5 reasons for high staff turnover at social enterprises

Finding the best talent for your social enterprise is tough, but retaining people is even harder.

When quizzed on their reason for moving on, employees are often ambiguous with their explanation or seemingly reluctant to divulge too much information.

This is understandable; for most people, leaving a job can be a stressful experience, and they’ll want to avoid leaving on bad terms.

Despite this, the feedback you’ll gain from employees who decide to leave your social enterprise will be vital in ensuring staff turnover is kept to a minimum.

With that in mind, here’s five of the most common reasons staff might decide to leave your organisation:

1. Too many needless policies

Policies and procedures are important in social enterprise, but they shouldn’t stifle employee development or limit their creativity.

If you’re placing too much of an emphasis on stringent rules, certain staff members might feel suffocated.

It’s important to keep your eye on compliance by putting in place the most important policies, but make sure you also give the team enough autonomy to forge their own path through the working day.

2. Burnout

Dealing with employee burnout is something you’ll almost certainly encounter as your social enterprise grows.

If your employees are burning themselves out, there’s clearly a significant degree of passion for the work they’re undertaking, but, ultimately, it will almost definitely be detrimental to their health and the success of the business.

By holding regular catch-ups with individual team members, you’ll have the best chance of spotting the early signs of burnout and tackling the problem before it gets worse.

Don’t be afraid to ask if you think someone is working well beyond the call of duty!

3. Lack of trust

For employees to want to be part of your social enterprise’s future, a high level of trust needs to be apparent throughout your organisation.

If a member of staff feels they’re constantly being watched, or is subjected to daily micro management, they’ll likely start to look elsewhere.

To run a stable social enterprise that’s capable of growth, you need to trust your employees implicitly. And you can do that, providing you combine policies with autonomy (see point 1).

4. Lack of training

How often do you invest in training for your team?

Most people want to be challenged at work, which is why continual development is key to retaining their interest in the enterprise.

There’s no escaping the financial investment you’ll need to make when it comes to training, but it’s one that pays back comprehensively with increased engagement from staff and a skills base that never stops improving.

5. Little recognition

If people within your social enterprise don’t feel as though their hard work is being recognised, why should they stay?

Every achievement should be celebrated, regardless of how small some might be.

Remember – the person who sparks the idea for a brand new, profitable service is offering just as much to the enterprise as the person who spent an extra ten minutes on the phone with a happy customer.

A pat on the back is often enough, but if you think a particular achievement deserves more, shine the brightest spotlight on the employee in question!

Wrapping up

Recruitment is expensive and time consuming, which is why retaining the individual members of your team is vital in ensuring a healthy base from which your social enterprise can grow.

Keep the above reasons for staff disillusionment in mind, and you should be able to avoid having to delve too regularly into the jobs market.