HR

Remote Work and Employee Retention: How to Retain Remote Employees?

Published On
Jun 7, 2021
Read Time
4.5 Minutes
Author
OnBlick Inc

If your company allows its employees to work remotely, we’re sure you understand the difficulty of hiring remote workers. But, do you know what is more difficult than remote hiring? Retaining the remotely hired employees.

Your new hires could find remote work comfortable in their initial days of joining, but there's a chance that they might not feel the same later. Scenarios like these demand that the employers create the right environment for their remote talent pool to thrive in.

This blog discusses the steps you can implement to retain your remote workforce.

Why does Employee Retention Matter in Remote Work Context?

Being business owners, you must be aware of the advantages of hiring remote workers by now. Some of you could even have plans to let your teams continue working remotely until it’s safer to fully resume operating from your workplace. Employers need to be cautious in each step in the lifecycle of an employee, right from choosing ideal candidates to gathering insights from the exit interviews.

Since recruiting employees is a costly affair, HR experts warn businesses to keep the existing team members satisfied with their current roles so that they don’t have to search for greener pastures. A study conducted in 2020 reveals that employee turnover can cost at the least 16% of an annual salary for a low-level employee and up to 213% of an annual salary for an executive. Low retention rates impact the motivation, productivity, and performance of your remaining employees.

As employees have a wider range of opportunities while working remotely, it is estimated that about 35% of employees may leave their jobs each year by 2023. These statistics are alarming, right? When retaining top talent becomes crucial for the success of any business, employers should know how to lower their attrition rates especially while they operate remotely. The strategy is to identify the issues that lead your employees to leave and address them before it’s too late.

Some Reasons Why Employees Quit

Research finds that a lion’s share of departing employees cites one or more of the following reasons:

Fact: By conducting an exit interview, you not only find out why your top performers quit but also identify whether your employee retention strategies need improvement. Here is an exit interview questionnaire that can come in handy for you.

12 Tips to Ensure Remote Employee Retention

1. Create A Remote-Inclusive Culture.

Organizational culture is one of the most common causes behind voluntary turnover. According to SHRM, 58% of employees that left their job due to culture say their managers are the main reason. You may train your managers to be empathetic to employees who suffer from any of the above-mentioned issues and try to engage the latter to be productive. A lot of remote employees suffer from burnout, but a healthy company culture helps minimize its ill effects.

2. Thoroughly Evaluate Your Remote Hiring Method.

It is no secret that great remote company culture starts with the hiring process. The process is different from what you may have done in the past to appoint on-site team members. Hiring the right people with the perfect skills and personality mix is the key to having a successful remote team. If you’re planning to work remotely in the long term, you need to look for candidates who can thrive in a remote working environment, regardless of their resume and experience.

3. Deploy Technology to Facilitate Inclusion.

Offer your newly hired remote employees a virtual office tour, and introduce them to the key players at your company. Send them the new hire checklist, and include all the documents they need to read, the forms they need to sign, team members they need to meet, any software they need to install, and information they need to send to you. The right technology can help remote employees feel included, be it in the form of virtual happy hours or the creation of a virtual watercooler. This helps the isolated team members socialize with their peers and build strong bonds.

4. Ensure a Seamless Remote Onboarding Process

If your company has a standardized onboarding process, then it’s more likely that the new hires stay longer with you. The new hire onboarding and orientation programs have to be elaborate enough to accustom them to the work culture and get acquainted with their job roles. Steering your new hire orientation program in the right direction can have positive impacts that you don’t even imagine. Make your employees feel valued as it helps develop a sense of commitment in them. Eventually, you’ll witness how your employee productivity, satisfaction, and retention improve dramatically.

5. Consider Assigning Projects to the New Hires.

Several experts recommend employers give the new employees a project to start working on as soon as they are hired. This is expected to help them assimilate into your company rapidly, and to form bonds with their teammates. Make sure to check in with them often to answer any questions and offer help when they need guidance. We suggest you try and see if this tip works for u.

