We are all currently living in strange times! While the governments of some countries are now trying to find a way to carefully lift some of the Corona virus restrictions safely, many employees will still be working from home for the foreseeable future. For large, especially tech-oriented, organizations this is likely not far removed from their ordinary work as most will work through personal laptops. However, for many smaller organizations, especially those in service and public industries, working remotely may prove more difficult.
Besides these struggles, working from home and not being able to go to the office can create distance. Calls through Microsoft Teams, WebEx, Zoom, Skype, or other online video services help, of course, but it requires much more alignment and clear communication than when everyone is together in the office. Employees may start to feel disconnected from their team and find themselves less motivated to work. So how do you decide on a good strategy to encourage employees to commit and stay long-term?
Pitfalls of Working Remotely
Working from home can be distracting and is prone to some pitfalls:
- Working too much
- Feeling lonely
- Decrease productivity
- Miscommunications or missing of vital information
Even during ordinary times roughly 40% of employees are at least passively looking for a different job or planning to look within the following six months. All the more reason to see what you can do as an organization to keep your people happy and satisfied with the work you are doing.
Employee retention is important and “critical to the long-term success of your business” because they ensure healthy sales numbers and customer satisfaction as a result. A high turnover is costly and takes up valuable time as you will have to start recruiting. Furthermore, any new hires have to be onboarded and trained.
(Remote) Retention Strategies
For your organization to retain talented employees, you have to put effort into engagement and motivation. If anything, the reality of the Corona virus makes it all the more important to support and help each other nurture the growth of your organization.
Ah yes, communication. Regardless of position, type of job, crisis, relationship, communication is always one of the most important elements for organizations to function well and keep everyone happy. Communication starts in the recruitment phase with you clarifying what you expect from the candidates and depends on which “aspects of culture strategy you want to emphasize” to find the right match.
Regularly check up with your employees regardless of whether or not they are new hires. These conversations should not only be performance focused. Show your employees that you notice them, ask how they are doing and increase engagement this way. Either way, be open and transparent because this will help you “foster a sense of community and shared purpose.”
#2 Align Expectations
Even more important when dealing with remote situations is setting clear goals and expectations. Make sure your employees know what you expect of them and where you want you business to go. Ensure frequent alignment so that you are all heading in the same direction. Regular meetings help to keep each other updated as well as encourage employee involvement. Do not change your expectations constantly as that can cause stress. This is frequently something that employees list as a reason to want to leave.
Employee Reasons to Stay
Reasons for an employee to stay vary greatly among your workforce. However, according to a Harvard Business Review, there are some common reasons that employees list as reasons to want to remain with their current employers. One of the most important ones is the ability to grow within the organization. Make sure to outline your career path and growth potential clearly so that employees know what they can achieve if they stay at your organization.
Stability and flexibility are also cited as considerations. Having a job provides employees the stability to buy a house, or start a family so if you can, find your talent and offer them permanent contracts. In addition, flexibility to work from home, choose their hours, or have a variety of “increasingly challenging roles” can add to the feeling of ownership and amp up employee motivation. Likewise, it will show the employee that you trust them to do their work well.
Essentially, most employees are looking for engagement, trust, and reason to stay with you. Having clear expectations, regular alignment meetings and the occasional (remote) office “get-togethers” works well towards retaining your top talent.
Find your strategy
If an employee does leave, make sure you ask them why. Use that knowledge to improve on your retaining strategy. In addition, ask for your current employees’ opinion about your organization. How do they think it’s going? What do they like? What would they like to see improved? All of this information is key to ensuring your organization’s culture invites employees to stay for a very long time, regardless of whether or not you have to employees in remote working situations.
FourVision is Microsoft’s global leading Dynamics 365 Human Resources implementation partner. We have successfully implemented HR platforms in a variety of industries across multiple Microsoft environments for over a decade. FourVision also delivers an impressive suite of Web Apps that extend Microsoft Dynamics 365 Human Resources.