It’s a nightmare to have one of your best employees resign out of the blue. Immediately, you’re faced with a new set of challenges on top of your regular responsibilities. Not only must you find a replacement but also deal with the aftermath on the rest of your staff.
Skilled professionals have been in high demand since remote working became a trend so it’s no small feat to find suitable alternatives for exiting members. Plus, people notice when a coworker leaves. Some may even start wondering if they should follow suit, leading to a downward spiral.
Worst of all, the costs of turnover are increasingly high. According to data compiled by the Society for Human Resource Management, each departure costs about one-third of that worker’s annual salary. Some estimates even say it costs double a worker’s salary to replace them.
For these reasons and more, retaining productive workers should be a major concern for business executives and HR professionals. Make it your job to create and implement effective strategies to boost job satisfaction and decrease turnover. Here are several effective strategies you can use.
Ways to Keep Your Staff Working for You
1 – Prioritise their development
Every worker has their own professional aspirations and goals, which is why employee development goes hand-in-hand with retention. They might want to get better at what they’re doing or learn a new skill set. Ask them about these and see how you can help.
If you’re not equipped to train them yourself, look for free book programs or online courses they can sign up for. You may also reimburse their tuition, even if partly, in the event that they need to participate in a paid seminar to hone their skills.
2 – Make expectations clear
See to it that your staff know exactly what you expect of them. After all, it’s hard for anyone to perform up to your standards and stay motivated when they have no idea what their role entails and what results you wish to see from them.
The best time to set clear expectations is during the onboarding process for new recruits. In this way, they know what they’re getting into and what they should prepare themselves for. They’ll be less likely to question you when you demand the expected results too.
3 – Reward good work
One way to demonstrate your appreciation for staff who meet and exceed expectations is by giving them incentives. This can be anywhere from a certificate for a nice restaurant to paying for a new computer. Don’t restrict yourself to monetary rewards either.
Think how you can address their emotional and mental needs as well. Maybe you can give them recognition in front of their colleagues via company-wide emails. Or perhaps you can gift them with clothing that sport the company logo. Any of these aid in building morale.
4 – Allow small talk
It sounds counterproductive to invest time on making small talk but it enables you to get to know your team members better. Doing so helps you view them as complete people rather than just individuals who happen to work for you.
Humanisation of the employee-employer relationship allows a unique type of loyalty to form. Most prefer to work with someone who treats them like a friend than someone who treats them like a slave, after all. Just be careful not to get overfamiliar, though – this comes with business complexities.
5 – Give feedback regularly
One major difference between an office setting and a remote setting is the lack of daily in-person interactions. If you don’t want your virtual workers to feel disconnected, you need to make extra effort to provide regular feedback along with formal reviews.
Hearing from leaders will let employees know where they currently stand, get them on the same page as everyone else, and remove any surprises during the evaluations. They can improve in certain areas earlier and learn to seek guidance more as well.
6 – Offer flexible hours
While the 9-to-5 schedule is effective for an office-based team, remote employees sometimes need to change up their hours or take an impromptu day-off to visit the family or go to the doctor. Giving people autonomy in determining their schedule is helpful for retention.
It is sometimes unreasonable to expect your staff to work during specific times at 100% efficiency, even if they’re in customer service or technical support. They’ll inevitably have less productive days and you don’t need to pressure them too much about it unless it happens often.
7 – Open communication lines
As mentioned previously (see strategy 2), you must set clear expectations with your employees, preferably during the onboarding process. Continue this streak of creating a collaborative environment where everyone has an opportunity to ask questions and offer their ideas.
Teaching your team to communicate well through video, chat, or email is especially important when you’re virtual. It gives individuals an avenue to connect with whoever they need to to become successful at their jobs. They’ll also learn to be more candid than reserved with you.
8 – Check stress levels
Overworking employees is never a good idea, even if it speeds up production for a short while. Here’s proof:
- Stanford and Harvard researchers found that long hours decrease life expectancy by 20%.
- A Morneau Shepell report says that 34% of employees suffer from extreme stress levels.
To know if your workers have too much on their plates, check if they’re clocking in after sunrise or late at night. Pay attention if they’re falling ill more often too.
Hire more people if you have to. Otherwise, consider outsourcing some of the tasks to a reliable third party.
If you’re serious about building a team of people who are likely to stay in the company for a long time, simply recruit the right employees. Set standards and hire only those who pass the requirements to reduce your chances of having staff suddenly leave.
Do you need help finding such talent? Remote Workmate can help. We specialising in offshore staffing solutions. Unlike freelancing marketplaces where you do everything yourself, we handle the heavy lifting for you, including recruitment and payroll.
We’re committed to finding the best virtual professional for your needs.Want a reliable remote employee?
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