Anna Belenok & Oxana Alkhovska, Co-founders @ScaleJet
Anna Belenok & Oxana Alkhovska, Co-founders @ScaleJet
Anna Belenok & Oxana Alkhovska, Co-founders @ScaleJet
Ecom AMA session
July 12, 2023
According to GetHired…each new employee costs something like NINETEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS ($19,000).
Well, recruiting, onboarding and training don’t come cheap. And neither does a high turnover rate. Unfortunately, ecommerce companies (specifically tech) have the lowest employee retention rate.
So we’ve brought in the co-founders from @ScaleJet (Anna Belenok & Oxana Alkhovska) to help you dodge the $19,000 bullet hitting most ecommerce brands today 😅
🗣️: How do you measure the productivity of remote eCommerce employees?
💬 Anna: Measuring the productivity of remote team members is a tricky balance, as it should take into account both quantitative and qualitative aspects.
Here are the strategies that can help ensure that you accurately measure your remote workers’ productivity:
First, setting clear goals and objectives is key. Establishing clearly defined expectations gives your remote team something to strive for and will make tracking progress much easier overall. It's also important to create regular check-ins with each employee; these meetings will give you an opportunity to better understand their individual tasks, engagement levels, and any potential issues or roadblocks.
Second, keep track of projects that are completed remotely by carefully documenting all milestones achieved through task-management software like Clickup/Notion/Asana/etc – this will provide a concrete timeline from which performance can be measured later on. Additionally, you may also consider using time-tracking software to monitor hours worked so you have accurate data on how long tasks took from start to finish (usage of time trackers really depends on the role though).
Monthly/quarterly reviews - where feedback may be given - also provide an excellent opportunity for managers to review results as well as look into larger trends across teams or projects over time.
Once more: NEVER forget the importance of consistent communication between management and employees during times of remote work! Regular check-ins (via Slack/weekly calls/emails) act as another great metric in gauging a team's work output when working from home offices.
Finally, some employers opt for “pulse surveys” – short multiple-choice questionnaires sent out regularly – as a way to quickly gauge engagement levels in their remote teams without causing too much disruption in their day-to-day schedules.
By combining these methods with detailed performance feedback - you'll have the necessary data needed not just for measuring employee productivity but also for identifying areas of improvement where training may be beneficial down the line!
🗣️: What are the most important eCommerce employee benefits to offer?
💬 Oxana: When hiring online we need to distinguish between employees and freelancers.
Benefits that you can offer will largely depend on the legislation of a country around that. As a general rule employees typically receive benefits such as health insurance, retirement benefits, paid time off, and are subject to payroll taxes. Freelancers are usually responsible for their own taxes, benefits, and insurance. Feel free to book a call with us, so we could address your specific request better.
Though, one of the most outstanding benefit for all eCom companies is that they can offer a possibility of remote work. The benefits of remote work itself are endless, including increased flexibility, productivity and cost savings.
🗣️: How do you manage remote eCommerce employees?
💬 Oxana: The keys for successful management of remote team members are focus on outcomes and clear communication:
Setting clear expectations, outlining yearly and quarterly goals for each position, setting up a couple of KPIs that are easy to track (and tracking them!) usually solve most of the team member's management issues. If you know how success for your position looks like, you are half way there 🙂
We recommend utilizing project management tools like Asana, Clickup, or Slack to keep remote employees connected, organized, and on track. Also, establish regular video calls with a clearly defined agenda to check in with remote team members, provide feedback, and address any concerns.
🗣️: What are the most effective eCommerce employee development strategies?
💬 Oxana: I am afraid to repeat myself 😄, but here again, the best thing you can do is to focus on outcomes - strategy first!
If you approach your team members development strategy with that eye it makes everything easier.
Take time to write down the main challenges and opportunities for your whole business, department, roles. What are the skills (soft or technical) you are missing to address them? Can they be developed?
And then, going to the tactical side: offer time for coaching sessions with more experienced team members, training programs or online courses to help employees learn new skills or improve existing ones. But make it tailored to specific employees and needs!
🗣️: How do you handle or balance between employees having hours flexibility in remote work and making sure employees are covering their working hours (with different time zones and different teams)?
💬 Oxana: Thank you for this question. Indeed balancing between flexibility and making sure employees are covering their working hours can be challenging. Here are a couple of strategies to manage the right balance:
Focus on results: Ultimately, what matters most for this exact position? Is the amount of hours or the results employees produce? Focusing on results (Goals, KPIs and exact outcomes) can help to create a more productive and flexible work environment while still ensuring that employees are meeting their commitments.
