There tends to be a high turnover rate related to administrative positions in which Millennials are employed, especially in small companies and associations where there is limited room for growth. In fact, Millennials are known as the “job hopping generation” (see the article ).

How many times have you noticed a new person at the front desk of a businesses you frequent? Maybe turnover is an issue in your place of work. Wherever it occurs, reducing employee turnover should start during the hiring process.

Finding an individual who is compatible with your association’s long-term vision is the first step in retaining administrative support.

As an association manager working with small associations, I am aware of how vital the role of a strong number two is (in our case called an association coordinator) to client relationships and business practices. I use this position as an example in striving to reduce employee turnover as it is often filled by someone who fits the Millennial criteria.

It is important to be invested in the whole employment process, from searching, to hiring, to training, to maintaining the association coordinator’s role. Even if your organization uses a human resources company for hiring, you can still be involved with the process by communicating with your representative and providing feedback on applicants.

Employee turnover is a large business expense. The expense reflects training resources and the inefficiency during the time it takes for a new employee to become fully effective in the role. Hiring the right person in this role is key and can help you to avoid the turmoil of employee turnover. It is important to find a fit with someone who isn’t looking for a professional stepping stone, but instead is looking for a career that is constantly changing and adapting based on client needs. Avoid staff turnover by ensuring that staff are empowered, motivated and are the right fit for their role.

How does an association management company prepare for, and mitigate the threat of employee turnover?

If you are replacing someone who was responsible for multiple roles in an association, this can represent an even bigger gap, and a large learning curve. In order to ensure a seamless transition, the goal is to find an individual who will be committed to their role and ready to hit the ground running. Given the challenges of turnover, the association may feel the urgency to fill this role immediately; however perhaps this process should slow down.

According to an article in Charity Village, it is good to slow down the search and find someone who truly is a fit in the association’s culture. It is also important to ask specific questions about what type of employment the candidates are seeking. Does their resume suggest that they job hop, or are they looking for a long-term position? Are they interested in learning about each association that they work with, and representing that association?

While slowing down the staff search and ensuring you have a perfect fit is a good idea, it could also be damaging to the association as there will be one less staff member working for the client’s needs. This often means that the association manager, needs to step in and complete the tasks associated with the association coordinator role. This could cause a delay in responses to general inquiries and generally lower service standards. It is important to consider whether increasing the association manager’s work load in the short term is worth potentially finding a better employee in the long run.

What to look for in an association coordinator?

An association coordinator’s day is never boring. Ensuring that you have someone who is an exceptional multi-tasker, has outstanding customer service skills and strong computer skills is essential. You need someone that can be the first point of contact for board members and general association members. This person needs to be confident in their knowledge of the association, and able to handle a wide range of inquiries. This person must also be comfortable working with all different types of professions and individuals. For instance, one association client may be a medical association while another could be a nightclub association. Being able to easily familiarize themselves with many different industries and their respective boards of directors will be a major challenge, but a reward in the end, as relationships will be built with the clients.

A helpful article regarding additional information on what to look for in a new hire can be found at

In the end, it is crucial that you outline what type of team member you require for the role. Search to find a long term, invested employee who is engaged and willing to learn on a daily basis. Then, take the time to communicate with this employee, ensure that they understand their roles, and that they are encouraged and rewarded for their milestones. Every individual has different types of motivational factors, find out what works for each of your Millennials – they will all be unique.

Here’s to long term staff with goals to grow the associations we manage as well as grow in their roles!