Remote working has become far more commonplace in the wake of the pandemic, and many companies have found that what was once a temporary measure has enough benefits to warrant a long-term role in the way they operate. Employees also appreciate the many advantages of working remotely, and the State of Remote Work Report from Owl Labs recently found that one out of every two employees would be unwilling to return to a job that does not offer remote work.
Modern human resources leaders understand the importance of remote work for attracting and retaining talent, particularly at a time when good employees are growing increasingly difficult to find.
Employee retention rates are a key metric for assessing the overall commitment of a workforce to an organization, and high turnover can be very expensive in terms of recruitment and training. While offering remote work is a good way to encourage applications, a remote workplace requires a unique strategy for keeping valued employees satisfied.
Outlined below are 7 ways to improve employee retention in a remote workplace:
1. Set Up A Reimbursement Policy For Remote Work Expenses
In conventional workplaces where employees must work in the office every day, employers provide the office supplies, equipment, Internet access and other tools necessary to carry out their work.
This sentiment should be carried over to the remote workplace as well, but one survey showed that more than half of employees are not permitted to take equipment home from the office, while a third of workers report having to buy their own equipment for remote working and are not reimbursed by their employer.
Establishing a reimbursement policy can help companies stay compliant with their local labor laws while ensuring their workers have everything they need to carry out their work effectively from a remote setting.
2. Implement A Flexible and Open Working Environment
Although remote work does give employees a certain degree of freedom, it is important to take into account that many workers place a higher value on having a flexible work environment than compensation. In one poll, 72% of employees said they would seek new job opportunities if they did not have a flexible schedule; amending work policies with this in mind can raise retention rates.
This is particularly true for work that involves critical thinking, creativity and collaboration. Instead of expecting employees to work a fixed number of hours between a set beginning and ending time, give them the freedom to set the hours that work best for them, as long as they respect any essential client or team meetings.
This should ideally be extended to those who work on site as well, as it can eliminate feelings that remote workers have an advantage over them. This type of divide can create tension and drive retention down due to worker conflicts.
It is also important to ensure that employees feel comfortable sharing their opinions and feel safe within the organization as the work environment is a big factor in maintaining workers’ well-being and satisfaction.
3. Offer Career and Talent Development Programs
One of the most effective ways of keeping valued employees on board is investing in their career development. LinkedIn reports that 94% of employees say they would remain with the company if it made investments in their career development.
Companies should design their development programs to align with the organization’s goals and vision. Some of the most useful forms of professional development include training seminars, mentoring, networking opportunities, special projects and coaching processes.
Many employees expect to develop and grow when working for a company; establishing a clear career path for them can demonstrate that they have a future with the company.This can motivate employees to stay for the long run.
4. Create A Branding Strategy
Although it may not seem as though branding could have a significant effect on employees, its importance has grown in recent years. A LinkedIn study showed that having a strong employer brand can decrease turnover by 28%. In addition, it can reduce hiring costs by 50%, making it a worthwhile pursuit.
Communicating a company’s image is an essential part of maintaining its workers’ interest in staying with them and contributing to their success.
5. Create A Performance and Feedback Appraisal Process
In retention plans, feedback is incredibly important, and the majority of employees appreciate having the opportunity to provide feedback. In a remote environment, it is even more important as workers often feel disconnected from management. Provide remote employees with ample opportunity to submit feedback about their experience with the company as well as their experience working remotely.
By including employees as part of this business process, they will feel heard and respected. Studies show that employees who feel that their opinions are heard are 4.6 times more likely to report feeling empowered and performing at their best.
However, simply collecting feedback is not enough; it needs to be acknowledged and reacted to as quickly as possible.
6. Offer Rewards and Recognition
Teams working remotely should be treated the same way as in-person teams, and this includes offering rewards and recognition to top workers. Validating employees’ efforts and recognizing those who stand out can go a long way toward keeping top talent on board. More than four fifths of the American workforce say they don’t feel recognized or rewarded, which indicates that most companies still have a lot of work to do in this regard.
Develop a structured reward program that aligns with the company’s goals and values, and be sure to set up virtual team meetings where top performers are rewarded on a routine basis.
7. Offer Better Benefits
Organizations that offer competitive benefits packages can see significantly lower attrition than those that do not. As the labor market evolves, businesses must adapt to their employees’ needs and expectations. While offering healthcare and insurance benefits is a mainstay of most benefits offerings, modern employees are increasingly seeking other benefits, such as financial advice, mental health support and more paid time off.
Contact The Experts At Business Benefits Group (BBG)
Give your organization the best chance of attracting and retaining a high-quality remote workforce with guidance from the professionals at Business Benefits Group (BBG). Contact us today to learn how we can help you design a comprehensive benefits strategy aimed at maximizing employee retention.