When your workforce is loyal, they’re not going to quit when things get tough. A loyal workforce will stick with you through hard times and will even offer to help.
The good news is, it’s not hard to earn that kind of loyalty, and if you’ve got a remote workforce you’ve got a head start. If you’re just starting to develop a remote workforce, you’re making a wise choice.
Remote workers are generally more loyal
Inc.com reported on an Owl Labs survey that questioned 1,200 workers in the U.S. between the ages of 22 and 65 to find out how happy remote workers are compared to onsite employees. Full-time remote workers were 22% happier than workers who never work remotely.
The reason for their happiness? Better work-life balance, better focus, less stress, and no commute. The survey also found employee loyalty increased in proportion to flexibility, and remote workers are happy to work longer hours.
If that sounds like the kind of team you’d like to have, here’s how to cultivate deeper loyalty from your remote workforce.
1. Streamline communications to include social connection
Remote workers don’t have the luxury of walking around an office to get to know their coworkers. The only way remote workers can connect is online. However, when remote employees are bogged down with work, there’s hardly any time for chit chat.
That can be changed with the right collaboration platform. For instance, the popular G Suite platform called Happeo supports collaboration by integrating company communications with a private social network for employees to connect on a personal level. As a private company intranet, Happeo also makes it easy to onboard new hires and distribute important messages where they’ll be easily seen.
If your company intranet is all work and no play, your remote employees won’t be as happy as they could be if they were allowed to take time to connect with the rest of the team on a personal level.
However you choose to streamline your communications, make sure to include social connection and let your team chit chat with each other. Those personal interactions will make people feel connected to the rest of the team, which will make them happier and therefore more likely to develop a deep loyalty.
2. Praise your workforce for what they do right
Your workforce will be happier and more likely to deepen their loyalty when they’re praised for their strengths and contributions to the team. With a remote workforce, it’s easy to forget this aspect of managing a team since you don’t see employees on a daily basis.
Remember to acknowledge each of your team members periodically and ask them how things are going. Find out if they’re struggling in any way, and see if you can find solutions for their concerns. This combined with praise will go a long way to cultivate a loyal team.
3. Reinforce the importance of teamwork
Working remotely can be an isolating experience. It’s easy for remote workers to feel isolated and work as if they are a one-person team. Do your best to remind workers that they are part of a team. Encourage regular communication with other employees in the same department throughout the day.
When your team members need to work together to accomplish a goal, set them up with daily or weekly required meetings over Zoom. Require these meetings even if all they do is touch base with their part of the project for five minutes.
Remote workers may work alone, but they can still collaborate online.
4. Give remote workers more freedom
Most remote workers are excellent at being self-directed. Some need to develop this skill. Give your remote workers more freedom and flexibility to get the work done in their own way. If they’re not quite self-directed yet, encourage them to get stronger and more confident in that area.
Remote workers are happiest when they have the freedom to choose when and how they work, of course, while keeping deadlines in mind. However, some people work better in the evenings while others work best in the early morning hours.
When remote employees are just learning to become self-directed, fostering independence is crucial. Give your workers as much freedom as you possibly can. Let them develop a routine that works for them and still helps them complete their work on time.
Return the loyalty to your team
When you’ve got a loyal team, return that loyalty every chance you get. Don’t be so quick to hand out write-ups. Communicate transparently and often. Your loyalty will be appreciated, too.