobs in 2023. But we suspect that a much larger percentage are open to opportunities even if they are not actively looking.
Is the Great Resignation Still Going?
Either way, many blamed the Great Resignation on employees just wanting more money, but research shows it’s much deeper than that.
In my September 2021 post The Great Resignation: Why Your Nonprofit Employees Are Quitting and How to Stop It, I found that the highest quit rate is among those that are “not engaged” and “actively disengaged” workers. Gallup calculated employee engagement by having survey takers rate the following statements (what they call the 12 essential elements of engagement) on a scale from 1-5 with a sixth option of “don’t know/does not apply”:
- I know what is expected of me at work.
- I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
- At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
- In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
- My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
- There is someone at work who encourages my development.
- At work, my opinions seem to count.
- The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
- My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
- I have a best friend at work.
- In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
- This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
I highlighted three of these elements because they all speak to a trend we found in our 2023 Trends Report data.
Which Nonprofits Should Be Most Concerned About Losing Their Communications Staff
When analyzing the answers from survey takers who were likely to leave (see chart below), what really stood out as the differentiator isn’t team size or whether they received a raise in the last two years. It was (1) whether they believe there is an opportunity for advancement and (2) how difficult it is to say No when a supervisor makes a work request. (See Kivi’s post Why Communications Staff Need the Ability to Say No for more on this second factor)
A whopping 80% of those who said they were looking for a new job did NOT believe they had an opportunity for advancement or weren’t sure.
So you can’t really blame staff retention problems on money alone. For nonprofit communicators, much more goes into their decisions about whether to stay or go.
You can read all about our findings on nonprofit communications jobs including salary info and budget size in our FREE 2023 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report.