The Great Resignation is actually happening, and it’s been called by that name for a good reason. In just one month in 2021 alone, 4 million Americans quit their jobs. Everywhere you look, employees are quitting in droves.
There are plenty of reasons, but primarily, the pandemic has had a major impact. Many people started working remotely and seriously reconsidering the path they want their careers and lives to go in.
Perhaps you’ve had a number of employees leave you or perhaps you’re looking for a way to hold on to your best people. Here are some excellent ways to retain your top performers that we tried out ourselves.
Consider remote work
As mentioned, many businesses switched to a remote work model as a consequence of the pandemic. With the situation slowly calming down, those businesses are considering going back to the office or introducing a hybrid work model. But why would you do either of those?
77% of employees believe they’re more productive when working remotely. They don’t have to commute or spend time getting ready for work. They save money on transportation costs and do their part to reduce the carbon footprint.
The most important part, however… 99% of employees would choose to work remotely until the end of their lives, even if it was just part-time. Once remote, consider policies that can improve work-life balance while working from home. For example, the team at Solitaire Bliss introduced “work windows” where they asked their team to be available for meetings only during certain parts of the day providing employees more flexibility, and found that their retention and productivity improved.
It’s pretty clear that if you have the option to work remotely, you should offer it unless you want your employees to seek other opportunities. While there are certain drawbacks to a remote lifestyle, it’s becoming a necessity if you want to retain and attract great employees.
For our own company, it’s been massively helpful because it unlocks a worldwide talent pool. We no longer have to hire a team from one place (or country). Instead, our team has people from the UK, Serbia, Australia, South Africa, Ukraine – the sky is the limit.
Review your compensation
For better or for worse, the spread of remote work opened up some important questions. With no limits on the location you’re hiring from, another important question arises – how much would you pay your remote employees?
It’s been a touchy subject for many remote business owners but the truth is, you can no longer get away with paying someone less just because they’re in a less developed country. Websites such as Weworkremotely have salary ranges on many job ads and for the first time now, employees can see how much they’re worth.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to pay everyone like they live in San Francisco. It does however mean that you should be reviewing your employees’ compensation frequently and keep close tabs on industry standards. If you can save a good employee by spending some more on them – then that’s a good investment for the future of your company.
Embrace full flexibility
If we can now work from wherever we want to, what’s forcing us to stick to a 9-5 schedule? Or any schedule for that matter?
One of the biggest perks of remote work is the ability to work whenever is most convenient and whenever you’re at your most productive. Instead of forcing people to be in the same time window, you can give them the freedom to structure their workday.
The biggest advantage here is the faith you put in your employees and their skills. You trust them that they know how to handle their workload and be responsible for their output.
Second, your employees can now structure their lives around work and not the other way around. My usual workday has plenty of breaks where I take walks with my dog, help out my parents, go to the gym, and more. And at the end of the day, all the tasks get done too!
One way we’ve been able to do this is by switching our focus from the process to the goals to be delivered. Each of our team members has their own weekly, monthly and quarterly goals. As long as they meet those goals, we don’t care when or how they work. If our goal is to finish up 10 proposal templates in one month – that’s the only time constraint we have.
Some of us do our best work in the evenings. In fact, it’s almost 1 AM as I finish writing this article. Others thrive in the mornings. It doesn’t matter when you work, as long as you deliver great work in time.
However, there is the issue of meetings. At Better Proposals, we keep them to a minimum but you may require them, so it’s best to find a time that works for everyone involved.
Speaking of which, flexibility becomes a necessity when you work in a globally remote team. Right now, we have employees from four different time zones, so everyone works at their own pace. We schedule meetings at a time that works best for everyone involved.
Give your employees a chance to prove themselves
Remember how we just mentioned the goals above? For example, one of our link building team members has a goal to get 50 backlinks this month. We didn’t just pull that number out of a hat – we worked on this task for a month before establishing a baseline KPI for a monthly target.
Here’s the game-changer – that’s the only KPI that team member has. They can come up with hundreds of different ways to achieve it and we don’t limit their creativity or problem-solving skills. We know they are capable of achieving it but how they do it is completely up to them.
This approach has multiple benefits.
One, it shows your employees that you have incredible trust in them. You hired them as professionals to do their jobs and you care about the end results. You’re not concerned about the process and you don’t want to micromanage them.
Two, they will come up with new and innovative ways to achieve their monthly goals. Instead of doing the same old, they’ll find ways to ramp up efficiency and get more done in less time.
That brings us to the third benefit – they will be finished more quickly. When you work 9-5, the reward for a job finished early is… more work. There is no motivation to find ways to complete work sooner.
Employees need goals they can crush in a certain time period. If they finish the work sooner – more free time for them. Our writers have a goal of completing three articles per week. They can complete their entire week’s work on Wednesday and enjoy a cool two extra days of no work – if they can manage their workload in this way.
The end result is that your employees can see that you have trust in their skills, and project/ work management skills.
If you’re worried about your best people leaving your company – worry not. It may seem like you have to do a whole lot, but it always boils down to the same things – treating your people with respect, paying them well, and giving them room to do their best work. And with remote work, most of these things became even easier than before.