As your small business starts to grow, you will need to expand your team. In general, this is good news. It means your business is healthy and heading in the right direction. But as you will soon find out, hiring and managing people is no small task.
You need to be good at finding the right people, but then you also need to work on satisfying people’s needs so they stay happy and keep working for you. Needing to constantly hire new people because no one sticks around is not only super expensive, but it can also harm your company’s reputation and make it harder for you to succeed.
There is no one formula for a successful employee retention strategy, although there are many different strategies that have been proven to work. However, one thing you can do that not many people are talking about is offer your employees the opportunity to work remotely.
Here’s why this can have a positive impact on your retention efforts:
Offer Freedom and Flexibility
With so many different ways for people to work and make money online, people are becoming more and more interested in ditching their traditional careers for digital ones. Being able to choose when and where you work is just too hard for people to resist, and if you put too many restrictions on your employees, then you might find it difficult for you to keep them around.
In a perfect world, people would be so engaged with their work and so connected to the company that they wouldn’t even think of switching to something more flexible, but we don’t live in that world. You need to adapt.
Offering employees the opportunity to work from home gives them the same benefits they would receive from a digital job. Plus, you will likely still offer them the same benefits and perks, which will actually make sticking with you an even more attractive option. Of course, not every job can be done away from a traditional office setting, but almost every job has some remote component that can be. In these cases, consider giving people the chance to work part of their workweek from the location they want. This can often be enough to allow people to feel freer and less restricted.
Support Work-Life Balance
Building on this idea of freedom and flexibility, remote work gives people a better chance of building a healthy work-life balance. Not needing to be in the office at all times means there’s more time to spend with friends and family, coordinate kid’s activities, and sneak in a load of laundry.
Being able to do this makes work feel more like a part of life and less like a hindrance. Of course, everyone knows they must work, but no one wants to feel like their job dominates their life and prevents them from doing the other enjoyable activities.
For this to work, though, it’s important you set up some ground rules before you set people off with their remote work arrangements. For example, are there certain times when they need to be online? What about staff meetings? How many hours are they expected to put in? Doing this ensures employees know what’s expected of them, which reduces the chances of things getting messy down the road.
Be More Adaptable
We can never predict what life is going to throw our way. You may hire someone fully committed to your company who wants to be in it for the long haul. However, if their partner gets an opportunity in another city, or they need to relocate, you’re going to be in trouble. This even works in temporary circumstances, such as when an employee loses a loved one and they need to return home for a period of time.
However, if you embrace remote work and get your team used to it early on, then you can prevent this from being a disaster. In fact, in many cases, it might not be a problem at all.
This also helps put employees at ease because they will feel more secure in their jobs. They don’t need to worry about something else in their life causing them to have to change jobs, which is a tremendous source of anxiety.
Take Advantage of More Productivity
All of these perks of remote work are going to not only help you with employee retention, but they will also help make you more productive. At first glance, this might not make sense. We assume people are less productive when they are away from the office. But remote work makes people feel more autonomous and valued, which often translates to higher levels of productivity.
So, as you start to grow your small business and bring new people onto the team, make sure to explore all the different ways you can incorporate remote work into the positions you offer as appropriate.