How Social Service Nonprofits Are Getting Employees to Stick Around
Staffers at Lawrence Hall spend long days working with Chicago’s most troubled young people. For their efforts, they’re paid not much more than a supervisor at Home Depot. “It’s about $14 an hour to do the most acute work in the United States,” says Kara Teeple, CEO of Lawrence Hall, a social services agency with sites in Albany Park, South Shore and Greater Grand Crossing, Ill.
Low pay plus stressful work equals annual turnover of about 37 percent. Teeple says inadequate staff recruiting and retention were in part responsible for headline-grabbing criminal behavior by residents several years ago. Her plans to lower turnover start with an employee-driven overhaul of the agency culture.