Third sector under pressure as employees quit to find higher paid jobs

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Sep 26 2023 by Management-Issues Print This Article

Over half (55 per cent) of employees working in charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations in the UK have left the sector in search of higher paid jobs in other industries, new research suggests.

The Rewarding Industries 2023 report by Endsleigh Insurance surveyed financial decision-makers across the UKís third sector to analyse how organisations are responding to the challenges faced in todayís climate. It has revealed the extent to which talent recruitment and retention within third sector organisations have been impacted by the ongoing financial crisis.

In addition to the proportion of workers who have already left the sector, there may be worse to come. More than three-quarters of the sector leaders surveyed (77 per cent) say their employees will be tempted to look for a higher paid job in the next 12 months because many are struggling to cope financially.

But itís not just retaining talent in the sector. Almost half (45 per cent) say it has become even more difficult to attract and recruit new talent because organisations simply canít offer salaries that are competitive compared to working in the private sector.

Introducing more hybrid working practices was the most popular way that organisations are aiming to keep hold of staff, with four out of 10 (39 per cent) saying they now offer employees more flexibility with their location of work and working hours. A further quarter (24 per cent) say they have also reduced working hours to improve work-life balance. In addition, a third said that they are providing more wellbeing support.

As inflation and living costs remain high, four out of 10 (42 per cent) senior leaders say they are under increased pressure to improve salaries and financial remuneration. As a result, 38 per cent increased staff wages, 29 per cent increased pension contributions and 28 per cent introduced bonus schemes as a way to reward employees.

Whilst there are a number of areas which the third sector is working on to improve its appeal as an employer, the research also revealed that employee benefits are still far behind where they should be. Of those surveyed, less than one per cent say they had introduced or improved employee benefits such as health insurance, cycle to work schemes or employee assistance programmes.

Alison Meckiffe, CEO, Endsleigh Insurance, said: ďIt has been one of the most challenging years for the third sector, even more so now than during the height of the pandemic. Charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations are finding themselves exposed to the cost-of-living crisis. The impact on talent recruitment, retention and wellbeing within the sector is of a huge concern.Ē