The Churn rate is the turnover of staff in a given period, usually a year. For example, if you have staff on two year commitments then (if they choose not to stay) every two years you will need to recruit replacement staff just to stay at the same staffing numbers. To grow means beating the churn rate! However, this will after a while increase the churn rate.
Churn rate is most difficult to cope when a YWAM centre or team is very small. Then one or two people leaving can make a huge difference to the workload and often the stress of the leaders.
Ways to Decrease the Churn Rate
- Perhaps are large number of staff passing through and not remaining is an indicator of deeper issues of moral. Self-examination might be a useful here. Make sure all staff complete a Staff Leaving Questionnaire or exit poll and do what they are telling us!! A DTS leader in the UK did a debrief with all the DTS students at the end of the DTS and implemented everything they suggested -- unless of course it was unbiblical or preposterous. The result was the DTSs got better and remained full and highly desirable. In the same way, if we get feedback from staff who are leaving with grievances or suggestions, we ought to have a pretty good reason if we are NOT to do what they suggest. steve
- lack of staff development
- lack of opportunity for mission and action
- difficult relationships with leaders
- lack of career opportunity for staff to develop and grow
- challenges of life in difficult mission fields
- lack of meaningful community
- Keep recruiting a high priority. Try to avoid burnout or complacency here.
- When leading other leaders who exhibit a high churn rate it might be useful to look to see if that leader needs extra coaching or help in their role.
- Challenge staff to stay for more than one year. Two year staff commitments are important to make, as many young YWAMers in particular can grow much better in that time and rarely come with all the skills they need.
- Cultivate a long term mentality to mission. Thinking long term is very important to establishing anything!
- Try to lower the barrier to entry! This is not easy to do because many obstacles exist to doing effective ministry, especially in another culture. A long term attitude is important as the persevering approach is the best way to overcome obstacles.
- In a situation where there is another language to learn bear in mind that to learn a language well takes years, and hence is both a barrier to entry for people and sometimes prevents effective short term work.
Lowering the Barrier to Entry
- Provide help for staff to learn languages rapidly. Ensure indigenous languages are heard on the centre and there is no default to English!
- Give staff good personal fundraising training before they come and during their time. Give staff time to communicate to financial partners and support them in this aspect of the work with advice, encouragements, endorsements and resources as possible.
- Try to tier staff fees to provide lowest levels for staff coming from poorest nations.
- Provide effective staff training, development, and coaching.
- Make sure your centre is really doing something life changing!
- Ensure new staff entering have a good experience, good staff orientation and adequate support to find their way in the first 6 months.