Jim Killian—Director, Communications & Marketing
Auburn University—Auburn, Alabama
United States
Browse by Professional Interest
Turnover & Retention

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Office Space: Employee Retention Starts on Day One
CURRENTS Article Keeping high-performing staff members is vital to an institution's success. A positive onboarding experience is a fundamental step toward reducing turnover, increasing employee engagement, and raising productivity.

New Research Uncovers Costs, Consequences of Fundraising Staff Turnover
Advancement Weekly Article Most managers know that high staff turnover can have a negative impact on their development team. However, few likely realize that the loss of one staff person can cost their institution fundraising dollars.

Ask How to Retain Top Performers
Article,  Advancement Weekly Article Managers should regularly conduct “stay interviews” with current employees, writes a talent management specialist.

Outlook: Fully Committed
CURRENTS Article Good major gift officers leave for various reasons: poor leadership, lack of support, no options for promotion. But research shows they are willing to stay in less-than-ideal conditions when they're connected to the institution and feel their voice is heard.

Office Space: The Upside of Turnover
CURRENTS Article Turnover presents an opportunity to shake things up, reinvent the conversation about the college's philanthropic mission, and redefine engagement options for your alumni and donors.

Talent Management
Good Question Do you have resources on talent management in advancement?

Unconventional Ways to Retain Top Employees
Article,  Advancement Weekly Article To keep talented workers engaged with their jobs, leaders should encourage them to leverage their hidden skills and interests in the workplace, writes a management expert.

The Real Reasons Workers Leave
Article,  Advancement Weekly Article Employees are more likely to quit if they haven’t received sufficient training or feel underappreciated, writes a business psychologist.

To Retain Top Fundraisers, Change Management Style
Article,  BriefCASE Article Fundraising leaders can retain high-performing major gift officers by creatively promoting them, better developing their skills and finding new ways to measure their performance, say CASE faculty members.

Office Space: Want to Retain Your Fundraisers? Give Them Unlimited Time Off.
CURRENTS Article Taking time off is essential for maintaining one's energy, sanity, and creativity, particularly in a profession where devleopment officers are expected to bring their A-game to an 8 p.m. meeting with a donor and manage other events that are part of a nontraditional work schedule.

Hire Learning
CURRENTS Article Every profession has personnel issues, and advancement is no different. The turnover rate for fundraisers is high. The field is 70 percent female, but women earn 20 percent less money than men, according to the Association for Fundraising Professionals. This article discusses how one advancement vice president has addressed pay inequity and created an environment that retains staff.

How to Retain Top Talent
Article,  Advancement Weekly Article To retain star employees, senior leaders should periodically re-recruit them as if they were new external prospects, says a business professor.

Improve Employee Retention
Article,  Advancement Weekly Article Managers who show employees respect are more likely to retain them, says a leadership authority.

New Study Reveals Decline in CDO Tenure
Article,  BriefCASE Article A newly released study indicates that the average tenure of chief development officers is only one to two years due in large part to “unrealistic expectations” by management and their organization’s lack of understanding of development.

The Tenure Problem: How Can We Make Major Gifts Productive if Gift Officers Keep Leaving?
Eduventures
Article This post explores issues related to productivity and ROI caused by turnover and short tenure among gift officers. Questions are offered to assess short tenure trends.

Effective Talent Management Includes Focus on Retention
Article,  BriefCASE Article Retaining great employees is as important as recruiting them, according to members of the CASE advisory commissions on alumni relations, communications and marketing, and philanthropy.

Build a Succession Plan
Article,  Advancement Weekly Article Advancement offices should formulate a proactive and long-term talent strategy for their mission-critical positions, says a development officer.

Stick the Landing
CURRENTS Article As it grows in stature and expectation, the vice president of development or advancement position entails more than fundraising. The vice president has to be an effective partner to the president, has to spend more time with trustees, and has to be skilled at governance issues and diplomacy. This story explores how the chief development officer position has evolved and what it takes to be a development vice president or assistant vice president these days.

