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How to Retain Remote Employees in a Competitive Environment


Remote work keeps gaining popularity both because of the pandemic and because the gig economy is on the rise. Digital nomadism, in particular, has presented itself as a dream-like opportunity for many unsatisfied traditional employees who have begun to increasingly realize there is more to life than 9-5 shifts.

Many businesses have realized that the lower costs of managing remote teams make office work less and less attractive.

However, one particular aspect of remote work that still needs to be polished is management. It’s unfair to expect of employees to keep up if managers aren’t. In other words, both need proper training.

At the same time, the rise of startups has brought additional drastic changes that challenge the traditional business model. Leaders – a category rapidly replacing managers – call for a whole new set of skills and advanced digital literacy.

Overall, multiple trends have contributed to a large change in numerous companies, with employees either following suit or turning to new remote opportunities that are now available to everyone everywhere.

Choose the Right Tools

The choice of proper tolls is critical when it comes to remote work. Apps for managing remote performance are a top priority. The choice of a good email client and communication apps comes close second.

Focus on zero inboxes and heightened visibility for best results. Choose the best IMs. Rely on feedback to pick the best task management tools. Keep an eye on new trends.

Employee Engagement

Much has been said about employee engagement, but the matter of motivating remote employees is still a matter of debate.

It’s proven useful to pay close attention when onboarding remote new hires. Focus on building a culture that nurtures motivation and starts from day one.

Encourage anonymous feedback and make sure to act on it. In this way, employees will know that their voice is being heard, which will boost their engagement in return.

Employing Best Practices

Admittedly, the term “best practices” is a bit vague, given that different businesses have different goals and milestones (not to mention different corporate cultures), but there are still a couple of useful tips to observe.

Firstly, keeping the communication alive should be among the top priorities. Make sure to clearly communicate the channels and timeslots when employees can reach you and also schedule regular meetings.

Secondly, always provide the employees with timely company updates. The frequency is up to you, with best practices being quarterly, monthly, bi-annually or annually. It’s also a good idea to send a company newsletter (monthly) to keep people posted about upcoming activities.

Delegating Work

Remote work may be somewhat similar to startups. In other words, managers should keep in touch with their respective remote teams regularly, while company updates can be provided sporadically.

The same goes for general meetings. E.g., many businesses relying on remote teams schedule daily grooming just to follow up on the tasks at hand, while large meetings are reserved for specified milestones and quarters.

Some employers are finding that using the temporary services of fractional integrators can be quite useful. This can be a great strategy during busy times or when working on a large project.

Allow the Employees to Grow Alongside the Company

Everyone is looking for better job opportunities; it’s just human nature. With the rise of the gig economy, it is only to be expected that people unsatisfied with their jobs will be looking for a better offer.

The key to keeping your employees is to allow them to grow. For many managers, it is difficult to draw the line between “control” and “communication” and there are also many employees (especially those new to remote work) who are afraid to take a lunch break for fear of the manager calling them at that moment.

Make certain to clearly communicate expectations, but also rewards. Help people to grow and move forward by providing them with advancement opportunities. Develop mobile learning strategies to help your employees reach their career goals.

Build a culture of trust and engagement while promoting company values and showing gratitude and palpable rewards.

Empower Every Single Employee

Give your team the freedom to come up with its own ideas, brainstorm, and get truly innovative, even when working independently. Use any means necessary to help employees grow, including training, team building, and employee feedback.

The latter should become part of your regular routine (many businesses rely on quarterly feedback systems) as it will give you an invaluable insight into what drives the workforce.

Knowing their aims will make it easier to fine-tune the approach, so take your time devising a proper strategy and be persistent. Gaining trust takes time, after all.

Building trust and engagement by encouraging feedback should be the goal of every business striving to be the best place for its employees.

The startup model should be your guide. These people are more similar to families than to colleagues simply because they know that only joint efforts can bring forth results in the competitive market.

Learn from them, listen to feedback, and encourage employees to be themselves. That is the only way to ensure stable progress.

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