For certain industries, a split office – divided between on-site and remote workers – has been flourishing for years. Take journalism, for instance. Not every writer needed to be in the bullpen, so a newspaper’s resources could be scattered around the world. But despite this success story, employers newly adopting remote working options are struggling to find the balance in order to effectively retain remote employees.
This is because, despite the demand for the ability to work remotely, remote worker management is still a fairly new frontier; presenting unexpected challenges and complications.
In order to prosper, organizations must formulate and deploy strategies which will propel employee engagement, while taking remote worker wellbeing into consideration. Thankfully, we have just the list of strategies you’re looking for.
Why does remote employee retention matter?
Let’s be honest, the traditional recruitment process can sometimes be a pit, draining money and time. Granted, the outcome is that you end up with the perfect candidate for your vacancy. But even if you manage to secure that employee, keeping them onboard is another matter entirely.
Employee retention is of the utmost importance in order to increase your company’s competitiveness, to spur motivation among team members, to increase productivity, reduce your overall costs, and it acts as a platform on which to grow.
This is true for both those employees working in brick-and-mortar company buildings and those working from home. The difference, however, is that retaining remote employees requires a different approach and set of skills. So, if you think of remote working as a mindset, rather than a tool, the pros and cons of this preference start to emerge.
It offers flexibility, freedom, independence and a sense of trust. But it can also lead to isolation, distraction, and feelings of ostracization (whether legitimate or not).
And if you have the ability to change jobs multiple times per year but the four walls around you remain exactly the same, what’s the benefit of staying with any one particular organization?
As such, not knowing how to keep your remote workers engaged and failing to implement remote employee retention strategies is a recipe for disaster.
Strategies for remote employee retention
So what steps can be taken to improve your attractiveness to remote workers? What are the methods and means that can be utilized to signal that you are not only an exciting, vibrant, progressive business, but one which a new starter will want to call home for a very long time?
1 – Lessen the pinch
Around the world, everyone has been affected by a cost of living crisis. This, paired with adverse weather conditions, has made the simple act of heating and powering your home, an expensive endeavor. One way to ensure those working from home don’t feel they are taking on additional costs, is to explore remote work expense reimbursement options.
This can range from one-off payments to regular percentage claims, but it indicates to your remote staff that they will not incur additional costs for doing the same work as someone in an office.
2 – The opportunity to progress
Having robust and clear career development programs are a sure-fire way of showing your staff that there is a future at your company, with a clear path to climbing the ladder. Not only that, it demonstrates you value your worker’s skill progression and not only want to see them improve, but are willing to invest the resources to achieve that.
3 – Charting your people
To quell fears of ostracization, it’s important to have hierarchical and promotional transparency. That way, employees know exactly who they are working for and with, and who to approach for any number of issues. Because as the structure of your organization shifts and changes, being able to see where you sit and the improvements being made, reduces confusion and a sense of exclusion.
4 – A decent flow of communication
If anything drives people away from a remote position, it’s usually owing to a breakdown in communication. Having both formal and informal methods to speak regularly with your teammates and management, generates a feeling of belonging.
What’s more, improved communication also lends itself to a more productive appraisal process, as restrictive barriers between employer and employee are broken down.
5 – Benefits that matter
As stated earlier, when working from home, the clear tangible move to another company isn’t immediately felt – especially if you work in a very niche specialized role that means you aren’t changing responsibilities much. Subsequently, companies need to have an array of competitive benefits in order to stand out and keep headhunting competition at bay.
6 – Face-to-face on occasion
While not mandatory, offering an on-site meetup every few months or so can work wonders. Whether a formal work gathering or an informal catch-up in person, it is an invitation to bring everyone together. Which reminds both those working on and off site of the rich community your company has fostered.
To hear what industry thought leaders have to say about remote working, and other pressing diverse topics, make plans to attend UNLEASH America 2023.