Here To Stay: 5 Dedicated Team Retention Practices
High employee turnover is a phenomenon governing today’s candidate-driven job market. In 2018, the job quit rate among American employees reached a historical high, with over 3.5 million people leaving their workplace each month.
It’s worth mentioning that talent turnover is expensive — on average, preparing an employee exit costs teams 33% of a said professional’s annual salary. Replacing talent with new hires calls for extra expenses that add up to 200% of an employee’s salary.
Even being in physical proximity to the team and monitoring the team from up close does not protect leaders from high turnover rates. Understandably, team retention concerns soar for business owners who hire dedicated teams — full-time developers and designers who work from a different country and are managed by the local company.
In this post, we will take you on the tour of the challenges of retaining dedicated employees and the way to work around them that our team has implemented successfully over years.
Top Challenges in Remote Team Retention
Before delving deeper into formulas and techniques the Newxel team uses to retain talent, let’s discuss the unique engagement challenges that come with employing talent from a different country.
#1. Lack of connection with the main office
Since dedicated teams are usually thousands of miles away from the headquarters, there’s a risk that talent will not feel part of the team. When supporting dedicated teams, HR managers need to find out how much involvement in the workplace each candidate wants to have.
While some are fine with staying in the loop on all professional tasks and processes, others want more — a personal connection with colleagues, joining team-building activities, and get-togethers.
Talent managers should discover the needs of the dedicated specialists and think of ways to implement them — hosting all-team virtual meet-ups, gathering for in-person retreats on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis, and so on.
#2. No work-life balance
Recently, a growing number of managers have become aware of the fact that working harder and performing better are not necessarily correlated. In fact, the opposite is true — when organization leaders do not prioritize the wellness of their employees, the company ends up losing money and not seizing growth opportunities. Statistically, American business owners lose up to $300 billion a year in stress-related productivity downfalls. In 2021, the need to pay attention to work-life balance and teammates’ well-being is clearer than ever, with the abundance of social media, never-ceasing connectivity, and pandemic-related tension.
How should business owners go about building a work-life balance? At Newxel, we use the following practice to motivate offshore teams working on our clients’ projects:
- Tracking the number of completed assignments over work hours — that puts emphasis on productivity, not showing up mindlessly.
- Encourage teams to take breaks, use social media launch break reminders to make sure tech professionals are not as absorbed by tasks at hand as to neglect their needs.
- Keep work schedules flexible and personalized to match the needs of the entire team.
#3. Lack of oversight and feedback
Trust issues are common when it comes to managing employees whom you cannot see or talk to face-to-face. When team leaders work with remote talent, they often struggle to measure deliverables and make sure that offshore developers put in as much effort as the main team does.
Also, it’s common for business owners to lose focus on the offshore team and leave overseas employees without a sense of direction.
That’s why, to help business owners hire talent abroad, our team establishes a trustworthy reporting and performance-tracking system.
Here are the practices we implement:
- Have a set-in-stone follow-up meeting schedule and stick to it.
- Create a productivity monitoring tool-set (time-trackers, reporting tools, etc.).
- Specify the range of hours when you expect availability from the team.
- Create incentives for reaching deliverables and milestones — cash bonuses, trips, company-sponsored gifts, or extra vacation days.
- Make sure remote employees have comfortable workplaces. Top-tier outstaffing vendors like Newxel, usually take control over setting up well-furnished offices and providing dedicated talent, with the hardware and software that developers need, to work at their peak efficiency.
#4. Knowledge sharing gaps
When in-house teams are divided into “main office” and “dedicated” fractions, sharing insights and information is not as effortless, as is the case for one-location teams.
To avoid the risk of a part of the team staying out of the loop on operational decisions, our talent managers create an accessible knowledge base and constantly look for ways to keep new ideas open for everyone involved in the process.
Here’s how we help business managers keep local and dedicated teams connected and engaged:
- Taking notes of all meetings and sharing them online.
- Recording all meetings to make sure remote employees have on-demand access to the content.
- Hosting only online video conference calls to spare managers the need to explain concepts twice.
#5. No set-in-stone KPIs and business processes
It’s hard for business owners to make sure offshore teams do their best if they have no specific goals and expectations for the team. Defining benchmarks and KPIs, is the key strategy for building a transparent and high-functioning offshore workplace.
Other than that, business owners should integrate offshore teammates into workflows and business processes. To that end, our team at Newxel provides full assistance in discovering and replacing redundant processes.
In our opinion, team leaders can avoid redundancies by:
- Focusing on outcomes, not inputs.
- Avoiding communication bottlenecks in process handover. Team leaders who want to run a productive organization should make sure that the visions of all departments involved in a process, align to avoid unmet expectations.
- Identifying and automating (or removing) repetitive tasks.
5 Tips For Retaining a Dedicated Development Team
In our opinion, staff retention needs to be team leaders’ top priority when hiring and managing talent. Hiring campaigns, team-building activities, and internal processes should aim at keeping the workforce engaged and excited.
