Not-for-profit staff happier and more satisfied than others

You are here:

Print

Not-for-profit staff happier and more satisfied than others

6/19/2013 1:41:00 PM

Employees at Australia's 45,000[i] not-for-profit (NFP) organisations are generally happier and more satisfied with where they work and what they do than workers from other sectors, new research shows.

However, NFPs also appear to be at greater risk of losing management staff based on findings from the research that indicates NFP managers are more likely to consider leaving their jobs than their counterparts in the broader total workforce. The research also reinforced that attracting and retaining employees remains one of the most significant challenges facing the NFP sector.

Among the findings of the Workplace Insights 2013 Not-for-Profit Sentiment Study released today:

  • NFP workers are happier: 66% of NFP employees are very satisfied or extremely satisfied with their current role compared with 56% of total workforce employees
  • NFP managers are harder to keep: 50% of NFP managers have considered leaving their organisation compared with 36% of managers in the total workforce
  • NFPs appeal most to specific demographics: over-55s, women and part-timers are most drawn to the sector and once there are the most satisfied working in it
  • Attraction and departure 'perception gap':differences in opinion exist between what NFP HR leaders and NFP staff consider as key motivations to enter and exit the sector

The research[i] was conducted by Sweeney Research and released today in Queensland and the Northern Territory by workplace benefits and salary packaging services provider RemServ. The study was commissioned nationally by RemServ's sister company Maxxia.

Over 1,850 leaders and employees from the NFP and broader workforce sectors participated in the research. The aim of the study was to better understand what engages and motivates employees in the NFP sector and how these insights could be used to maximise staff attraction and retention.

RemServ Managing Director Mike Salisbury expressed a desire that by sharing the research, not-for-profit managers and human resource leaders' could further their development of strategies for attracting, hiring and retaining staff.

"The research shows that attracting and retaining staff is one of the most significant challenges for human resources managers in the not-for-profit sector. As a provider focused on assisting NFP's and other organisations to administer their workplace benefits and remuneration programs, we are keen to further assist the sector with information that may assist it in managing this challenge," Mr Salisbury said.

"So it is our sincere hope that Queensland and Northern Territory not-for-profit organisations can use key insights from the study to complement and enhance their efforts to attract and retain the necessary mix of skilled and qualified employees."

Mr Salisbury said the study presented a number of insights that consider why people join the NFP sector, what drives their intentions to stay, what would trigger a decision to leave, and which demographics are most pre-disposed to working in the sector.

NFP workers more satisfied

Workplace Insightsestablished that NFP workers are essentially happier and more satisfied than their total workforce equivalents with 58% saying they are extremely satisfied or very satisfied with their current employer, compared with 51% of total workforce employees.

Similarly, when assessing role satisfaction, 66% of NFP employees stated they are extremely satisfied or very satisfied compared with just 56% of total workforce employees.

Queensland and Northern Territory findings about role and employer satisfaction largely followed the national trends. However in Queensland, NFP employees were marginally less satisfied with their employer than their counterparts in the state's total workforce.

The study furtheridentified that the strongest correlation with employer and job satisfaction involves theworking environment, asense of achievement and belonging, thelevel of enjoyment and recognition, with NFP employees outperforming the total workforce across these drivers:

Satisfaction with key aspects of employment:

 

Working Environment

Sense of Achievement

Sense of Belonging

Level of Enjoyment

Level of Recognition

NFP Employees

81%

80%

78%

76%

67%

Total Workforce

72%

70%

67%

67%

62%

Conversely, the study also examined the primary drivers for staff to consider leaving their employer, with issues such aslimited career paths, low wages, poor morale and management,andstressbeing common departure triggers across both NFPs and the total workforce.

NFP managers are harder to keep, attraction and retention remains challenging

Workplace Insightsfound 50% of NFP managers have considered leaving their organisation compared with 36% of total workforce managers, and that 34% of NFP managers have actively explored opportunities outside the organisation compared with some 26% of managers in the total workforce.

Perceptions around career prospects, performance targets and performance-improving feedback were areas where NFP managers' perceptions were below that of managers from the total workforce, indicating potential factors contributing to their heightened consideration of alternative jobs and opportunities.

Importantly, finding and retaining staff was also identified as one of the most significant challenges continuing to face the NFP sector. Some 45% of NFP HR leaders surveyed stated this as their foremost challenge, followed by a lack of funds (11%), finding suitable managers (9%) and managing staff morale (8%).

NFPs appeal most to specific demographics

The study identified that three demographics appear to represent the best possible employment and retention prospects for NFPs based upon sentiments they expressed about working in the sector:

  • Women were more satisfied with their employer (58%) and role (67%) than men, and were also stronger Net Promoters of their current employer (plus 17%)
  • Workers aged 55 years and over were more satisfied with their employer (61%) and role (70%) than younger workers, and were also stronger Net Promoters of their current employer (plus 15%)
  • Part-timer's were more satisfied with their employer (63%) and their role (70%) than full-time and casual workers, and were also stronger Net Promoters of their current employer (plus 19%)

The Net Promoter Score assessed respondents' propensity to recommend their employer to others.

The pre-disposition of over-55s in particular to work in the sector is significant in view of Australia's ageing population. For NFPs, this indicates an opportunity to access a growing pool of valuable mature workers who can make a significant contribution to the sector and society more broadly.

Attraction and departure 'perception gap'

TheWorkplace Insightsresearch indicated a potential 'perception gap' between what NFP HR leaders and NFP employees consider draws workers to the sector and what might prompt them to leave.

As an example, 54% of NFP employees citedhaving the relevant skills and qualificationsas a key reason for joining the sector, compared with 5% of NFP HR leaders who cited it as a key reason.

Conversely,positively impacting people's liveswas the reason 60% of NFP HR leaders gave for staff joining the sector, compared with 56% of NFP employees that said this.

Taken together, these findings are important as they indicate that whilst NFP employees want to use their skills and qualifications to positively impact others, some NFP HR leaders may be potentially underestimating future or existing employees desire to employ both their capability and their compassion.

Differences concerning the importance of flexible working hours, work-life balance and stability of employment indicated other areas where the opinions of NFP HR leaders and employees were also contrasted, providing insight into motivations which may deserve heightened attention when recruiting people to the sector.

Reasons for working in the sector:

 

Skills/Qualifications

Flexible Hours

Work-Life Balance

Job Stability

NFP Employees

54%

35%

35%

28%

NFP HR Leaders

5%

6%

3%

3%

The Workplace Insights summary report is available by clicking here.

About RemServ:

RemServ, as part of the McMillan Shakespeare Group, has been an industry leader in Queensland and the Northern Territory for more than 14 years, helping many prominent health, NFP, government and private sector clients implement effective workplace benefit programs to improve staff attraction and retention.


[i]IBISWorld Industry Report X0021, Charities & Not-for-Profit Organisations in Australia, estimated there were 45,723 NFP businesses in 2012 with annual revenue of $109 billion.

[i]Workplace Insights was commissioned nationally by RemServ's sister company Maxxia . Both companies form part of the McMillan Shakespeare Group. The research was conducted by Sweeney Research and is based on the views of a national sample of employers and employees established through focus groups with NFP and non-NFP employees, in-depth interviews with selected employers, 808 online interviews with NFP employees, and 875 online interviews with employees from other sectors. The survey sample was sourced from a leading online panel provider and final data weighted to the ABS Census to ensure representativeness. Sweeney also conducted 200 telephone interviews with NFP employers and human resource leaders across Australia. Quotas were employed for state, NFP sector and organisation type to provide a broad coverage of the NFP sector.

Back to list

Loading

LiveChat: False