Remote work is here to stay, but remote workers may not be. While many employers and business leaders like the idea of keeping a remote, decentralized workforce, it’s important to remember that there are numerous risks involved, one of them being the fragile nature of the remote collective.
If you don’t manage, support, or nurture your remote workforce properly, you will experience a high churn rate. Simply put, people will leave you for companies that appreciate and value them. Long-term retention goes beyond appreciation and delves deep into the concepts of respect, rewards, and the ever-changing needs of the remote workforce.
Let’s take a look at what those needs are and how you can ensure remote employee retention in 2023.
Bring Remote Workers into the Company Culture
To start, no matter if some of your remote workers are full-time employees and some are consultants and contractors, it’s important for people to internalize and embody your brand’s culture. Building a trustworthy brand that resonates with your employees is one of the best ways to build a meaningful relationship with the people that would otherwise have no opportunity to connect with your brand on-site.
In fact, investing in your brand’s culture is one of the best ways to keep your employees happy through shared values, inclusivity, and shared goals that everyone can work towards together. This shared culture creates a sense of community and inspires people to become a part of a tight-knit group of professionals — a group they would be reluctant to leave.
Invest in Rewards and Recognition Programs
Employee recognition should be one of the top priorities for employers that want to invest in their remote workers and inspire them to bring more value to the company long term. This approach is about building a mutually beneficial, trusting relationship between the brand and the employee, and investing in rewards and recognition perks that truly matter to the individual.
Rewards and perks come in various forms, but if you truly want to sustain remote employee engagement and inspire people to bring more value to your business, you have to invest in the perks that matter. This investment means skipping the company keychain and instead engaging in recognition that helps remote workers advance their careers.
Reward your people with workshops, seminars, and online knowledge bases they can use to build their careers. Recognize their effort by supporting their work and commitment to your company.
Are Your People Happy with Their Work Environment?
If you weren’t leading a remote workforce and everyone worked together in your office space, you would care a great deal about their work environment, right? So why should it be any different for remote workers? Your remote employees might be dissatisfied with their working conditions, which is a factor that can lead to them quitting.
While you’re not expected to fund their home office, you can support them in their needs for a productive work environment. For example, you can suggest a good coworking space in their area, one that you can fit into your budget and pay for them to work there, unlocking their productivity, happiness, and creativity in the process.
The leading coworking spaces will use intuitive coworking space software to make it easy for business leaders to sign their people in and monitor this crucial investment for each employee. You can monitor how often they use the space and encourage feedback to see how your investment has panned out within a year.
Offer Flexible Working Hours
There’s one potential drawback of remote work that too few business leaders care about nowadays — the difference in time zones and working hours. Too often, employers expect all remote workers to be available and online at the same time, which can lead to a lot of frustration and burnout for those employees that work in different time zones.
This burn-out can lead to silent quitting and can definitely inflate your employee turnover rate. If you want to minimize your employee turnover and keep the best remote employees at your side, you need to let them create their own working hours where they feel the most productive.
After all, modern technology facilitates asynchronous work, so forcing people halfway across the world to be online in your time zone shows a lack of respect and commitment to your employee collective.
Nurture Pay Equality for All Remote Employees
One of the reasons why inexperienced business leaders love remote work is that it allows them to seek out cheap labor around the world. Every company is looking to minimize their financial waste, but experienced business leaders know that talented employees are not a waste of money — they are an invaluable investment.
Regardless of where your remote employees are in the world, the worst thing you can do is to pay people less based on their location. News of pay inequality spreads fast, and you could jeopardize your brand’s reputation on the job market.
If you want to boost employee advocacy for your brand and establish a positive brand image, you must advocate for pay equality first. Better pay leads to happier remote employees, leading to higher retention in the long run.
Get Your People Together Once a Year
While it is possible to lead a completely decentralized workforce without people ever meeting each other in person, remember that people are social beings, and go the extra mile to help them forge powerful bonds with their coworkers. There’s only so much they can achieve through Zoom meetings, and if they don’t meet up at least once a year, they can start to churn.
When new hires apply for a remote job, they want this to be one of the perks you offer. When people craft their cover letter for your remote job and tell you why they want to work for you, you can rest assured that the ability to travel and meet their colleagues is one of their key motivators.
Organize a Virtual Break Room
Lastly, make sure that not all communication is done via official work-related meetings. Remote workers should have a virtual break room where they can chat, even if it’s about work, in a less formal way.
You can use your meeting minutes software to analyze how your official meetings are going and how the majority of the time is spent so that you can better organize them for productivity while guiding the non-work-related topics towards the break room. That way, you will keep people focused during meetings, and inspire them to hang out more in your virtual break room to forge more meaningful connections.
Remote employees are not going to stick around if they don’t feel supported on their professional journey. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to build a satisfied remote workforce and nurture a productive collective no matter where your people are around the world.
Be sure to use these tips to ensure remote employee retention in 2023 and keep the best of the best at your side.