One of the top employer concerns for a remote employee workforce is employee engagement. Nearly 31 percent of employees leave a company within six months of their hire date. Constant staffing changes disrupt a team’s harmony and halts important projects and initiatives. Onboarding new talent is also an arduous and expensive process, so retaining your best team members is more important than ever.
How can you mitigate the risk of losing your best talent? These 15 strategies will help you build a successful team in any economy.
1. Be honest and forthright about the job’s responsibilities.
One of the best ways to retain top talent is to make sure you hire the right person for the role. Set the right expectations during the interview process. Discuss accurate expectations for daily job requirements, travel needs, and remote work policies. This makes sure there are no surprises down the line. Also, do your due diligence by double-checking any references. Everyone can look great on paper, but pale in comparison once they’re in your office.
2. Reduce unique remote employee pain points.
Are there any frustrating aspects of the job, especially in an at-home environment, that you can help alleviate? Make it as easy as possible for your employees to get their jobs done. Does the role require your team to talk on the phone for a significant part of their day? Equip them with comfortable headsets. Is there a lot of collaboration? Make essential collaboration tools a standard part of onboarding. This may require a brainstorm or survey to determine where you can improve your internal processes. Ask current employees for feedback, since they know your business inside and out. Their feedback will be integral in helping you streamline production and workflow.
3. Allow flexible scheduling.
If it’s not required for work to occur during set hours, allow employees to create their own schedules, especially now that working from home is standard. Make it easy for employees to tend to other aspects of their lives, like family responsibilities. The less stressed they feel about doctor appointments or childcare, the more likely they will be to put in extra effort in their job duties. Also, encourage employees to eat lunch away from their desks and get up and walk around. Create unique and engaging health and fitness competitions that foster camaraderie.
4. Celebrate employee achievements.
Do you make it obvious how an individual job responsibility fits into the overall vision of your company? Announce top contributors in weekly meetings or send a monthly newsletter detailing employee successes. Be relentless in your mission to showcase meaningful work to keep each remote employee engaged in the overall direction of your company. Recognizing employees does wonders for morale, company culture, and work ethic.
5. Be fully transparent.
Integrity is a critical way to retain your best performers. Hiding information, muddling expectations, and/or ignoring employee questions are sure-fire ways to disengage your team. Keep each remote employee focused and committed by behaving in a transparent, trustworthy manner.
6. Involve top talent in new and exciting opportunities.
A great way to reward your best team members is to include them in interesting projects that add real value to company performance. Invite staff to take on burgeoning projects or pilot the implementation of a new technology. Your staff will feel good about the added responsibility and trust you put in them, helping to increase employee retention and loyalty.
7. Offer additional training resources.
Help your employees grow their skills so they can perform their job duties with even more confidence. Valuable mentorship opportunities like these increase employee morale and show that you care about their success. Plus, growing employees from the inside of your team is often more affordable than hiring more experienced staff with higher salary starting points.
8. Promote hard working remote employee team members.
Reward top performers with promotions and raises. People want to know that their hard work does not go unnoticed. Frequently promote staff to new job titles to help advance their careers.
9. Set remote employee promotion and raise expectations.
Make sure your employees know what you most value in their job performance. Guide them towards specific and measurable milestones so they know when that next promotion is coming. Create a rubric of requirements so they know what they need to do to get to the next level. Otherwise, they could become frustrated or feel raises and promotions are subjective.
10. Stick to an annual review schedule.
Be proactive about scheduling annual reviews for every team member. Prepare thoughtful, constructive feedback in advance and celebrate the year’s big wins. If you ever have an issue with a team member, having this track record can also safeguard your business if you have to let them go.
11. Foster team spirit.
From team lunches to volunteer opportunities, involve every remote employee in activities that create a team-oriented environment. Activities like these invite your team get to know one another and helps them work together better.
12. Take time each week to connect.
Schedule weekly check-ins to see how you can better support your remote employee team members. Even if just a ten-minute chat, people feel respected when you take extra time out of your day to listen to them. Plus, oftentimes you can nip potential problems in the bud before they become bigger issues.
13. Encourage feedback.
Don’t just give feedback. Request it from each remote employee. Ask how you can help improve your team’s daily job functions and how you can be a better manager. Integrate their feedback to show it truly matters to company success. You’ll be surprised how much it means to your team.
14. Maintain a tidy workplace.
People are more likely to respect safe and clean environments. It also helps with productivity. Keep your office in shipshape to maintain a level of professionalism you expect in your employees, and give them an inspiring environment to perform at their best.
15. Set perk expectations at the outset.
Never implement remote employee perks that cannot nimbly scale with company growth. Do you buy cakes or lunches on employee birthdays? Make sure this is an offering you can stick with no matter how large your team becomes. Nobody likes when perks get taken away, so being more modest with them from the start may be a better strategy in morale boosting.
Losing the fight against employee retention creates a disruptive environment. It also costs your company money and time spent backfilling positions. By implementing these suggestions, you can create stability within your company and ensure everyone remains committed to your overall vision. The best employees care about their work and it is your job to foster an environment where they feel supported and respected.
Jared McKinney is Head of Content and SEO at Podium, one of the fastest-growing startups in the U.S. From idea to IPO, he’s helped multiple high-growth startups lower cost per lead through SEO, content marketing and marketing automation.