We all know that retaining talent is essential – whether it’s remote or actual. It’s a well-known fact that a low retention rate comes with many drawbacks, such as the cost of training, decreased morale, and eventual business failure.
In addition to that, finding a skilled employee is more challenging today, especially with the pandemic. In fact, in the IT industry, talent is a big issue for a lot of companies. In Australia, the demand for the IT workforce jumped to 4.3% in 2021.
In addition, the current general workforce’s priorities are continuously changing. For the older population, it’s common to stay in a company for decades. However, with the ever-growing digitalization and demand, many companies are now handling too many tasks, leading to burnout to most people. Likewise, the younger generation looks for companies that offer assurance, flexibility, recognition, and benefits.
During the pandemic, a lot of companies are forced to adapt to the work-from-home setup. This brought much more complex issues for a lot of HR and employers in retaining remote developers. As such, this article will tackle some employee retention strategies to help you in retaining remote developers.
Why Is Retaining Remote Developer Important?
Living in a fast-paced world, retaining a remote talent might sound useless. You can always hire anyone around the globe without a geographical limit. However, as mentioned earlier, high turnover has a significant impact on budget and team productivity. Likewise, here are some factors why you need to care about retaining remote developer.
1. High Cost. The cost of turnover rate is exceptionally high in any company. In fact, according to Built-In, the average cost to replace an employee is 100 to 150% of an employee’s salary for technical positions.
2. Burnout. Most of the tasks left by the resigned employee are covered by the existing members. Some may face a knowledge gap, while others feel overwhelmed. The companies can potentially lose more employees due to this.
3. Employee Productivity Loss. Hight turnover rates both affect HR and other coworkers. Boarding a new employee includes conducting interviews, onboarding, and training which can slow down employee productivity and efficiency.
For this reason, companies need to take care of their employees and start a wellness program.
7 Best Practices in Retaining Your Remote Developer
Remote work offers a lot of benefits to both employees and employers. However, it also comes with many issues that are not faced by on-site employees, like the feeling of isolation, miscommunication, and technology issues. Likewise, here are some innovative employee retention strategies that are also applicable to remote developers.
1. Retain remote developers by recognizing their worth and effort
A lot of employees leave their company due to feelings of unappreciation and ingratitude. According to Forbes, 66% of employees are likely to leave their jobs if they feel appreciated.
This is the same with remote developers. In fact, according to a study performed by Motivosity in 2020, out of the 2,000 small worker respondents, 68% felt unmotivated to work since most of their efforts were left unnoticed. Just because they are remote developers doesn’t mean they are not part of your company. Recognize and appreciate your remote employee for their work. Try your best to show them you care.
You can show recognition and appreciation to your remote developer to the following means:
- Recognize an excellent job during weekly catch up with the team
- Acknowledge your remote employees’ personal achievements
- Sent tangible rewards like food delivery vouchers, food baskets, and card
Never forget to celebrate significant achievements and do not miss any of your team members.
2. Be conscious of burnout — and foster balance
For a lot of developers, working from home has improved their work-life balance. They enjoy the stress-free commuting arrangement and increased flexibility. However, a lot of developers still experience burnout while working remotely. In fact, almost three-quarters of Australians will experience burnout in 2020.
Likewise, it’s crucial for management to keep an eye on remote employees’ work-related stress and issues. Managers and supervisors should be trained on detecting burnout and often check in with their employees. As leaders, it is their responsibility to check on their subordinates and solve any blocker in their job, personal or work-related.
Companies can also offer employees stress-reduction and mental health programs like training, therapist session, and others. Likewise, companies should also encourage remote employees to disconnect after work hours and the weekend. A lot of managers think that employees can work 24/7 just because they stay at home. This can lead to burnout to many remote developers. Strictly implement rules for managers to not send communication and not oblige employees to answer during off-hours. Create a work environment that promotes self-care and pays mental health time off.
At the end of the day, all employees are humans. They have their own personal lives and hobbies outside of work. Developers enjoy spending time with friends, family, doing hobbies like video games and other sports. This helps them to relieve stress and enjoy life.
3. Improve Management
As mentioned earlier, managers can be an issue to remote developers. They often try to contact employees during off-hours or micromanage them. Remote employees often feel there is no room for personal initiative, creativity, and improvement, resulting in resignation.
Likewise, management must give developers autonomy to decide and do their tasks. Many IT companies practice the Agile Method that practices self-development and independence to perform their job.
If you are scared that they will not finish their tasks, be transparent with your goals and expectation. Let them initiate methods to do it faster and better. It is the best way to build great and loyal talents. This can also foster trust between you and your remote developer. Likewise, value the quality of their work.
4. Leave Space For Creativity and Growth
As tackled earlier, people want autonomy. Generally speaking, employees, remote or not, like having a space for new ideas. They appreciate it when their concepts are considered and implemented. Likewise, managers should conduct a brainstorming session with remote developers to discuss new ideas and methods. This could be anything from working through an issue with a project, improving internal procedures, or simply ideas for team management.
Asking and considering your team member opinion will make them feel engaged and essential to the company.
5. Offer Ample Training and Resources
Even hiring professionals with an experience like software engineers or web developers doesn’t mean they already know everything. Management should consider offering onboarding or skill training to employees, especially the newly hired ones. Leaders should provide guidance, best practices, and other tips in the workplace. This can also build relationships among leaders and employees.
In addition, many remote employees feel stuck in their work when they do not learn anything. As such, foster a growth mindset in your employees. Teach them that there’s always plenty of room to grow. This philosophy can help them reach out for training programs more.
Training is not just an employee incentive but also a significant investment in your company. This training can help you in a way where the employee does their work better and faster.
6. Open Communication
The feeling of isolation is a common issue for remote developers. When you do not see your coworkers or manager face to face, miscommunication may arise and start a fight between coworkers. Nonverbal and visual cues are critical in communication to know what someone really intends to convey.
Likewise, companies should provide video calling tools such as Skype, Zoom, and others to help employees make virtual meetings possible. Managers should also prioritize scheduling a weekly video call meeting with team members and establishing an open-door policy with their colleagues. Through this, employees will feel more connected and engaged by the company.
7. Provide Your Team With the Right Tools
Even with the right skills and ill-equipped remote employees cannot do their work. Lack of technical tools often interrupts workflow and burnout as employees are doing double the effort to finish a job.
Remote employees need tools like email, good internet connection, laptop, time tracking tools, and job-specific tools like writing tools, editing tools, programming tools, SEO tools, and more. Companies must provide these tools to help the employee succeed in their tasks and motivate them.
And that’s it. Hopefully, these employee retention ideas can help you in retaining remote developers and team members. Remember, it’s all about communicating and understanding each other. Support your remote employees throughout their careers, and they will sprinkle you with the best work.
If you are thinking of creating software or application, Remote Developers can help you. We offer various IT services in business from Australia and New Zealand. Visit our services to learn more!