How to Keep the Love Alive in a Long Distance Relationship with your Workforce

The advent of remote work brings with it a set of challenges. As speed, flexibility, and collaboration become the bottlenecks of today’s workplace, a whole new set of norms exist now. Companies looking to build a high performance culture confront the challenge of sustaining employee motivation without face to face interaction. How can employers make sure their employees stay in love with their work and the company, despite being in a long distance, remote relationship? Employee surveys that measure appreciation and engagement are the key to keeping the love alive.

Employee Motivation at a Distance: Success Story

For those who believe that out of sight always equals out of mind, consider the case of, which successfully motivates a 100% remote workforce. In this Glassdoor article, CEO Joe Golden recounts the drivers of his culture’s success. Although meetings occur over videoconferencing, one-on-one and team meetings are “extremely frequent.”[1] Curiously, Golden hints at what has made this strategy a success,

Remote work isn’t a good fit for anyone who isn’t a strong communicator since it’s even more important to communicate well when everyone isn’t in the same physical office. It’s also important for anyone who works in a remote setting to be self-motivated since there’s no one physically with you to ensure you stay on task.[2]

His words highlight the role that recruiting to retain plays in employee motivation. Here, an understanding of the type of employee that will do well in this environment drives positive outcomes. They get it right from the beginning by investing a great deal of energy in the recruiting and onboarding process. New hires spend extensive effort and time in the first weeks in direct interaction with teammates and supervisors.[3]

Survey Indicators to Boost Employee Motivation

Employee surveys make the difference between what you think is going on, and a clear understanding of work culture and level of employee motivation. They increase the depth of this knowledge by articulating the workforce’s state of appreciation and engagement. While every company has a different way of understanding itself, appreciation and engagement are universal gauges to predict success (two commitment indicators in CAPLET survey methodology).

Appreciation is the first sign that employees feel heard and valued. A lack of appreciation towards any element of the work environment directly impacts how employees perceive the value of their productivity. Whether it be working long hours, volunteering for a hard project, or improving collaboration skills, it is best to reinforce behavior through recognition of their efforts. As most communication is non-verbal, companies lack the data to know how much their employees feel appreciation. And in a long distance relationship, it is even more crucial for appreciation to be a part of the company culture. One indispensable insight managers need to know when managing a remote workforce is to validate how each and every employee is important to getting the job done, and measuring their efforts through employee surveys.

Long distance relationships dissolve if we don’t engage one another. That is why engagement is the second key to managing remote employees. To determine how employees feel about workload and how meaningful they believe it to be, we measure it. This way, managers can use that information to better support the actual work being done. The goal in any relationship is to see if there is enough magic to advance to the next level. So are you moving in (i.e. finding opportunities for advancement) or moving out (i.e. quitting)? Direction and intention is a hard thing to judge in the interview process, as even potential slacker candidates will put on their best performance. Employee surveys determine if management has gone all-in when it comes to making sure their teams are at peak and engaged to the fullest.

Employee Retention Idea #46: The 2 Minute Remote Worker Hug

It’s easy to take remote workers for granted. Asking meaningful questions keeps a long distance relationship healthy. Whether it’s a validated Commitment Survey, or taking 2 minutes to ask your remote employee “How can I help you?” or “What can we provide to successfully launch this project?” – take the time now before you find yourself speed dating for a new replacement.  While any human relationship happening at a distance is going to face some challenges, focused and support of remote work can offer tremendous benefit to a company’s workforce morale. For tricks to keep the employee motivation flame burning with your long distance workers, email


[1] Jackson, Amy Elisa. (2017, March 20). How One CEO Successfully Built A 100% Remote Workforce. Glassdoor. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.


Posted: 5/26/2017

NAA Invites Retensa to Present on Employee Motivation in Las Vegas


Join us to learn new ways to motivate & retain your employees.