Clear communication and setting clear expectations: Set up clear rules and communicate the expected working hours to employees and ensure that they understand the importance of meeting those expectations. If there are specific hours during which employees are expected to be available for collaboration or meetings, make sure they are aware of those hours. Remember, creating open and honest culture within the company starts from the company.
Time Tracking Tools: For some positions, the amount of hours worked are crucial (ex. service provider agencies). Utilize time tracking tools to monitor employee working hours. Again, communicate clearly with your team members, explain the "Why".
🗣️: How do you motivate eCommerce employees?
💬 Anna: There are a few key things you can do to motivate eCommerce team members but let's focus on the most important ones:
Create a clear and attainable vision for the team. What are the company’s goals? How can each team member contribute? When everyone is working towards the same goal, it’s much easier to stay motivated.
Celebrate successes, both big and small. Acknowledge when someone goes above and beyond, or even just does their job well. This will show team members that their hard work is appreciated and encourage them to keep up the good work.
Offer opportunities for growth. No one wants to feel stuck in a dead-end job. Make sure there are opportunities for team members to advance within the company if they put in the effort. This will keep them motivated to do their best work day in and day out.
🗣️: How do you stay up-to-date with the latest eCommerce HR trends?
💬 Anna: Staying up-to-date with those can be challenging since trends tend to be dynamic and ever-evolving. However, there are some tips that will help you!
Consider subscribing to ScaleJet Linkedin page as we're covering eCommerce HR topic really extensively there. Btw, we're having a webinar "AI-Powered eCommerce Trends" March 9. AI is huge(!) and it has already started playing an integral role in replacing certain positions, while other roles are better left handled by people. The key idea is to share how eCom businesses should properly manage this transition from both a business and team-building perspective in order to remain competitive over time. P.S. Matteo Grassi will be also joining us as a speaker and he'll be sharing about the role of AI in eCommerce customer journey. You don't want to miss it, register here!
Don’t underestimate the importance of networking. Speaking directly with experienced professionals who actively work within the field is one of the most surefire ways to get up-to-date information as quickly as possible since many people are more than willing to share their knowledge and experience if asked properly.
Don’t forget about leveraging technology too. Numerous software solutions have recently come out offering businesses cost effective options for automating certain aspects of their operations such as payroll processing tasks or tracking team member performance records just to name a few key areas where using technology can make a huge difference when it comes remaining current on modern business trends surrounding HR management strategies.
🗣️: How do you create an effective eCommerce employer brand?
💬 Anna: An effective eCommerce employer brand is one that speaks to the values, mission and team dynamics of your business. It's not an easy task, but believe me, it's so worthy.
So how do you actually do it? Here are a few key things you'll need to work on.
Create an authentic culture for your company by having a purpose-driven mission statement that outlines what you stand for as an organization, what your core values are and how this translates into why people should work with you. You should also emphasize diverse perspectives and encourage team members to feel empowered in sharing their ideas throughout all levels of the organization.
Make sure that your recruiting process reflects what it's like to actually work with you by having candid conversations during interviews about company culture, goals and expectations right from the start. While traditional screenings are important too, ensure they’re done in such a way so as not to alienate potential candidates who may have different backgrounds or points of view than those already hired at the company.
Define ways to retain and motivate current team members via non-traditional means such as offering flexibility in hours worked or providing opportunities for career development with ongoing training sessions and workshops on related topics within the industry. Having devoted team members protecting your employer brand will be invaluable when it comes time for outreach events or other forms of promotion on social media channels.
Always strive towards creating long term partnerships with individuals who interact with your brand in any capacity whether through customer service roles or working behind the scenes on technical infrastructure tasks - each person should become part of the larger family atmosphere associated with working at your eCommerce biz!
Finally, don't forget to regularly update content regarding job openings on job boards as well as across various social channels (Instagram/Facebook/Twitter) so potential applicants stay abreast of new opportunities available at any given moment!
🗣️: What are the most effective eCommerce employee engagement strategies?
💬 Anna: Team members engagement is essential for the success of any eCommerce business. An engaged staff is more productive and motivated to succeed, leading to greater customer satisfaction, innovation, and profitability.
To effectively engage team member in the eCommerce landscape, here are some strategies that have proven successful:
Feedback & Recognition: Make sure you recognize your team members’ achievements and provide regular feedback on their performance. Acknowledging milestone accomplishments or positive contributions in front of peers can help incentivize team members and foster a sense of team spirit within your organization.