Clustering Similar Employees Leads to Turnover
Advancement Weekly Article New research suggests that minorities, women and other employees with common demographic characteristics who are grouped in teams believe they don’t stand out and must leave their organization to achieve professional success.

Path to the Profession
CURRENTS Article Where does a development shop find good fundraisers? How do you hold on to them? Those questions and more are answered through an exploration of the latest talent management strategies.

Fundraising Fundamentals, Section 8.6
Article This section from Fundraising Fundamentals discusses staff retention.

Retain Employees Who Helped During Recession
Advancement Weekly Article Leadership experts say managers should reward employees who took on extra work for their organizations during the recent recession.

Questions to Curb Employee Turnover
Advancement Weekly Article Reducing employee turnover is simple, according to one leadership expert. Just ask employees three questions and act on their answers.

Ins and Outs
CURRENTS Article When managed effectively, a change in leadership can enhance rather than hurt an institution's fundraising efforts. A successful leadership transition requires, among other things, constant, honest communication with key donors.

Signs Your Best Employee Is Looking Elsewhere
Advancement Weekly Article Now that organizations are being forced to cut back and demand more of their employees, keeping the top talent happy and productive has never been more important. If managers know their star employees are looking for a new job, then they still have a chance to make things better and keep them around.

La palabra con B
CURRENTS Article Los bonos en la procuración de fondos son una táctica usada para atraer y retener a los que contribuyen de alguna manera a la institución, aunque de alguna forma son menos controversiales que antes, no todos creen en los bonos. ¿Cómo son los programas de bonos y cuáles son otras formas de motivar?

The B-Word
CURRENTS Article Fundraising bonuses are one tactic used to attract and retain those who contribute to the institution's bottom line, but while they are less controversial than they once were, not everyone is a believer. What do different bonus programs look like and what are other ways to motivate top talent?

Outlook: No More Revolving Door
CURRENTS Article Advancement programs struggling to retain staff might consider the "people first" approach suggested by the author of this column.

Taking Root
CURRENTS Article Finding the right development employees for your institution is only half the story: Keeping them can be just as difficult. Many believe that retention is directly related to pay and bonuses, but recent research points to the important role that managers play in keeping retention high.

Campaign Fatigue Syndrome
CURRENTS Article As more campuses conduct capital campaigns more often and for more money, campuses face challenges in keeping not just donors but staff members from getting burned out. This article examines how continuous campaigns contribute to staff fatigue and burnout and explores how staffers often, after a successful campaign, leave for another institution (to run another campaign); how staffers gain momentum when they are always in campaign mode; how can campuses keep staffers happy and motivated.

Manager's Portfolio: Become a Retention Expert
CURRENTS Article Higher compensation and better benefits are no longer the deciding factors in why people stay in their jobs. The retention firm TalentKeepers conducted thousands of employee exit surveys to find out what really makes people stick. It is their relationship with their manager. Ten retention leadership talents that managers can develop and apply in their day-to-day interactions with staff and other employees create a powerful retention culture to keep good people.

Student Stand-Ins
CURRENTS Article Old Dominion University's alumni office divided a vacant staff position into four paid student positions — two graduate research assists and two undergraduate interns. The students' enthusiasm and productivity made up for the time spent training, and their presence added a valuable perspective to alumni operations. The program also boosted the office's visibility on campus and promoted advancement to students as a career choice.

Manager's Portfolio: Please Don't Go
CURRENTS Article To reduce the loss of valuable workers, institutional managers should look to the corporate world for techniques to increase retention. This article presents nine steps to take when an important employee resigns, developed by T.J. Rodgers, CEO of Cypress Semiconductor Corp.: 1) React to a resignation immediately. 2) Keep the resignation secret. 3) Tell your supervisor and other involved senior managers right away. 4) Listen carefully to the employee's reasons for resigning. 5) Construct your arguments. 6) Present your alternative plan to the employee, and demonstrate your eagerness to work with him or her. 7) Solve the employee's root problems with the job, if possible. 8) If the employee decides to stay, have him or her tell the competitor immediately. 9) Prevent the next problem.

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