New York, NY, June, 2007 – The National Association of Apartments has invited President of Retensa and employee retention expert Chason Hecht to present on Employee Motivation at their Education Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr. Hecht’s seminar “Engage, Motivate, Retain: Skills to Build Great Teams,” takes place June 28 and 29. It focuses on creating an effective team and how to build a sense of ownership into every project or job.

Motivating employees in the Property Management industry is a unique challenge. As a group, companies managing small residential properties oversee billions of dollars worth of assets. Therefore quality employees who can maintain standards of the Uniform Housing Code, local regulations and insurance company dictates, are indispensable to their employers and clients. Effectively managing and recognizing personnel is imperative. Only by utilizing the right tools, companies will engage all of their employees — from agents through support staff — and retain their top talent. Employers must determine what their employees want from their work and workplace and, most importantly, how to make sure they get it. Employee engagement is the key to loyal, high performing teams. Once this is accomplished workers will feel supported which, in turn, increases loyalty the likelihood they will put in the extra effort to get the job done. Today’s workforce needs, wants, and expectations are different from that of 20, 10, or even 5 years ago and employers who address those work/life needs are going to reduce turnover, decrease cost per-hire, and accelerate time-to-hire.


About The National Apartment Association (NAA)

The National Apartment Association (NAA) is America’s leading advocate for quality rental housing. They strive to help the managers, developers, suppliers and multifamily housing owners uphold a high standard of professionalism in order to serve the housing needs of the public. The NAA is there to support both sides of the industry from the investors to the owners of affordable housing. To learn more about The NAA, go to


About Retensa:

Understanding your People is what our People do.
Retensa is the leader and innovator of Employee Retention Strategies.  They combine experience and web-based technology to develop, motivate, and retain a company’s best employees.  Retensa customizes solutions to help organizations achieve significant cost-savings and performance improvements.

Through the creation of a “Retention Environment,” Retensa provides additional expertise in Leadership Development, Human Capital ROI, HR Metrics, EmployeeSurveys, Exit Interviews, and Mentoring, with a cutting-edge focus on workforce technology.

Contact Retensa

212.545.1280 or email for more information about the solutions you can receive.

Avoiding Managerial Dysfunction in your Workplace

“The workplace, like the home, can become psychologically toxic if dysfunctional people are in charge.” – Adrian Furnham, Financial Times, November 29, 2000

What supervisory behavior impacts voluntary turnover?

Yes, your company’s organizational climate and productivity are significantly impacted by supervisory behaviors. Seasoned managers are assumed to be skilled,reliable, and knowledgeable. However, many are not able to translate those valuable assets into managerial communication or employee motivation.

Often overlooked, managers may not exhibit counter-productive behaviors until they are settled into the organization or promoted into higher positions. Managers employing an autocratic leadership style are unsuccessful at building long-term commitment with their subordinates, and the organizational climate can become toxic and unproductive if they advocate an environment built on fear. However, it may not always be their fault. Some managers are never taught to address the needs of their people and cannot handle the stressors of the new position. These are the hallmarks of this management style that you can recognize:

  1. Inconsistent, unpredictable messages that lack clarity (which creates insecurity among direct reports);
  2. Lack of emotional control when encountering a stressful situation;
  3. Inflexibility when managers repeat mistakes and do not take steps to improve or learn new skills. To often, these characteristics are compounded with
  4. A lack of mentoring knowledge; or
  5. Disinterest in guiding their direct reports’ long-term career goals.

Solutions for leadership development.

Essentially, the above-described managers focus on how team performance reflects on them rather than acknowledging the effort and quality that went into the finished product. Managers who fail to see (or recognize) individual contribution will stifle productivity and creativity amongst their team. They also cost the firm talented employees. If left unaddressed, it can lead to mass exodus or anti-leaders in the ranks.

New hires (especially Gen X/Y) take cues from their direct supervisors. Management must be aware of the influence that it has over employees’ burgeoning leadership potential. Learning how to master interpersonal skills gives managers the ability to control their influence as well as motivate talented employees. Setting clear, specific, and realistic goals and rewarding open communication creates a supportive environment that produces high quality work from a loyal employee base.