Our team is highly skilled at keeping tech teams engaged in the project and boasts a 92.4% talent retention rate. Although business owners have full control over the R&D overseas, our account managers are there to help.
The Newxel team uses an established set of strategies to keep dedicated talent passionate about projects and eager to stay on board. Our account managers are a reliable link between the offshore team and the main office.
#1. Hire with retention in mind
As they screen tech professionals, our HR managers assess their turbulence — the tendency to job-hop and change fields. We prefer mature and reliable candidates over professionals who change workplaces every few months.
Other than that, the team prepares a set of interview questions that test commitment to the project and the brand — to name a few:
- What made you leave your current job? What type of job would you not leave?
- What motivated you to work in tech? What are your ambitions in the field?
- What do you do, to make your time at work productive and to stay efficient?
- What type of project/ workplace do you dream about working on and in?
#2. Be mindful of onboarding
Statistically, if an employee plans on quitting the company, they are most likely to do so in the first 45 days of work. This data reveals, that the reason comes out of neglect from team leaders. They have to onboard new hires and help them get as comfortable as possible in the workplace.
That’s why our team works hard to help talent feel at ease, bond with the team, and get attached to the project. Here are the tips we use and help business owners implement:
- Have a clear onboarding schedule — it helps new hires deal with anxiety and the fear of the unknown.
- Start immersing employees into tasks from Day 1 — this way, teammates get an immediate sense of purpose at work and the entire team can leverage the value of a new employee from the get-go.
- Assign onboarding responsibilities to a few teammates rather than a set manager — it’s a way to avoid putting all the stress of introducing new hires to the company on a single set of shoulders and a smart strategy for introducing employees to the team.
- State readiness for productive conversations — repeatedly encourage questions and discussions from new hires to avoid bottled-up concerns.
#3. Clarify that nothing is set-in-stone
It’s common for employees to leave because they assume managers are not ready to listen to their concerns, tweak the list of responsibilities, or review salaries. To that end, it is helpful to set regular one-on-one review sessions where employees and team leaders sit down to discuss each other’s ambitions and concerns.
Since hiring and onboarding new employees is expensive, don’t be afraid to offer a pay raise to professionals who are valuable to the team. On the flipside, team leaders need to be confident that regular pay raises don’t strain the budget and undermine the company’s sustainability.
#4. Invest in training and learning opportunities
Since the team is working in different locations, it’s not easy for team leaders to know which conferences and learning opportunities dedicated tech professionals have at their disposal. That’s where the assistance of an outstaffing partner is crucial — at Newxel, we are always on the lookout for learning opportunities, conferences, and events that help employees stay motivated and well-versed in their field of work.
To make sure the dedicated development team is balanced and socialized, we create meaningful social interactions for tech talent: game nights, get-togethers, and other memorable events where employees bond and have fun.
#5. Set expectations and incentivize achievements
Last but not least, successful collaboration with dedicated teams is, above all, transparent. To avoid trust issues and miscommunications, we, together with our clients, create a list of guidelines and practices a team should follow to seamlessly blend with the main office. It’s a good idea to develop a well-documented collaboration and teams retention policy that covers:
- Communication tools and practices
- Productivity tracking and reporting
- Distribution of benefits
- Brand values
- Team-building events and activities
- Job responsibilities
- Long-term and short-term goals an employee should focus on achieving at the company
- Personalized education plans tailored to the ambitions of every professional on the team
Apart from everything said, the key employee retention strategy our talent managers use is around-the-clock communication with the client and the tech team working on the project. If software developers have project-related questions they can reach out to an account manager who, in turn, will discuss these concerns with the client.
Also, we encourage main team leaders to schedule 1-on-1 review sessions with offshore teams to get to know each other, voice concerns, and share project-related suggestions. If business owners are at loss for ways to motivate offshore teams, our consultants will provide the main team with a list of methods to engage, motivate, or incentivize the team of overseas developers. Other than that, we help streamline processes by running regular workflow assessments, spotting, and removing team management barriers.
Our Experience in Retaining Offshore R&D Tech Talent
Employee retention is among the key priorities of Newxel professionals. We have a team of talent managers working on developing and implementing retention strategies.
Here’s how we build stable, long-lasting teams:
- Hiring motivated developers by asking retention-focused questions at job interviews;
- Creating an open environment where teammates are comfortable to voice their ideas and concerns;
- Offering the main team mediation and assistance in communication with offshore talent;
- Discovering opportunities for employee education and personal growth.
The Bottom Line
Managing a dedicated team is a unique challenge for business owners — there are communication and operational bottlenecks team leaders should stay accountable for. The good news is, once you find a way around these technicalities, the workplace will become more open, diverse, and productive thanks to the presence and contribution of dedicated talent.
Choosing a reliable vendor for building and maintaining the team is a crucial step to success in collaboration — Newxel is an established outstaffing service provider! The company helps business managers build all-size teams for game, application, website, AI development, and so on. To find out more about our services, how we retain tech talent, and create a growth-oriented environment, get in touch with the team!