Tuesday, December 4, 2007

How to deal with high staff turn-over?

An advisor working with various local NGOs faced the main challenge of high staff turnover of the local staff. After the staff members have been trained and improve their performance, they leave the NGO for another job. Many well performing staff of local NGOs moved to international NGOs.

How can an advisor working to develop the capacity of local NGOs deal with this? An option is to keep meetings and trainings very simple. The capacity assessments are performed in a light way, because they are only a snapshot, and change as time passes by. The plannings that follow are focused within a time frame of 6-12 months. If there are 3-4 things to work on for a period of 6 months, the results may be more sustainable. One year later, the context can be totally different due to the departure of staff.

So what are interventions that can reduce the high level of staff turn-over and/or mitigate its effect on the organisation? As a capacity building advisor you can stimulate:
  • Improvement of the non-monetary working conditions, the secondary benefits
  • Documentation of practices
  • Sharing of stories about activities that have been undertaken in the organisation

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