6. Make communication simple.

If you’re unable to communicate with your remote employees easily, chances are higher that your relationship will end almost as soon as it starts. Make use of software that facilitates video calling technology for your meetings, such as Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime. But be wary to not overwhelm them with video calls since Zoom fatigue is real. You may provide them with instant messaging options like Slack, MS Teams, etc. besides introducing them to free task management software like Asana that makes communication about deadlines easy. If you want to create a more flexible workforce, you need to prioritize frequent and simpler forms of communication as well as meaningful check-ins.

7. Set clear expectations about payroll/ wages.

If you want your remote workers to stick around, you need to stay on top of their payroll. Before you hire a remote worker, you must set clear expectations of how much they will be paid, if they are paid hourly, salary, or on a contract/project basis, and how you will pay them. As part of their hiring process, consider writing up and signing a contract that outlines all of the particulars of their job and payment. You may invest in a quick payroll software for remote employees to make the process easier.

8. Don’t micromanage your employees.

The autonomy it offers has been one of the biggest charms of working remotely. There is something inherently valuable about getting a project, finishing it at your own pace, and then using the remaining time to either complete more projects or work on improving your skills. Doing away with micromanagement results in your employees feeling happier, more efficient, and less stressed. These aspects will enhance employee retention. You should remember that you need to trust your employees and focus on the result instead of the hours they spent working.

9. Encourage regular two-way feedback.

Whether it be about work or other matters that concern your workforce, you should foster a culture that promotes a two-way feedback. The supervisors should provide timely feedback on the employees’ performances. And, the employees must be given a platform to voice their ideas and opinions. Besides this, regular meetings need to be conducted with your employees to discuss any issues they may have been facing. Inspire them to share how they feel about their jobs, what they would change, and what they need to perform better in the workplace. This includes everything from work hours, salary, and overtime, to dress codes, working conditions, to other company policies.

Fact: According to Gallup, remote employees who receive regular feedback from their manager are 3 times more likely to be engaged.

10. Reward and Recognize the Employees for their Achievements.

We all know that reward and recognition are two of the most powerful tools an organization can use to maintain employee morale. If your employees feel that their hard work goes unrecognized, negativity starts breeding in. Offering adequate reward and recognition to your employees not only instills a feeling of belonging but also shows that you value their contribution. Investing in rewards and recognition programs will work wonders in terms of greater dedication, better performance, and lower turnover rates.

11. Provide the opportunity for growth and career development

When your employees feel that their jobs do not offer any scope of growth, they may feel demotivated and have a negative view of their work. Offering opportunities for career development and growth reflects an organization’s commitment to its staff.

Upskilling is especially important today as technology continues to change how we work. When people upskill, they’re gaining new abilities and competencies as business requirements continue to evolve. You can invest in anything ranging from leadership, soft skills, and managerial, to technical skills development.

Employees who are engaged in their jobs and are optimistic about growth prospects are less likely to develop thoughts about quitting the job. You must make sure that there are opportunities for career and role advancement for the employees.

12. Work-Life Balance is Key to Telecommuting.

Since the employees find that their work and personal life are intertwined in a remote work setup, you need to make sure that they are protected from burnout or other psychological issues that occur due to a lack of work-life balance. Managers should recognize that maintaining balance can be even more challenging when working from home.

If late nights are necessary to wrap up a project, consider giving team members extra time off to compensate. Provisions like letting employees choose what projects they work on boost employee morale. There are plenty of incentives that keep your employees healthy and happy. Wellness rewards like gym memberships or subscriptions to meditation apps can help your employees unwind and take care of themselves.

Wrap-Up

To make your top talent stick to your company, you need to revisit your employee retention strategies at least once a year. Updating your company policies, best practices, and keeping up with the latest trends that suit a remote work scenario will help build a positive workplace culture and boost employee retention. You can’t stop an employee from deciding to leave your company. But, by implementing the above-mentioned tips, you will certainly make their decision a little difficult.

Complete, Update and Retain Your Form I-9s Digitally

Know More