By Jenny Genge
With employees leaving their jobs in droves and demanding more from their employers, retention is a critical issue for modern businesses. Retaining valuable employees is somewhat easier for companies that provide a work-from-home (WFH) employment model but still introduces a unique set of challenges.
As a 100% remote company, Activus Connect has been committed to solving this challenge since day one, and we’ve developed a winning formula for WFH employee retention. Here’s a deep dive into our strategy to combat attrition.
Building meaningful relationships with employees is the secret to maintaining high retention levels. Connecting with people is essential to keep them engaged, motivated, and committed to their work — even with attractive salaries and benefits, employees will quickly jump ship if that connection doesn’t exist.
At Activus Connect, we focus on creating and strengthening these relationships as much as possible, with regular one-to-one communication and engagement. Even Minerva and Felix, the company’s founders, do a fantastic job of engaging with every staff member and letting them know how valuable they are to the business.
Since they work independently, WFH employees need to feel seen and heard and have the support or mentorship they need to grow within the company. When people do leave, we perform exit surveys to find common themes and areas for improvement and then apply that feedback internally. We also host huddles to provide our teams with decompression time and find areas where training is appropriate to create positive change.
As long as something helps strengthen our relationships with employees, we will find a way to implement it. After all, strong connections are much less likely to be broken.
Another reason for attrition is the absence of an attractive career path. Employees must feel they have a clear, obtainable way to grow within the company, or they will look elsewhere for that exciting promotion.
Since career development is one of the most prominent topics in our annual company-wide survey, we’ve prioritized providing a clear path for growth for everyone at Activus. So, here’s a quick rundown on the operational career path:
- Most people join the company as front-line Ambassadors tasked with elevating customer experiences. These vital employees exhibit great empathy and emotional intelligence, with excellent conflict resolution skills to deal with challenging customer-facing situations, making them the most influential people in the company.
- Team Experience Coordinators (TECs) manage, mentor, and coach the Ambassadors to ensure everything runs smoothly. These team leaders require problem-solving abilities, leadership skills, and the ability to motivate people. TECs are critical for raising performance and keeping Ambassadors engaged with their jobs.
- From there, TECs can move into a Customer Experience Manager (CXM) role with more client-facing responsibilities. CXMs ensure that the company is meeting its metrics and aligning with client expectations, which requires excellent communication skills and the ability to solve multiple problems simultaneously. An effective CXM can balance employee needs with client needs, making it a demanding yet fulfilling role.
- After succeeding as a CXM, the next level is the Head of Operations. This senior leadership role represents the top-level manager for a project, with a direct line to the client and the COO. At this level, people need the financial acumen to make strategic business decisions and the innovative mindset to improve processes and find ways to lead the business differently.
Our career development plans include realistic job previews that allow employees to understand the responsibilities of different roles in operations or within support departments. For instance, an Ambassador can access a video that highlights the day-to-day experiences of a person in the position they’re interested in, giving them a feel for the job by showing what skills they will need. We also have a collection of courses that allow people to sharpen those skills and prepare for the role they are interested in, so when a job opens up, they are ready to apply.
Once there’s a strong sense of community and family within the company, and people feel like they have a worthwhile career path laid out in front of them, you can start laying on additional benefits that sweeten the deal.
For instance, at Activus Connect, we ramp up employee engagement around the holidays, hosting various competitions and social events to ensure something is always happening. We also focus on health and wellness, with food and drink-related activities and fitness challenges to make work fun and engaging while impacting people’s personal development.
On the monetary side, we provide incentive programs and performance bonuses, but we’re also proud of our paid community service. We also understand that life happens at short notice, so we offer paid time off in the event of an emergency or a last-minute change in someone’s personal life.
In the end, attrition isn’t going anywhere, but by providing the opportunities, engagement, and benefits that employees need and expect, companies can make sure that people stick around for the long term.