In order to retain their employees, retail and e-commerce companies will need to develop strategies to keep them inspired and motivated—especially if they are working from home.
Here are some ways you can keep your remote employees engaged to make sure that they’re in for the long haul.
1. Give Useful Performance Reviews
Whether you conduct reviews quarterly or annually, evaluating your employees’ performance is critical to keeping them engaged at your company. From quality of work to productivity, performance reviews recognize your employees for their accomplishments and identify their areas of improvement.
When a manager puts in the effort to execute a well-planned performance review, it can actually make a difference in an employee’s work ethic and have a positive impact on the success of the company overall.
Instead of viewing performance reviews as a waste of time, make them a priority. By providing the right type of feedback for employees and properly executing reviews, you can change the way your employees and managers handle the process.
2. Have Career Development Convos + Career Pathing
Don’t leave all of your career development conversations to performance reviews, though. In fact, performance reviews should focus more on the now—on individual and team performance and how that person has contributed.
Set aside separate time to speak with each employee about their career goals, what they hope to accomplish within the next 6 months to a year, what they want to learn, what they like and don’t like, and how you can help them. This is a great opportunity to offer advice on courses they can take, help them find a mentor, or provide them with a stretch project that will help them test their skills and try out a project that might be more common if they upleveled their role.
Ensure that you also are completely transparent about the career path for that person’s role—even laying it out in a document. Tell your employees what is expected of them at their current level and what exactly they need to do to take it to the next level.
3. Give Feedback & Recognition
Since low morale in the workplace can increase the likelihood of employee resignations, it’s critical to implement a positive system of feedback. In fact, 20 percent of employees say feeling underappreciated for their contributions is hindering their engagement at work, and 40 percent of employees say their manager is just “okay” at recognizing their work. Nearly 70 percent of employees say they would likely leave their job if they didn’t feel appreciated.
Receiving positive feedback can keep employees engaged, while motivating them to continue working hard and putting their best foot forward. Employees who feel encouraged and proud of their contributions to your company are more likely to stay.
Some ways that you can give recognition outside promotions and raises are things like spot bonuses, organizational awards, implementing a President’s Club, and individual incentives for projects.
Still, money can’t always buy happiness. Sometimes a simple “thank you” can go a long way. One study found that most employees said the most meaningful accolade they had ever received held “no dollar value.” Encourage your managers to regularly recognize their direct reports and consider implementing a fun employee recognition program.
4. Try Virtual Team Bonding Activities
When your workforce is dispersed, it’s especially important to keep your employees engaged. From virtual lunches and happy hours to trivia and game nights, you can give them a well-deserved break from work—no matter where they are.
Small doses of team bonding throughout the week can also keep your employees engaged and boost morale. Consider allocating the first 5 minutes of your weekly team meeting to discuss the newest Netflix shows employees are binging or ask fun icebreakers.
5. Use 30-60-90 Day Plans
The first 3 months can either make or break an employee’s experience at an organization—which is why retail and e-commerce companies will start making 30-60-90 day plans a critical part of their onboarding process. Broken into 3 parts, these plans clearly outline new hires’ tasks and priorities, along with any training they will go through.
To give them metrics to strive towards, these plans should also list out new hires’ goals. Simply writing down goals makes employees 42 percent more likely to achieve them. These goals should be SMART: specific, relevant, measurable, attainable, and time-based.
At the 30-, 60-, and 90-day marks, managers should check in with employees. During these one-on-ones, they can discuss their progress towards goals and any roadblocks they may be encountering. This will help keep employees motivated and set them up for success, increasing the chances of retaining them.
As retention continues to be a top priority for retail and e-commerce companies, what other trends can we expect to see in 2022? From hiring in a hot talent market to upskilling employees, check out our latest eBook to learn what the future of HR looks like for the retail and e-commerce industry.