By Natalia Campana
One of the biggest concerns for many business owners when it comes to hiring freelancers online is reducing turnover. Without a face-to-face interaction and a set location, having staff completely disappear on you is a bigger risk – but one easy to prevent.
Any business can benefit from outsourcing to freelancers over office workers, and here, we’re taking a look at what you can do as a business owner to reduce turnover when hiring remote workers.
Why Hire Remotely?
To understand how to reduce turnover, we first need to understand why it makes sense for businesses to hire remotely. A study found that 91% of people who work from home are happier than those who work in an office.
Similar studies have also found overwhelming evidence that remote workers are more productive, feel more valued, and work more efficiently than the traditional office-based model. So, we know that hiring online can be hugely beneficial to your business, but how do you stop those remote workers going elsewhere?
One of the biggest advantages of working remotely online is the flexibility you receive in your working hours. As a business owner, holding your remote employees to set working hours is one of the best ways to send those people looking for other work.
Some employees work best in the mornings, and some work best in the dead of the night. Hiring online gives you the freedom to employ the best person for your position from anywhere in the world, so trust your hire to make their own judgement on when they work best. As long as you can communicate when necessary and they’re meeting their deadlines, try not to get to hung up on working hours.
When your team is spread across the world (or even just across a city), it can be hard to communicate regularly with one another. As a business owner, it’s your job to make this a priority. Try to schedule a weekly Google Hangout meeting to catch up with your employees and address any issues.
Remote employees can feel very isolated at times, so be there to provide the support and advice they need regularly.
Monitor Results, not Time Spent
Some business owners lean towards paying less for remote employees as you are unable to monitor exactly how many hours each person is spending on an individual project. This can really limit you when it comes to employing the best people for a project — as the best people are also going to be the fastest!
Focus on results — are your remote employees consistently delivering the results you want? Then pay them for their efforts, not only for the time you think they may spend working.
Provide — and Ask For — Feedback
As with office-based employees, you need to be constantly reviewing your employees’ successes and achievements, and what they want to be doing with their career. Don’t assume that your remote employee is content just because they’re working from home.
Regularly discuss what you are happy with, what they’re happy with, and what you can be doing together to elevate your success. Listen to your employees and then act – just because an employee isn’t physically with you doesn’t mean they can’t be challenged and promoted if they’re delivering the best results.
You can recognize their great work individually but also share the recognition with other members of the organization. Collaboration tools make this task pretty simple.
Connect on a Personal Level
The remote position of your employees can make it difficult to really connect with them as you would on a day-to-day basis in person. Combat this by taking proactive measures to make them feel like part of the team.
You could do this by taking the time out to try and get to know them better. Perhaps try and connect on a more personal level — ask them about their day or maybe about their lives outside of work.
If an in-office employee is having a bad day at work, you’d certainly notice and maybe offer a few words of encouragement or support. With remote employees, it isn’t as simple. Adding that bit of effort will show them you care even if you don’t interact directly.
Overall, treating your remote employees as you would your office-based employees is one of the best ways to retain staff. However, you must remember that remote employees enjoy a far greater degree of freedom, and therefore work more productively because of that freedom. Stay attentive, communicate regularly and you’ll build a loyal and motivated team willing to deliver the best results for your business!