Communication: Maintaining open lines of communication between managers, supervisors, team leads and individual contributors is key when it comes to team member engagement in an eCommerce environment. Regularly communicate company goals to ensure everyone has a unified understanding of their mission as well as receive feedback from all levels of the organization on how things are going or what needs improvement.
Flexibility & Autonomy: Allowing team members to work remotely or with flexible hours can help maintain high morale among your workforce, especially those who prefer working independently or need extra time for family commitments. Providing autonomy where appropriate also helps engage workers by giving them ownership over certain tasks which makes them feel valued as part of the overall process.
Promote Collaboration & Teamwork: An environment that encourages collaboration often results in higher team member engagement than environments where people only focus on individual efforts. Setting achievable goals for teams rather than individuals promotes teamwork while increased collaboration reduces stress levels within your staff making them an efficient working unit committed to achieving common objectives together.
Professional Development Opportunities: Investing in professional development activities such as online courses, seminars/webinars, and workshops related to eCommerce might seem costly but they could prove beneficial long term. This will give motivated team members an opportunity to improve their skillset while simultaneously facilitating fresh ideas into the workplace which ultimately leads to better customer experience and more sales hence increased ROI.
These strategies addressed above can go a long way towards creating a top-performing team for any eCommerce business which will not only increase productivity but also maximize profits and help achieve long-term business success!
🗣️: How do you create an effective eCommerce recruitment strategy?
💬 Anna: This is THE question to start with.
Creating an effective eCommerce recruitment strategy starts with identifying your specific business goals and the talent needed to achieve those. It's important to think about what skills, expertise, and experiences you need.
Very important: you do need to have your core values defined before you start the hiring process.
At last, when you know WHO and WHERE to hire - you proceed with the hiring process (attracting qualified candidates, interviewing).
🗣️: How do you use social media for eCommerce recruitment?
💬 Anna: Using social media for eCommerce recruitment can be a very time-consuming process but, done right, it can bring great rewards.
There are two primary ways to approach this: you can take the DIY route and do your own eCommerce recruitment using social media accounts or, alternatively, you could work with an experienced recruitment agency that specializes in the field.
🗣️: What are the key skills and qualifications that you look for when hiring for an eCommerce position?
💬 Oxana: When hiring for an eCommerce position, it is important to look for candidates that a part from having specific technical skills and relevant experience share your company's values! Values can not be taught or imposed - they should be genuinely shared. As to the qualifications needed for a specific job - we always advise to have a clear picture of what needs to be done or achieved on a specific position to be able to evaluate if candidates have specific skills, knowledge and capacity to work with these exact tasks.
🗣️: What are some of the biggest mistakes you see companies making when it comes to eCommerce hiring, and how can they be avoided?
💬 Oxana: Some of the biggest mistakes companies make when it comes to eCommerce are:
"Falling in love" with a CV and overemphasizing experience. While experience is important, it should not be the only factor in hiring. A candidate with less experience but a strong work ethic and a willingness to learn can be a more valuable asset to a company. Focusing too much on technical skills and verlooking soft skills such as communication, creativity, and problem-solving is a serious mistake. In eCommerce, a candidate who can communicate effectively with customers and collaborate well with teammates is often more valuable than someone who is technically skilled but lacks these qualities.
Taking too much time for taking decision on a candidate or, on the contrary, rushing the hiring process. In the rush to fill an open position, companies may overlook important factors such as cultural fit and long-term potential. Taking the time to thoroughly evaluate candidates can lead to better hiring decisions and stronger teams. At the same time - long hesitations, no timely feedback can kill great candidate's interest in the position.
🗣️: What are some of the best strategies for retaining top eCommerce talent and keeping them motivated in their roles?
💬 Oxana: Talent retention is crucial and there is no single recipe here. But we can outline some general rules that can work:
Great people normally feel great in a company with a positive culture.A positive and supportive work environment can go a long way in keeping employees engaged and motivated. Encourage open communication, recognize employees' contributions, and celebrate team successes.
Set clear expectations, discuss goals and set them together. Employees want to know what is expected of them and how their performance will be evaluated. Setting clear goals together and keeping expectations can help key team members to stay motivated as they feel and know how they contribute to the company's development.
Modern world and eCommerce industry can be very demanding! Remember, that team members need time to recharge and take care of themselves outside of work. Taking care of their work-life balance, making sure their working hours are manageable will definitely help to stay motivated.
Provide opportunities for growth and development: Employees want to know that they have a path for growth within the company. Providing training, mentorship, and opportunities for advancement can help employees feel valued and motivated to succeed.
And last, but not least! Offer competitive compensation and benefits 🙂
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